Did you kiss them?
Will you miss them?
(Your freedoms, not your congresspeople.)
From Freedom Works:
Hidden deep in Senator Christopher Dodd’s 630-page Senate housing legislation is a sweeping provision that affects the privacy and operation of nearly all of America’s small businesses. The provision, which was added by the bill’s managers without debate this week, would require the nation’s payment systems to track, aggregate, and report information on nearly every electronic transaction to the federal government.
This Senate bill requires eBay, Amazon, Google, all credit card companies and other businesses to report transactions to the government.
As part of a HOUSING BILL, for cripes sake.
Not only does it strip us of another civil liberty (maybe we should try to get our liberties on the Endangered Species list), but the bill is expected to transfer $8.0 billion over the 2009-2018 period from the private (wealth-creating) sector of our economy to the public (wealth-consuming) sector.
Whether or not you have a small business, this means YOUR information will be reported to the government every time you transact. And small businesses will collect this $8 billion dollars from their customers — YOU. And anyone who has transactions involving these companies will be vulnerable to identity theft.
From The Hill’s Congress Blog:
The bipartisan housing bill currently being debated in the Senate contains an unrelated amendment that will burden innovative Internet companies and threaten the civil liberties of every American.
…These companies would be required to construct vast databases of personal information from merchants, including names, addresses, social security numbers, and detailed information about every electronic transaction. Not only would these requirements trigger higher fees for merchants and higher prices for consumers, but they will also needlessly subject millions of small businesses to the risk of identity theft.
This bill passed the Senate committee on Thursday morning. If the House and the Senate can work out the differences in their bills, this will go to the President to be signed into law (what are the odds that our President would veto?).
Good news? There is still time for your voice to be heard.
Call to action: Contact your Senators (you have two of them) today. Simply say one sentence in your own words: “I urge you to vote NO on HR 3221 because I value my civil liberties and you took an oath to protect and preserve them.” You can see how your Senators voted here, and you can also find their contact information.
Also contact your Representative (you have one) today and say the same thing. Here is information on how each Representative voted, and how to reach him/her. You’ll need to know who your Representative is or what congressional district you are in.
More good news: Believe it or not, Senators and Representatives actually do listen. I was once told that each letter or call carries the weight of 10,000 constituents. The People have turned the tide before. So please, send off a quick email or two right now.
The last resort will be to contact President Bush. We don’t really want to leave our civil liberties in his hands, do we?
Send your three emails (2 Senators and 1 Representative). Freedom is so much easier to keep than to regain.
And spread the word.