One of the favorite Birther claims is that President Obama is using a Social Security number that was somehow fraudulently stolen from a man who was born in Connecticut in 1890. Like all birther lies, this one is refuted by the evidence.
1. Was Obama's Social Security Number issued in Connecticut?
2a. The Susan Daniels Affidavit - The Basis for this Birther Lie
2b. Jean Paul Ludwig, born in 1890 (Added 3/23/2012)
3. Does E-Verify say Obama's SSN is fraudulent? The Hollister Incidents
1. Was Obama's Social Security Number issued in Connecticut?
CLAIM: Obama's Social Security Number was issued for a state he never lived in.
TRUTH: 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 Punahoufrom 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, when data entry was via keypunch and data cards), 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 a '0'.
In a letter to Investigator Susan Daniels, the Social Security Adminiatration said (ADDED 6/6/2012):
Dear Ms. Daniels:
This letter is in response to your letter to Commissioner Astrue concerning President Obama's Social Security Records.
After reviewing the information you provided, we disagree with your conclusion that a person's Social Security number depends upon the address of residence. Furthermore, we do not have information related to your question regarding the numbering of Selective Service forms. Please direct questions regarding a Selective Service form (SSS form 3B) to the Selective Service System.
Acting Associate Commissioner
Office of Public Inquiries
In any event, there is no evidence whatever that President Obama's Social Securiy number was obtained by fraud.
For a far more detailed discussion of this issue, please read this topic in our forum.
2a. The Susan Daniels Affidavit - The Basis for the Birther Lie
CLAIM: The number issued to Barack Obama was issued to a man born in 1890. His grandmother worked in the Hawaii Probate Court and had access to Social Security Numbers of dead people, so she stole one for Barry.
TRUTH: The complete affidavit signed by Susan Daniels in the Barnett v. Obama case is at the bottom of this page. As you can see on p. 5 of the affidavit, the number "1890" appears without explanation, just above two dates. It does not say the Social Security number of President Obama was issued to a man born in 1890. It does not say anything about a man born in the year 1890. It's not even clearly intended to be a date, as the two numbers below it are. It is just a number on the page.
Nevertheless, the birthers, led by deranged lunatic Orly Taitz and based upon this record, decided to fabricate the lie that President Obama's birth certificate was issued to a male (why not a female?) who was born in 1890.
In the detailed report on pages 6-13, we can see where the 1890 date comes from. From 1988 to 1991, Barack Obama attended Harvard Law School and lived in a basement apartment at 365 Broadway in Somerville, MA. There are NINE entries for this Somerville address. All are the SSN number ending in 4425. DOB: 4 are 8/4/1961, 1 for 4/8/1961, 2 have no DOB, 1 has 1990, 1 has 1890. [note -- pre-Y2K most dates in the US were written as MM/DD/YY. The Y2K conversion forced older data to conform to MM/DD/YYYY. It's easy to see how 1890 and 1990 could be the same number
This is a prime example of why these databases are merely the starting point for an investigation. A rational person might look at those entries and conclude that 4/8/1961 is an entry error and the two incomplete entries are bad data given the strong correlation between the 8/4/1961 and the SSN in other entries. They would move on to the next set of addresses. Birthers, however, see the same data and conclude the number was stolen from a guy born in 1890.
Added 7/5/2012: (Thanks to OhForGoodnessSakes.com for this item.)
In an article on a web site for intelligence professionals, dated July 8, 2008, called “Subjects with Multiple SSN’s,” Daniels was much more honest in her evaluation of the accuracy of results in the kind of search she later did in her Birther capacity:
In Canada, it is rare to find somebody with two Social Insurance Numbers (SIN). Where this happens it may be a case of clerical error or a reference to a former SIN appropriated by an identity thief. The former reason is extremely rare. In thirty years I have only encountered this once. The Canadian SIN is used as an identifier less than the SSN is in the USA.
However, in the USA the case is somewhat different. According to Susan Daniels, of Daniels and Associates Investigations, Inc. in Chardon Ohio, when searching through database aggregators such as IRB, it is common to find a subject referenced with two or three Social Security Numbers (SSN). Here are some of the reasons a person may show-up with multiple SSN’s:
* a wife’s or child’s SSN could end up with father’s name
* a parent’s SSN could show up with a child
* the subject bought something with someone else and the SSNs could end up with each other’s name
* the database producer is relating several SSN’s to one address
* an error by whoever entered the data
Susan Daniels of Daniels and Associates Investigations, Inc. (9754 Thwing Road Chardon, OH 44024, Tel.:440.286.4072) has been a Private Investigator for 15 years.
Susan Daniels should be ashamed and embarrassed, really she should.
2b. A Man born in 19890: Jean Paul Ludwig Added 3/23/2012
CLAIM: An intensive investigation has revealed the identity of the man whose Social Security Number (SSN) is being used by President Obama was Jean Paul Ludwig who was born in France in 1890, immigrated to the United States in 1924, and was assigned SSN 042-xx-xxxx ( Obama's current SSN ) rec'd on or about March 1977. Ludwig spent the final months of his life in Hawaii, where he died.
Conveniently, Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Payne Dunham, worked part-time in the Probate Office in the Honolulu Hawaii Courthouse, and therefore had access to the SSNs of deceased individuals.
The Social Security Administration was never informed of Ludwig's death, and because he never received Social Security benefits there were no benefits to
stop and therefore, no questions were ever raised.
TRUTH: Jean Paul Ludwig is in the Social Security Death Index. You can check it yourself at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=3693
Ludwig's SSN is 045-26-8722, not the same as President Obama's, which is SSN 042-xx-xxxx. Image and more at ObamaConspiracy.org.
Ludwig died in 1981 and his SSN was issued in 1951. Obama's number shows it was issued in 1977.
Madelyn Dunham volunteered in the Probate Court starting in 1986, after she retired. She also didn't work with wills and dead people. She worked Oahu Circuit Court, where she served as a court observer, probate aide and arbitrator for the Juvenile Monetary Restitution Program. Story here.