18. March 2006 · Comments Off on And You Thought National ID Cards Were An Assult On Our Rights… · Categories: Domestic, General

…Just wait until you check your mailbox and find the Census Bureau’s new American Community Survey. Phyllis Schlafly is rightly appalled:

Our inquisitive federal government has been demanding that selected U.S. residents answer 73 nosy questions. They are threatened with a fine of $5,000 for failure to respond.


Beginning only in 1960, the ten-year census-taking significantly changed. The government began sending a long form with many questions to a limited number of persons, randomly selected, and a short form with only six questions to all other U.S. residents.

The government is now jumping the gun on the 2010 census, and without public announcement is already sending out an extremely long form, starting with a few thousand mailings each month to a handful of residents in widely scattered small towns that don’t generate national media. Recipients can’t find neighbors who received the same mailing, so it’s difficult to avoid the impression that the project was planned to avoid publicity and citizen opposition.


The survey asks how much you pay each month for electricity, gas, water, rent, real estate taxes, fire or flood insurance, plus six very specific questions about your first and second monthly mortgage payments. There are questions about your telephone and automobile, and about how many months of the year you and others occupy the residence.

The survey then gets really personal, demanding the answers to 42 questions about you and about every other person who resides in your household. Person 1 is used like a private investigator to extract the information from everybody else, and warned that if anyone doesn’t want to answer your nosy questions, you must provide the name and telephone number of such person so Big Brother can follow up.

The information demanded for you and every other person includes very specific questions about what kind of school you and each other one attended and to what grade level, what is each person’s “ancestry or ethnic origin” (no matter if your ancestors came here hundreds of years ago), what language you speak at home, how well you speak English, where you lived one year ago, what are specific physical, mental or emotional health conditions, and whether you have given birth during the past year.

More questions demand that you tell the government exactly where you are employed, what transportation you use to get to work, how many people ride in the vehicle with you, how many minutes it takes you to get to work, whether you have been laid off or absent from your job or business, how many weeks you worked during the last year, what kind of a job you have (for-profit company, not-for-profit company, government, self-employed), what kind of business it is, exactly what kind of work you did, what was your last year’s wage or salary, and what was your other income from any other source.

The Census Bureau warns: “We may combine your answers with information that you gave to other agencies.” (Does that mean IRS? Social Security? New Hires Directory? Child support enforcement? Criminal databases? Commercial databases?)

But this is not exactly news, the Census Bureau has been doing these things for years. As Schlafly said, it started as a very limited thing way back in 1960. Since then, it has been growing steadily more intrusive, more frequent, and imposing upon more of our population. This is another example of bureaucrats with way too much time on their hands. The Constitution calls for a census every ten years. Assuming the Census Bureau even has the authority to ask anything more than the number of people in a home, and their ages (and perhaps their sex, and their status as slaves or freemen 🙂 ), what gives them the right to go snooping around on this time frame?

They are discussing this right now on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal. There aren’t quite as many idiots calling in as usual, but there are some. The moonbat barking most loudly proclaimed “the government needs this information to protect us.” Yeah, perhaps – in the same way a mother protects her infant child! Several others have said the government needs this information to better craft social programs – social programs it has no place engaging in in the first place.

The wisest caller said this: “When a questionnaire comes, throw it in the trash, and deny you ever received it.” I’ll go further than that: If they persist, and say, send someone to your home, you first stall and reschedule as many times as you can get away with – even to the point of, when a surveyor comes to your door, saying “oh, I’m sorry, something just came up…” Once you’ve reached the end of that line, use the “I can’t seem to recall” ploy; make it as difficult for them to gather their precious data as possible. For instance, I really “can’t seem to recall” what sort of fuel heats our home. I know it’s not coal or wood, because I just twist the thermostat, and it starts getting warm, so it must be either propane, butane, natural gas, electric or steam. Similarly, from their 2005 questionnaire instruction guide (15 page PDF), when my sister comes to visit, she sleeps on the patio. (Living in the Inland Empire, she likes the coastal night air.) And we don’t use it for much else, so it must be a bedroom. But a similar argument can be made for that big room between my bedroom and the front door, so this apartment must have four bedrooms. Ah, the opportunities for monkeywrenching both pique and delight the imagination! 🙂

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