Obama Social Security number | Questions and answers

Thursday, May 13th, 2010 By

Social Security card

Some are questioning the legitimacy of Obama's social security number. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

This morning, the question of President Obama’s citizenship has again been raised, this time by the Obama social security number question. A private investigator is claiming that he has found that President Obama’s social security number is from Connecticut — and/or that Obama has multiple social security numbers. Because social security numbers are required for everything from auto loans to selective service registrations, many are wondering if the Obama SSN flap truly brings his citizenship into question.

Obama’s Social Security number: the claim

The question of Obama’s Social Security number started with private investigator Orly Taitz. Hired by an attorney who has filed lawsuits questioning Obama’s legitimacy as a citizen, Orly Taitz did a search to find Obama’s social security number. Using alternate spellings of Barack Obama such as “Barac” and “Barak” and “Barock” this investigator found 25 different Obama SSN identifiers. Using just the name “Barack Obama”, 16 social security numbers were found. The conclusion the investigator came to and has reported, is that the Obama social security number used most often begins with 042, which was a number issued in Connecticut in 1976 or 1977.

Obama Social Security number — proof of conspiracy?

Many people are calling this Obama social security number a revelation or proof of conspiracy. The basic idea is that President Obama, who was living in Hawaii at the time, could not have been issued a social security number in Connecticut so long after his birth. Others are claiming that President Obama has stolen or misused the Connecticut social security number. In general, this Obama social security number question is being pointed at by many so-called “birthers” or those who question Obama’s citizenship.

Obama Social Security number — facts to keep in mind

The Obama Social Security “revelation,” though, leaves many open questions. First of all, the private investigator searched for several different spellings of “Barack Obama” and did not differentiate between individuals with the same name. While Barack Obama is not a common name, there are likely at least two dozen individuals with U.S. social security numbers with that name. Second, a social security number has not always been issued at birth – in fact, it was not until about 1990 that a social security number was automatically issued at birth. Until 1986, most people did not have a social security number until they were at least 14 years old. Third, the social security administration issues a Social Security number based on the zip code on the application, not on the resident’s place of birth.

President Obama Social Security number — the conclusion

The social security number of President Obama will likely be under question for quite a while. However, it is important to keep in mind that multiple social security numbers for one name do not prove anything – that is why the number is unique. The fact that President Obama’s Social Security number was not issued until the late ’70s was not unusual at the time. Before jumping to conclusions about the Obama Connecticut social security number, it is important to consider the historical and social context of the time, not how the system currently works.

Sources:

How Stuff Works
Western Journalism
Wikipedia

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