RealID real sneaky

The federal government may not be able to balance a budget or define the goals of a foreign military operation, but it sure excels at finding ways to gather more and more private data on more and more citizens.  Two of Washington’s latest targets from which to gather personal data are students of higher education, and people who need healthcare and are looking for tax credits.  

The move to nationalize the delivery of health care in America — which received a slight boost just yesterday with the Senate Finance Committee passing the Max Baucus health care bill out of the Finance Committee — offers government snoops a vast new universe of private health data to gather. 

And, as more and more students turn to Uncle Sam to help defray or cover the cost of their university education, the folks in Washington, DC are finding it increasingly easier to get America’s young people and their families to relinquish the privacy of their financial information for a little help from their friends, the Feds.

How clever these Feds be – create or highlight a private need (health care or education), then fashion a corresponding public benefit (universal health insurance or low-cost student loans), and you’re “In Like Flint.”  Most Americans will gladly give you whatever information you tell them is necessary in order to deliver that “benefit”; and few will read the fine print even if there is any (members of Congress don’t; why should constituents?).  Once the government gets the data, you’ll have no idea where it’s going, who will have access to it, how it will be used, or how long it will be retained. 

This process – already in high gear – is moving us closer and closer to a national identification card, without actually saying so.

Just last month the House of Representatives passed legislation that would prod states, via financial incentives (of course), to collect a dizzying quantity of data on college students.  The Senate is considering legislation that would also push states to collect additional information on students, and link it with other personal data wholly unrelated to educational purposes.  The personal information thus collected will then be tied into a seamless national network of information on all students.  

The Senate Finance Committee is doing its part for Uncle Snoop.  The committee has included language in the healthcare reform bill concerning “Eligibility Verification” of healthcare benefits and federal tax credits.  The burden of proof will be on the individual to produce evidence proving their identity to the many bureaucrats in the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.  Guess who gets to keep all that “verification” information?  Yep; Uncle Sam.

Whatever happened to the “RealID” program, passed amid much fanfare about terrorism and immigration reform back in 2005; yet whose real purpose was a national ID card?  The good news is that the RealID program languishes, thanks to strenuous and concerted opposition by state legislatures, a handful of courageous governors, and millions of Americans opposed to a national ID card.  The bad news is that proponents of a national ID – of which there are many in both of our country’s two major political parties – are distressingly close to accomplishing their goal by coming in through the back door, the side doors, and the windows, via individual data bases.  Their best ally in all this is America’s search for the Holy Grail of federal help.

26 comments Add your comment


October 14th, 2009
8:22 am

Yes, how terrible it has become that one must give out so much personal information – and online – in order to survive in this world! Thanks again for pointing this out, Mr. Barr. Glad you are around.


October 14th, 2009
8:46 am

“Their best ally in all this is America’s search for the Holy Grail of federal help.”

I would think their best ally is the private sector itself…credit card companies, health insurance companies, banks. How hard is it for the feds to get a search warrent? Not one corporation is going to defend your data, no matter what they infer in contracts. It’s all there for the feds taking as it stands now….the national ID is just a way for them to seek ‘permission’.

Most of the sheeple don’t care and will trade their info for convenience anyway. Pretty soon the whole ‘chip-your-hand’ thing will be realized by people not forced to do it, but by dullards who just want to be hooked into the newest tech.

Oh well…off to fashion my tinfoil hat.

Bob's A Cherry Picker

October 14th, 2009
9:35 am

Oh Bob. Everything’s so simple in your world.

What about those illegal immigrants who we’re so scared will get free healthcare?

Either a person can prove that they’re a citizen or they can’t. In order to prove that you are, you have to have some form of identification. Otherwise, we just have to take everyone’s word.

joe matarotz

October 14th, 2009
10:28 am

Right, Bob. A national ID card. I have the perfect name for it. They can call it your “Social Security Card”. Thanks for being all over this one. You remain as sharp as a marble.


October 14th, 2009
10:47 am

When these folks wake up and realize their facial recognition photographs are being shared with the Mexican government, or they can’t get a firearm because they once told their doctor they were feeling a little sad one day, or they can’t travel outside of their driveway in a car that doesn’t have a transponder in it maybe folks will realize we are in the midst of the biggest electronic governmental mission creep of all time.


October 14th, 2009
10:52 am

I think the point Bob is trying to make “ya’ll” is that by getting help from the government in any form, you are allowing them to gather all the information they need or want to aquire on you and your family. Don’t think this matters? I would think again if I were you as you never know how the state might turn or use this against you.

Stop being a sucker and ask why a few times and you might figure out that the questions they are asking are nuts.

Chris Broe

October 14th, 2009
11:07 am

Grading Barr: Tarentino’s latest delves into today’s blog about totalitarianism. The moral of “Inglorious Basterds” is that nefarious government intrusion into private citizen’s lives can only be countered with terrorism. “R your papers in order?” (No, but here’s a baseball bat upside your head, Oberleutnant.)

Tarentino stole from a variety of movie genre vignettes that spanned slapstick Kung Fu to film noir scene stealing to the unnoticed miscasting in Planet 9 From Outer Space. (sorry, Brad, but you blew chunks)

A comedy that gets a few laughs and ends Tarentino’s career is well worth seeing. (See it for Brad’s blown line at the movie’s last second).

If only there was a way to blacklist directors……..and Brad Pitt.

Piso Mojado

October 14th, 2009
11:23 am

Bob, the federal government used to know how to balance a budget. Bill Clinton did it, remember?

