REAL ID: The Gift That Keeps on Taking
By Paul Henry ~ Floridians Against Read ID
West Virginia was one of the more recent states to adopt the unconstitutional REAL ID Act. I’ve watched the news stories as they went through the same problems Florida did in 2012 when we began. In today’s news was a story about how even after spending $2 million on REAL ID, the state now needs another $1.4 million to hire 45 employees due to REAL ID. That’s $31,111 each per year, or about $15/hour. What I didn’t see in the article were:
- The recurring costs. In 2013, they need an added $1.4 million. What happens in 2014 and beyond? Will the new workers remain at $15/hour? Probably not.
- While “federal grants” were mentioned, it is clear they were insufficient. There was not enough “federal” money to offset state expenses. Here in Florida, our DMV told me in 2011 we had spent over $10 million on REAL ID from 2008-2010, and only received about $7 million in “federal” money. The word federal is in quotes since there is no such thing. Nearly all federal government revenue originates with the taxpayer in one form or another, so the correct term is taxpayer money.
- The amount private citizens are having to spend to comply with REAL ID, such as married or divorced women. Here in Florida, that amount has reached $400 for a legal name change, which was the path of least resistance. According to the 2010 census data, the population of West Virginia over the age of 18 is about 1,469,424. If ten percent of these people have to spend just ten dollars due to REAL ID be it time from work due to waiting in line or paying to get certified documents, there is another $1.4 million.
I’ve criticized REAL ID mainly due to it taking our liberty. The above represents another angle that is just as bad in many respects- it is hurting our economy during a time of recession.
I’m hopeful someone is standing up in West Virginia and opposing REAL ID. I know from another story a fellow running for governor there is doing so. Let’s hope more people become educated on how bad this law is and they act to nullify it at the state level. We will be doing so here in Florida in 2013 with the RIDE Act.