Obama’s Social Security Number

A lot of the people who come to this site are searching with the phrase “Obama’s Social Security Number”; they find me because of this ancient post I did about Orly Taitz. Though she hasn’t been able to convince anyone to indict Obama for identity theft, she’s successfully planted the meme that his identity was partially constructed on the stolen social security number of a man born in 1890; also that there is something deeply suspicious about the fact that the number he was issued (one of many, Taitz claims) was for a Connecticut address.

I always wondered about the Connecticut thing until today, when I stumbled on this explanation at the Fogbow website, which, along with Obama Conspiracy Theories.com, provide the most convincingly comprehensive debunkings of birther claims you’re likely to find in one place:

President Obama’s Social Security number (if he hasn’t been issued a new one since his original one was spread all over the Internet) begins with the digits 042. While this is ordinarily an indication that the number was issued to someone living in Connecticut, the Social Security Administration says:

One should not make too much of the “geographical code.” It is not meant to be any kind of useable geographical information. The numbering scheme was designed in 1936 (before computers) to make it easier for SSA to store the applications in our files in Baltimore since the files were organized by regions as well as alphabetically. It was really just a bookkeeping device for our own internal use and was never intended to be anything more than that.

Orly Taitz recently received, in response to an FOIA request, the SS-5 (Application for Social Security Card) of a man who appears in the Social Security death index with a number just one digit lower than President Obama’s. This man, Thomas Wood, was born in 1962 and died in 1981. The SS-5 showed he had requested his Social Security number on March 21, 1977. President Obama’s number was probably issued the same day. It is perfectly reasonable that a high school sophomore would be requesting a Social Security number in the spring, while getting ready to start a summer job at Baskin Robbins.

The first three digits of a Social Security number at that time were called the “Area Number”. And it’s true that the Area Number 042 is normally issued for people who live in Connecticut (or apply for the Social Security card with a mailing address in Connecticut). President Obama lived in Hawaii in 1977, while attending Punahou School. He attended Punahou from the fifth grade until graduating in 1979, and his first job was at the Baskin Robbins at the corner of King and Punahou Streets in Honolulu.

So how did President Obama get a Social Security number with an Area Number reflecting residence (or mailing address) in Connecticut?

Most likely, this was due to a clerical error. At the time, President Obama was only 15 years old, and lived with his grandparents in an address on Beretania Street. The President’s house in Hawaii was in zip code 96814 and the zip code for Danbury, CT. is 06814. Since the ‘0’ and ‘9’ on a typical typewriter are immediately adjacent (remember, the president’s Social Security number was issued in 1977, before the age of computers), it would have been a common error to accidently type a ‘0’ when the ZIP code really began with a ‘9’. Another possibility is that President Obama, a left-handed 15 year old boy at the time, may have written his own ZIP code in a less-than-fully-legible manner, making the ‘9’ look somewhat like an ‘0’.

Fogbow’s take on the Arpaio press conference and report is devastating; I urge anyone interested to read it for themselves.

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4 thoughts on “Obama’s Social Security Number

  1. Supreme Court upholds ‘birther’ sanction
    The Associated Press
    Monday, August 16, 2010; 10:26 AM

    “WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has upheld a $20,000 fine against a leader of the movement challenging President Barack Obama’s citizenship. The high court on Monday refused to block a federal judge’s October 2009 ruling that required California lawyer and dentist Orly Taitz to pay the $20,000 fine for filing a “frivolous” litigation. The judge said Taitz attempted to misuse the federal courts to push a political agenda. Taitz sued in Georgia federal court on behalf of Army Capt. Connie Rhodes. Rhodes sought to avoid deployment to Iraq by claiming Obama wasn’t born in the United States. Justice Samuel Alito on Monday rejected Taitz’s second request to block the sanctions. Justice Clarence Thomas had rejected the request earlier.”

  2. I just bought your book “The New Hate.” It’s really great. It is along the lines of John Deans’ “Conservatives Without Conscience.” They both kind of flow into each other. I work in a law firm with conservative (what else) lawyers in Texas. I know, I know, And I think I’ll take your book to work and put it on my desk in a very conspicuous manner. Just to piss them off.

    1. Since 2008, I have read many articles pertaining to Mr. Obama’s birth certificate, draft registration and SSN. I could care less about the birth certificate issues. What I have found very interesting in the many articles that I have read are as follows:
      (1) I have never heard of the Social Security Administration EVER making a mistake such as the one that this article suggests occurred with Mr. Obama. The odds are staggering (over a billion to one) that the first African-American president would have a typographical error create such controversy.
      (2) According to a 2009 Joe Scarborough article, Mr. Obama worked for Baskin-Robbins in 1975 or 1976. If Mr. Scarborough’s article is correct, Mr. Obama either had no Social Security Number (card) when he worked for Baskin-Robbins or a different Social Security Number. And I would find it very difficult to believe the company would allow an employee to handle a cash register without proof of being eligible to work.
      (3) According to the article above, no one disputes that Mr. Obama has a Social security Number from the state of Connecticut with the first three numbers beginning with 042. The problem that I have is that the Social Security Number was issued in March of 1977. We know this because an investigator has located the identities of the two card holders above and below Mr. Obama’s number. They were issued in March of 1977. How could Mr. Obama have worked with that SSN in 1975 or 1976? The article above does not mention when Mr. Obama worked for Baskin-Robbins.
      (4) My last point is this: Why did Mr. Obama feel so compelled to seal his college transcripts in his first day in office? What information is he hiding?

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