American Elephants

So You Want to Get a Passport— Heh, Heh, Heh! by The Elephant's Child

The Heritage Foundation has been doing a series in their Foundry blog on governmental red tape. As a devout anti-Big Government activist, this is right up my alley. “Rewarding failure is a fundamental precept of the Bureaucratic Code,” Heritage says.  In this case it is the State Department and passport fraud.

The General Accounting Office (GAO) has investigated the State Department’s procedures for processing passport applications and found them troublesome, to say the least.  In 2010, an investigation found passports granted in spite of things like a 62-year-old applicant using a Social Security number issued in 2009, passport and driver’s license photos with a 10-year age difference, the use of a California mailing address, a West Virginia permanent address and driver’s license address, and a Washington D.C. phone number all on the same application.  No problem!

State Department officials plan to fix the problem by expanding the investigatory powers they have failed to use properly, and plan to impose new burdens on applicants for passports.

They are proposing a new application, Form DS-5513.  It would require the name and address of your every employer, your every supervisor’s name and the address of your every residence.  If you were not born in a hospital, or if your birth was not recorded within a year, you would have to supply:

  • The circumstances of your birth, including the names of everyone in the room when you were born;
  • Whether your mother received pre-natal and post-natal care and the names of the doctors and dates of the appointments for that care;
  • The name of your mother’s employer when you were born and her dates of employment;
  • Your mother’s address when  you were born and her address one year before and one year after your birth.

Good grief.  I couldn’t supply those facts for my own children! Each of them were born in a different hospital, I have no clue who the obstetricians were, and who else was in the room?  Sheesh, only a cubicle-enclosed bureaucrat could dream up such nonsense.  Department officials claim the new application will take just 45 minutes, on average, to complete.

This is number 10 in the Red Tape series.  Follow the Heritage link, and you can read about the other nine,  although I’ve ranted about several of them before. The mindset that thinks this sort of thing is acceptable is beyond comprehension.

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