Clarification and information on my current census situation
I don’t believe in any of my posts on my ongoing census ordeal I’ve claimed the census was the official decennial census. However over at the MLP‘s blog Serf City I had and was asked how it was I got a 2010 census request in 2008.
It really hadn’t dawned on me to look into how they go about collecting the census and while the law says they can have other surveys the pamphlet they gave me [page 4,5] says “United States Census 2010″ on the front lower right. I figured “The American Community Survey” title was just some fancy thing used to get more people to fill it out. “It’s for the community! To help the children and fix the roads!” type guilt trip. Turns out I was incorrect. The ACS according to Wikipedia:
The American Community Survey (ACS) is a project of the U.S. Census Bureau that replaces the long form in the decennial census. It is an ongoing statistical survey, and thus more current than information obtained by the long form. Many Americans found filling out the long form to be burdensome, intrusive, and its unpopularity was a factor in the declining response rate to the decennial census. In 1995, the Bureau began a process to change the means of demographic, housing, social, and economic information from the census long form to the ACS. Testing began in 1996, and the ACS program began producing test data in 2000, 2001, and 2002. The full program is expected to be implemented by 2010.
Not surprisingly Ron Paul has commented on this:
You may not have heard of the American Community Survey, but you will. The national census, which historically is taken every ten years, has expanded to quench the federal bureaucracy’s ever-growing thirst to govern every aspect of American life. The new survey, unlike the traditional census, is taken each and every year at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. And it’s not brief. It contains 24 pages of intrusive questions concerning matters that simply are none of the government’s business, including your job, your income, your physical and emotional heath, your family status, your dwelling, and your intimate personal habits.
The questions are both ludicrous and insulting. The survey asks, for instance, how many bathrooms you have in your house, how many miles you drive to work, how many days you were sick last year, and whether you have trouble getting up stairs. It goes on and on, mixing inane questions with highly detailed inquiries about your financial affairs. One can only imagine the countless malevolent ways our federal bureaucrats could use this information. At the very least the survey will be used to dole out pork, which is reason enough to oppose it.
Keep in mind the survey is not voluntary, nor is the Census Bureau asking politely. Americans are legally obligated to answer, and can be fined up to $1,000 per question if they refuse!
I introduced an amendment last week that would have eliminated funds for this intrusive survey in a spending bill, explaining on the House floor that perhaps the American people don’t appreciate being threatened by Big Brother. The amendment was met by either indifference or hostility, as most members of Congress either don’t care about or actively support government snooping into the private affairs of citizens.
The Wikipedia entry links to a World Net Daily article from November, 2007 which reads in part:
Another month is coming, and another 250,000 forms are being mailed out in the U.S. Census Bureau’s perpetual American Community Survey, which demands responses to personal questions about a family’s lifestyle, housing accommodations, work schedules, physical and mental disabilities, income and the like.
That means roughly 250,000 times recipients will see the warning that participation is required by law, and there are penalties including fines for not answering each question. But, in fact, U.S. Census Bureau officials say they’ve never had anyone prosecuted for refusing to provide those intimate details to the government.
“The Census Bureau has never prosecuted anybody,” spokesman Clyve Richmond told WND. “We try to work with people and explain how useful the information is.”
The very next line is:
As WND has reported, the U.S. Census Bureau switched from the surveys once every 10 years, called for in the U.S. Constitution, to annual surveys sent to three million households, to keep the government’s data more up-to-date.
So maybe I wasn’t all that off. They’ve moved the (IMO) unconstitutional long form component from the decennial census to a rolling survey and plan on getting rid of the long form for the 2010 head count census.