Friday, August 10, 2012

Our Tax Dollars at Work

Yesterday I took my 16-year-old daughter to take her driving permit test. It's tough for kids her age to come up with suitable ID, but she has a United States passport, which has proven sufficient to cross the border into foreign countries, so I figured that was pretty good.

When we got there we found we needed her social security number. I had no idea, but I thought of calling my accountant, who recognized my voice and helped us out. After waiting on a long, long line, we got to the end and the woman demanded a social security card. It was an odd request.

Odd or no, we didn't have it. I haven't used a social security card in decades, I don't know where hers is, and I don't know where mine is.  I asked why the passport, much harder to get than a social security card, was not sufficient. The woman at the window seemed deeply offended by the question, which doubtless she hears a dozen times every day.  I kind of understood, as people question me about stupid policies too, and I never have a good answer either.

Nonetheless, she gave us a paper that will get us to the front of the line in ten days, when my daughter receives the replacement card we waited 90 minutes in the social security office to apply for.

It's kind of irritating, while reading every day about the perfidy of teachers, to spend hours fixing a problem that really isn't a problem at all. Teachers, on the other hand, are expected to fix all the problems the people who maintain this system are hellbent on ignoring, and folks like Bloomberg, Cuomo, and Duncan will ignore them just as long as we allow them to pass the buck.
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