Texas Legislator Wants New Social Security Numbers
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In a bid to stem identity theft, SiliconValley.com reports that Rep. Ron Paul of Texas wants the Social Security Administration to issue new numbers to all Americans within the next five years. Paul lamented in a March 2000 statement to the House Ways & Means Committee (Social Security Subcommittee) that, "today, most Americans cannot get a job, get married, open a bank account, or even get a fishing license without their Social Security number." Paul decried the fact that "for all intents and purposes, the Social Security number has been transformed from an administrative device used to administer the Social Security program into a de facto national ID number." His plan, seemingly an extension of his "Freedom and Privacy Restoration Act of 1999" (H.R. 220), would ban the use of Social Security numbers as identifying tools. The last Congressional action on H.R. 220 was its May 2000 review by the Ways & Means Committee Social Security Subcommittee.

In 1936 when the Social Security system was established, the numbers were meant merely as a method of tracking the earnings of American workers.

Additionally, Ways & Means Social Security Subcommittee Chair Clay Shaw of Florida, Rep. Jerry Kleckza of Wisconsin, Rep. Robert Matsui of California and Rep. Mark Foley of Florida joined forces to introduce legislation that would ban business and government agencies from selling Social Security numbers or displaying them on public documents. Klecza also introduced his own "Personal Information Privacy Act" (H.R. 1478) earlier this year that would restrict the instances in which merchants, and others, could request Social Security numbers.

 

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