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Dave

It's as simple as this: The government bureaucracy has a total monopoly on government services, so they have absolutely no reason to regard you as a valued customer, no matter how much money they are taking from you in fees and/or taxes.

This is exactly why I'm such a staunch libertarian. We need SOME government to enforce private contracts, lock up thugs, and occasionally shoot at foreigners, but most other tasks would probably be better handled by somebody else.

Stephen Gross

If I may be so bold as to give advice on the subject :) ...

Whenever I have to deal with a large bureaucracy, *especially* a govt bureaucracy, I do tons of research. I call the agency a bunch of times and ask the same questions of different people. If there's any discrepancy, I get clarification. Again and again and again. Generally speaking, I call the DMV at least four times before coming in, always asking details on the same thing. Plus, I ask about weird little details in case there's an unwelcome surprise: Can I come in on Tuesday? Can I wear a cape? Do you take travelers checks? Is my notarized out-of-state birth certificate sufficient proof of id? And so on...

--Steve

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