for the Government Reform Committee Hearing on
National ID Card Proposals
Congressman Ron Paul, MD
Chairman, thank you for holding this important hearing examining
the question of whether national ID cards would enhance security.
Protecting the security of the American people from foreign threats
is the most important responsibility of the federal government,
and there is much the government needs to do in this area. Among
the steps the federal government should take is to restrict immigration
from countries which support or harbor terrorists, and implement
policies to effectively enforce existing immigration laws. Moreover,
private property owners certainly can take steps to protect their
property from terrorists and other criminals. For example, it is
perfectly legitimate for airlines to issue private ID cards to passengers
and perform background checks as a condition of selling them a ticket.
Congress should reject proposals which provide only the illusion
of security, while in reality simply eroding constitutional government
and individual liberty. Perhaps the most onerous example of a proposal
that creates the illusion of security (yet really promotes servitude)
is the plan to force all Americans to carry a national ID card.
A uniform national system of identification would allow the federal
government to inappropriately monitor the movements and transactions
of every citizen. History shows that when government gains the power
to monitor the actions of the people, it inevitably uses that power
in harmful ways.
national ID card threatens liberty, but it will not enhance safety.
Subjecting every citizen to surveillance actually diverts resources
away from tracking and apprehending terrorists toward needless snooping
on innocent Americans! This is what has happened with "suspicious
activity reports" required by the Bank Secrecy Act. Thanks to BSA
mandates, federal officials are forced to waste time snooping through
the private financial transactions of innocent Americans merely
because their banking activities seem suspicious to a bank clerk.
the federal government has no constitutional authority to require
law-abiding Americans to present any form of identification before
engaging in private transactions (e.g. getting a job, opening a
bank account, or seeking medical assistance). As we consider how
best to enhance the federal government's ability to ensure the safety
of the people, it is more important then ever that Congress remain
mindful of the constitutional limitations on its power.
conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I once again express my gratitude to the
committee for holding this important hearing. I also would remind
my colleagues that national ID cards are a trademark of totalitarianism
that contribute nothing to the security of the American people.
I therefore urge my colleagues to reject all proposals for a national
ID, and focus instead on measures that will effectively protect
both security and liberty.
Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.
Truth Needs Your Support
make a donation to help us tell it,
no matter what nefarious plans Leviathan has.