From the August 1998 Idaho Observer:

ID Tracking Number for All "Public Servants"

When Ms. Neill first released the following article, it was released as a satire. But is it a satire or is it the answer? People all across the country have become electrified by this idea and are seriously strategizing the possibility of organizing nation-wide campaigns to place the concept below on state-wide ballots in initiative form. It is simple and it is beautiful--what registered voter in America would refuse to sign a petition which explains how every government employee, elected or otherwise, will be issued a number that will be attached to all of their activities from the moment they take office to the moment they leave it?

What arguments can be made in opposition to forcing government employees to take a number and be accountable for every penny of our money that they spend and every hour that they are alive and spending it?

Give the following "satire" some serious consideration. The government wants to attach a number to you so that it can track everything that you do. The government is our employee. It is not the American public whose activities should be monitored by government, it is the government's activities who should be monitored by the American, tax-paying public.

You tell me--is this a satire, or is it an excellent idea whose time is long overdue?

by Patricia Neill

By the power vested in me as one of We the People, without whose consent this country cannot possibly be governed, I hereby declare that what this country really needs is an permanent identification number for all politicians, of all levels of government from the president down to "local" school boards, including the millions of unelected bureaucrats. All "public servants" from cabinet members to federal agents of all the hordes of federal agencies, to judges and prosecutors, governors, mayors, country administrators, down to the local police and dog catchers shall be issued a permanent identification number as soon as they take their oath of office and begin work.

This permanent identification number can be used to track all of these politicans and bureaucrats' actions, since they will not be able to do ANYTHING without that number. We will be able to tally their votes, their performance of the work we hired them to do, in fact, every action taken by our "public servants" will be open to the view of the public. We should be able to see their bank accounts, their medical histories, times they went to see a shrink, how many visits to the local red light district, phone calls to their bookies, every time they file a memo, write a regulation, conceive of legislation, attempt some obsfucation, stop a car for a traffic violation, go to the pharmacy for medication (OK, enough alliteration)--ALL actions will require the use of their permanent identification number.

Every financial transaction will be open and public knowledge. Since millions of dollars disappear from various official budgets every year, in every federal agency, and probably in many state and local agencies as well, ALL financial transactions of "public servants"--in their official capacity as our hired help, AND in their private lives, will be made public. Thus we will be able to track the transfer of our money to their pockets, which is no doubt what happens to those millions of dollars that "disappear" every year, as reported again and again by the Government Accounting Office.

Every single action taken by a "public servant," whether official or private business, will be tracked, noted, and the data will be entered into a database kept open to the public. We the People, who pay for all this "government," need to be able to see exactly what transpires when an IRS agent seizes someone's house. We'll be able to note when the home was taken, for what purposes, when it was auctioned, and where the money went. Whenever an EPA bureaucrat attempts to regulate private property out of existence, we'll know, since our "public servants" will be unable to function at all without using their permanent identification number. Whenever one of the myriads of Monica Lewinskies goes to the White House, she'll have to use her number to even get through the door. This data will be automatically sent to the database. The technology already exists as we know, because our "public servants" have expressed their fervent and demented desire to use it on US. This database shall be accessible to all Americans on the Web. Suggestions as to how to set up the webpages are welcome.

I believe this is an idea whose time has come. As an ordinary, private citizen, there is absolutely no reason for me to have a national permanent ID number. Who cares what I do or don't do? Who "should" care, besides me and mine? However, it seems to me essential that in order for citizens to be properly vigilant concerning the actions of our "public servants," and to act responsibily upon the knowledge that vigilance will bring, that ALL of our "public servants" must henceforth receive a permanent identification number that they will agree to use for every action they take, official or private, if they wish to work for us. It is a way to ensure accountability of our "public servants"--something sorely lacking in our current form of government.

If they have no wish to work for us, fine. They remain private citizens, and thus need not be accountable except in the usual ways private citizens must be accountable in their personal and business lives. Once they retire from public life, their number retires as well.

What do you say, folks? Anyone like this idea besides me?

© 1998 by Patricia Neill

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