“The move to nationalize healthcare in America…” Barr writes. This isn’t what’s happening, and you know it, Bob. Poor conflicted Bob Barr – once a Republican, always a Republican.

Also, Madmommy, the spelling is y’all. It’s a shortened version of “you all”.


October 14th, 2009
11:41 am

Hopefully the costs associated with the RealID will keep it on the back burner for a few more years.


October 14th, 2009
12:37 pm

jconservative, you know damn well that costs prohit this administration from doing nothing. If we don’t have enough money, we’ll just print more. Check out the status of the dollar. Pretty soon we’ll be envious of the Cuban Peso the way things are going.

Hillbilly Deluxe

October 14th, 2009
2:05 pm

Agree with Joe Matarotz; the Social Security Card is the National ID card. The government has been collecting information on it’s citizens since it began. They take a census every ten years and that information is public after 70 years. 1790-1930 (except for 1890 which burned) are a matter of public record now. 1940 will be made public sometime after 2010. You can learn some things about your ancestors from looking through those.

Chris Broe

October 14th, 2009
3:13 pm

Bob Barr: “I have found the enemy, and it is (POT)US!

Imagine someone so unpatriotic that they would tie together our right as human beings to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to the Third Reich’s Totalitarianism. That’s Bob Barr, and he’s the enemy America met after 911 when we all found ourselves looking for what went wrong.

I think it was Benedict Arnold who said, “If America wants to meet it’s enemies, then let it look no further than themselves, the dirty ratfinks.”

Bob Barr is an anagram of Benedict Arnold, if’n you mispell every word.

I am running for congress next time around. My platform is based on hope, change, skeet shooting, lying, and winking at gullible audiences. (and blogging an idiot’s delight of moronium just like you know who.)

Boy, do I fit in or what?


October 14th, 2009
5:08 pm

and you’re “In Like Flint.”

The expression is “in like Flynn.”

just thinking...

October 14th, 2009
5:13 pm

If you’re asking for assistance from the government, prove you need it. Need a school loan? Want help with heathcare? Break out the W-2’s! The information is already there, why can’t the government use their own data to stop fraud? Stop twisting this around. Too many that are “with”, are spoiling it for those “without”.

GOP Wisdom On Display

October 14th, 2009
6:51 pm

Remember it was the Republicans who started the idea of the RealID as well as sneek-and-peek searches of your property, warrantless wiretaps, turning the phone companies into spies, searching libraray records, heck, I remember as a little kid when President Reagan told us to turn in our parents if we saw them doing drugs or anything illegal.

No, this stuff didn’t come from Obama, this came from you boy Bush and that party. So if you’re really as worried about this stuff as you claim, then it’s your own fault for voting these people into office.


October 14th, 2009
7:03 pm

GOP wisdom, was it repubs that wire tapped and blackmailed Martin Luther King ? For some reason, I thought Kennedy was a democrat. What party enacted Able Danger ?


October 14th, 2009
9:01 pm

Fang1944, “In Like Flint” is the title of a James Coburn movie, and I suspect that Bob used it deliberately.


October 15th, 2009
8:57 am

Found this by accident but it’s relevant to BB’s post.

This backs-up my original point…people will ‘tag’ themselves of their own free-will. It’s really not much of a stretch to think that any UHC plan in the near future may require people to have this implant or for that matter a private insurer requiring it for their members as well.


October 15th, 2009
9:01 am

Simple. Don’t want the feds gathering infomration on you? Don’t ask for help. Personally, I like the idea that the government is checking to make sure there is less corruption and fraud in giving out their funds, and that people have to prove who they are before they recieve any checks.

The better way to be is to raise taxes so students don’t need to go into so much debt to get an education. Or support universal health care so doctors treat the patient and not the bank account. If education and health care were free to individuals, they wouldn’t need to collect personal infomraiton.

Besides, where did you ever get the idea that credit card companies protect private infomration? They share it all the time with each other. At least the government infomration would be protected by law.

In the data business

October 15th, 2009
9:11 am

Game already over, there has been no privacy for decades…


October 15th, 2009
9:25 am

The United States Constitution has always been a book of suggestions. It was never followed very well, even though it’s a legal document.

The executive branch runs this nation. Always has and always will. Bills originate in the White House, not the House of Representatives or the House of the Senate.

All administrations have served one purpose only: Expand the power of the executive branch and increase the role of government, but enact more restrictive rules on citizens.

The U.S. Constitution has been continually violated from the day it was ratified.

Chris Broe

October 15th, 2009
9:32 am

Dunce-capped and Tardy is no way to go through life.


October 15th, 2009
7:48 pm

Follow the link from top page of DixHistory.Com to see why I will vote for Ray McBerry.


October 15th, 2009
7:50 pm


October 16th, 2009
2:15 pm



October 23rd, 2009
11:49 pm

Considering every republican in congress from GA voted in favor of the Real ID act back in 2005, I can only imagine that you would have gone along to get along as they say. I certainly can’t imagine you joining the ranks of John Lewis and Cynthia McKinney in opposing the bill.

So lets have it Bob. Plenty of people are praising you for alerting them to this BS. How would you have voted?

Yes on the Patriot Act without reading it – and now complaining.
Yes on the giving up congressional authority to declare war on Afghanistan and Iraq – unconstitutional votes without a doubt.
Yes on the Homeland Security Adminstration – and now complaining.

Think I can safely say you would have voted for Real ID Bob. After all, the anointed hand-picked messenger of god who was masquerading as our president at the time supported the bill, and that seems to have been good enough on every other vote you took.