Cynical Synapse

Sun, 11 Jul 2010

US Passport Prices Up 50% Because They Can

Filed under: Behavior, Citizen rights, Government, Life, National security, Opportunists, Taxes, Travel — cynicalsynapse @ 11:46 am

US passports

Just announced this past week, US passport fees rise about 50% on 13 July. While it seems there’s hardly any notice for this hefty increase, the State Department has been considering it since February. What’s interesting is 70% of public comment was opposed to the increase. To skirt that, State just implements the price hike while Congress is recessed.

Why are prices going up now and by so much? According to the State Dept., it’s because new passports include high-tech security features. Woops. Those features have been in place since 2006. Never mind that those high tech features have been hacked already.

Customs and Border Protection checking documents

If it’s not the high-tech cost, then State says it’s because of increased demand. Woops! I’m sorry, but the increased demand is because US citizens need a passport to return to the US. This has been a requirement for air travelers since 2006 and in effect for land/sea crossings for the last year. So, the so-called increased demand doesn’t support a passport price hike right now, either.

I live 20 minutes from Windsor, Ontario, and it’s always been easier to go there than it has to come back to the US. The guys in the little booths on the US side are just so full of themselves. I’ve not been to Canada since 9/11 because I knew it would be painful to come back home. Maybe I just don’t like being treated like a suspect for no other reason than wanting to come home. Now the US has added a travel tax in the form of the passport requirement. And now, they’re raising that tax.

Nothing permitted in visitor center

The added hassle of entering the US has cost jobs, income, and taxes. It’s done little, if anything, to increase national and border security. As if that’s not bad enough, US passport security is in jeopardy because we outsouce making the smartchip to Thailand. Which means the passport requirement isn’t even accomplishing its intended purpose. Just more security theater with little tangible benefit.

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3 Comments

  1. Hi,

    I stumbled across your blog and I really enjoyed reading about your passion for Michigan’s future. I found this post to be particularly interesting because it focuses on an issue that we, as the public, may have been able to stop had we taken initiative.

    I work in partnership with The Center for Michigan and I thought you might be interested in signing one of our three Citizens’ Petitions for Change and sharing the link with your readers.

    The online petitions are a result of conversations over the past three years with 10,000 citizens during 600 community meetings across the state of Michigan. We all have one goal in mind: to make our state great again.

    I believe you share some of the same feelings, so I encourage you to learn more at http://www.michiganpetitions.org. Our goal is to reach 15,000 signatures across the state of Michigan, so we can take these issues to the legislature and really have an impact in the new Michigan gubernatorial term.

    We would love for you to help us spread this important message with your readers. Please contact me if you are interested, and I can provide you with additional information on how you can get involved. I look forward to hearing from you!

    Sincerely,

    Courtney

    Comment by Courtney — Thu, 15 Jul 2010 @ 2:16 pm

    • Thanks for stopping by, Courtney. I’ll take a look at your web page and see what I can do.

      Comment by Cynical Synapse — Sun, 18 Jul 2010 @ 11:51 am

      • Thank you! If you have any additional questions or would like more info, please do not hesitate to contact me. We can follow up with a call if you prefer.

        Comment by Courtney — Mon, 19 Jul 2010 @ 2:28 pm


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