Whatever Happened to Financial Privacy?

by Kevin Alfred Strom

THE DICTATES of the Washington regime have, with the wildly misnamed “Patriot Act,” finally taken away all of our financial privacy, which is a fundamental part of our personal privacy.

Two acquaintances of mine recently purchased automobiles for cash — no credit requested — and the interrogation they were subjected to by the dealers (necessitated by the “Patriot Act”) show how we have been cowed into surrendering the last vestiges of our freedom and privacy. One wrote:

I was with my girlfriend, this weekend, when she bought a car. Simple transaction… pick one out, write a check. Drive it home.

I was amazed to hear the business office tell her that she was required to fill out a credit application for the transaction. Name, address, all credit card and all bank account numbers were required. Rent payments, utility payments, any other oblications. Employment history for the last 10 years, with names and phone numbers. Residential history for the last 10 years with names and phone numbers of landlords, mortgage companies.

And all sources of supplementary income.

When I asked why the hell such detailed invasion of personal information was necessary to write a check — why not just call the bank to verify the check and the amount, or hold it until it can be verified? — I was told all this was required in order to be in compliance with the Patriot Act.

If people are up in arms about being “asked for their papers” on the streets of Arizona, why aren’t they at least as upset about the endless demands (ultimately enforced by policemen with guns and the threat of prison) to show their personal and financial “papers” to Big Brother in every car dealership (and tax office) in the country?

We have now reached the end of the slippery slope which was begun when the Income Tax amendment was fraudulently imposed on the American people. (Fraudulently? Yes. It was sold to the people under the pretense that the proposed tax would never be imposed on wages, and would never need to exceed three per cent. even on the incomes of millionaires. We were told that wages, being an equal exchange of time and labor for an equivalent amount of money, did not result in profit and therefore were not income and would therefore never be taxed. All these assurances were lies.)

That was the beginning of the pernicious concepts 1) that the criminals in Washington had the right to know what your “income” was, and 2) that the criminals in Washington had the right to take whatever percentage of that “income” they so chose. Both concepts are utterly alien to any reasonable conception of freedom and to the ideals of the founders.