MEDIA NOTICE: Today (Friday), Jim Babka is scheduled to appear on "Straight Talk w/ Jerry Hughes," starting at 3:05 PM Eastern. Listening details can be found on the DownsizeDC.org blog.
Quote of the Day: "I won't call it Real ID, I'll call it enhanced or higher security drivers license." -- Robert V. LaPenta, President and CEO of L-1 Identity Solutions, which stands to be a primary beneficiary of any government scheme for a national ID card
Subject: Tricking Americans Into Real ID
Jim Harper, at the Cato Institute, alerts us to new dangers on the national ID front.
The so-called Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and certain politicians, are trying multiple ways to impose a national ID card on us, even though the American people have made it very clear we don't want it.
One under-handed scheme started with the passage of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which requires law abiding U.S. citizens to have either a passport or an enhanced drivers license to cross the Mexican or Canadian borders. An "enhanced drivers license"...
* Is an initiative of the DHS that has NO Congressional mandate
* Will require you to undergo a security interview, pay a fee, and get a new federal ID number (in addition to your Social Security number)
* Has an RFID chip that can be read at a distance, up to 30 feet away, even while it's in your wallet!
Now things are being rigged to move citizens in the direction of the enhanced drivers license.
The problem starts with the fact that passports are too expensive. The high price gives people an incentive to pay for the enhanced drivers license, which is about half the cost. The Government Accounting Office had already issued a report saying that the $100 price for a passport didn't need to be that high, but...
Now they've raised the price even higher. Representative Paul Opsommer of Michigan suspects the purpose of this is to drive even more people to get the cheaper (but more dangerous) enhanced drivers license.
Please notice that all of this is being driven NOT by Congress, but by un-elected bureaucrats in the DHS and the State Department. But that doesn't mean Congress is blameless. Congress is doing nothing to reign in the bureaucrats, plus, some are even working to make things worse. For instance...
Something called the PASS Act is being crafted to revive the Real ID concept, under a new name, and companies like L-1 Identity Solutions, which stands to benefit, are almost certainly lobbying hard to make it happen. We must lobby just as intensely in the other direction.
Please send your Congressional employees a message asking them once again to repeal the REAL ID Act.
Use your personal comments to ALSO ask them to...
* Stop the DHS from promoting enhanced drivers licenses
* Make the State Department lower the cost of passports
* Reject all the new forms of REAL ID, such as the PASS Act
We achieved our goal of sending more messages in May then we sent in April, but this issue still needs your attention. We hope you'll use DownsizeDC.org's proprietary Educate the Powerful System to send a message to repeal the Real ID Act.
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Jim Babka, President
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