Wednesday, 2. April 2008

Bush administration passport to stupidity

Homeland security is a priority for the Bush administration. I know that because they keep telling us. We have to take off our shoes and take out our identification getting on and off planes. Not just any identification, either. Official stuff. And crossing borders -- any borders, even the border from Canada -- now requires a passport. A passport! Perhaps one of the most highly prized and secure of all official forms of identification, too, now embedded with electronic chips. Even blank passports are expensive, and we are charged for them -- $100, up from $60 ten years ago. Which makes perfect sense. But it's one of the few things about passport production that does make sense. Because it turns out that it is cheaper to make them in foreign countries like Thailand than in the US, so the State Department has been outsourcing printing of blank passports and pocketing the estimated $100 million yearly that is the difference between what they charge and what they cost. But that's not the main issue.

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