The USEP Believes We Need a National Identity Card (NIC)

National ID card

The United States Equalitarian Party (USEP) favors the use of a financialy untied national identity card (NIC). Equalitarians believe a NIC can significantly reduce fraud, waste, and abuse caused by political mismanagement of citizen tax dollars. The card could also be used to verify age of majority, citizenship, immigration status, emergency medical information (e.g., blood type, organ donor status, allergies etc.), deserved receipt of government aid, and the validity of a person’s state and federal licensing status (e.g., drivers, firearms, heavy equipment, etc.).

A NIC Would Benefit the Whole Nation…

Moreover, a national identification card with photo and citizenship status could support state and federal voter ID and registration requirements. The NIC could also be a valuable tool in supporting the mandatory use of E-verify to authenticate employee identity. This would help workers by ensuring they receive the benefits they deserve, and aid the government in tracking those who would exploit immigrant labor through tax evasion, child labor, or human trafficking.

The party believes a NIC would significantly reduce and gain better control of tax expenditures and better oversight of America’s most expensive bills – those tied to entitlement programs (Social Security, Housing Subsidies, Food Stamps, Welfare Programs, etc.). A NIC would allow authorized officials to quickly verify and expedite service for the deserving, and limit access to those who are not. Identity elements tied to any of these benefits could be kept on an encrypted chip in an identification card very similar to those now being used by a wide range of employees across the country and long maintained by government employees to include our Armed Forces.

Addressing Citizens’ Privacy Concerns

Privacy advocates and NIC naysayers will argue a national identity card will pose potential threats to our civil liberties and civil rights, but here in the 21st century these arguments fall flat - especially in the face of the vast majority of Americans having already sacrificed their privacy through the use of the internet through their phones. State and national identity documents (Real ID, Driver’s Licenses, Passports, Green Cards, etc.) are required in almost any facet of life now. From making credit card purchases, to buying liquor, or boarding a plane, citizens are required to provide proof of who they are.

These doubters will also argue a NIC will only be as good as the documents people provide to get one, but the card need not be issued if the provided documents don’t meet the veracity threshold established by the government. They will argue that the program will cost billions of dollars to implement - and it just might, but the money saved by reducing the amount of fraud, waste and abuse will vastly outweigh the cost of implementation.

Moreover, they will argue a NIC will lead to a slippery slope of surveillance, monitoring and warehousing of citizens’ personal data and movements. That argument might have held some water a couple of decades ago, but the prevalence of personal cell phones routinely using geographic positioning data, online social media, municipal closed circuit television video equipment, police body cams, license plate readers, and the emergence of drones have all but erased the notion of trying to secure a person’s public privacy. It is also important to note, under the USEP’s plan for the implementation for a NIC, there would be no connection to a person’s financial data, credit scores, or status of solvency. Here in the third decade of the twenty-first century, and as evidenced in many countries overseas, the benefits of a standardized NIC far outweigh the unfounded threats of personal privacy loss.

Other Nations Have NICs...

Italy has one, Germany has one, and over one hundred other countries have them. Many of these countries enjoy greater personal privacy laws than does the US which currently does not have one. At least with one authorized centralized location of citizen data, the possibility of personal data compromise could be limited while simultaneously making that one location be held responsible in case of a data breach or misappropriation.

Those arguing against the use of a NIC might also try to argue a national identity card would foster new forms of discrimination and harassment, but national identity cards would actually reduce discrimination. Authorized officials and law enforcement could learn immediately upon receipt of a NIC if holder is in the U.S. legally, a valid recipient of government entitlements, or properly licensed for a particular activity.

Who Might Not Want a National Identity Card (NIC)?

Those who might not want to see the implementation of a NIC would likely fall into groups looking to operate outside the law or avenues of accountability. These types of people could include those seeking to exploit illegal workers, profit from undeserved Social Security / Medicare benefits, commit voter registration fraud, or evade paying taxes.

There will also be those who want to reject the technology behind the card – those who want to reject any further government intrusion into their lives. To them, the USEP says, let them – after all, no one should force any citizen to do something against their will. Though, let us be real; choices have consequences. Those that refuse the application and receipt of a NIC would have to expect the consequences (e.g., losing government benefits, the right to vote, the ability to board an aircraft, or purchase a firearm, etc.). And of course the citizen need not be forced to carry the card on their persons at all times, but again, choices have consequences and facing the potential denial of benefits or facing delay by a government agency in receiving identification verification should be expected.

The reasons for adopting a national identity card far outweigh the reason for not do so and could be a way to actually provide our Department of Homeland Security with a job that would fit the expansive domain they are meant to protect.

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