An Unnecessary Proposal: National Identification Cards
As a response to investigations after the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Flight 93 attacks on September 11, 2001, America and four supporting countries invaded Iraq in March of 2003 to remove weapons of mass destruction and end Saddam Hussein's contributions to terrorism. Likewise, vigorous dialogue concerning a standardized, national identification card surfaced in September 2001. Furthermore, in 2005 Congress enacted into law the REAL ID Act that supported the use of a standardized driver’s license as a national identification (Swartz 14). Neither response provided adequate security for America citizens. A national identification card would not bring significant benefits to citizens nor reduce terrorism because it is expensive, penetrable, and imperfect.
First, implementing a national identification card would be expensive. A conservative projected cost was eleven billion dollars for the undebated provision that was attached to a military appropriations act for Iraq and Afghanistan (Swartz 14). Another estimate provided by The Department of Homeland Security projected the cost at twenty-three billion dollars. To understand if the REAL ID Act is a good buy, citizens must be able to compare the legislation’s purchasing power (Swartz 14). For instance, twenty-three billion dollars would substantially fund most of Tennessee’s 29.3 billion dollar budget for the upcoming year, and three billion dollars is a substantial amount to every state battling current economic hardships. What would these billions of dollars purchase? The expenditure, which would not cover collecting new information about citizens, would simply cover the cost of linking current databases and document storage fees. If the price tag provided a genuine upgrade in security, the sacrifice would be worthwhile; however, paying more cash for an existing product is not economically justifiable.
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