Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Proof of birth is becoming more valuable

President Obama produced a birth form today in an effort to put to rest the rumors that he does not have such proof. He also pooh-poohed the notion that this is a legitimate controversy.

I would disagree. With the rising cost of U.S. entitlements, health insurance and the controversy over citizens who are here legally and illegally — proof of birth and citizenship is becoming much more important and valuable.

And, as Obama points out, a birth certificate or any other piece of paper will not dispel the doubts of those who do not believe.

When the value is high, forging a birth certificate or a passport or a driver's license or a Social Security card is worth the effort.

Before the cost of entitlements soared into the trillions of dollars and having health insurance became as valuable as having a job, the pieces of paper proving our identity did not require much security.

Workers who enter the country illegally, criminals who steal our identity, and even people who defraud employers and health insurers -- they know the value of proof of identity and citizenship.

As to Obama's feeling that this is much ado about nothing, I know exactly how he feels. This week I was asked to send in proof -- in the form of a marriage certificate and a birth certificate -- that my wife and son were eligible to be covered by my insurance. I thought it was rather silly that I was asked to provide such proof. It used to be that I just had to sign that these dependents were who I said they were and if they weren't I would be liable for prosecution for fraud. Now I am required to produce the paperwork, which I know could be easily forged.

But as this trend continues, all of us, not just the president, are going to be held to a higher standard of proof about who we are. The present pieces of paper are not going to cut it.

I don't know what that standard will be, but I am quite sure it is coming.


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