Congressman Reintroduces Social Security Bill

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Rep. Ron Paul, R-TX, earlier this month introduced an expanded version of a bill that would impose restrictions on the use of Social Security numbers.

The original bill, the Identity Theft Prevention Act -- H.R. 220 -- was introduced by Paul in the last session but died in committee last year.

Like the original bill, the new version prohibits local, state and federal governments from asking for, obtaining or using a person's Social Security number as a personal identifier.

Paul said Congress had "a moral responsibility" to correct previous actions that "transformed the Social Security number into a national identifier" and made identity theft easy.

The bill would allow only the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service to use Social Security numbers, the former in connection with its benefits programs and the latter for tax purposes.

The new version also would require the SSA to issue new numbers to every American within five years of the bill's passage.

Paul said the provision is needed because "unscrupulous persons easily can obtain a victim's Social Security number and access bank accounts, obtain credit cards and assume a false identify.

"The confidentiality of existing numbers has been destroyed; they are available in far too many government and private databases," he said.

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