Republican Congresswoman Will Limit Her Census Response To Number In Household

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Update 3-17-10. BE SURE to check out the video posted near the end of this article for an interesting piece of advice from the one and only Walter E. Williams when it comes to answering questions on a census form beyond the number of people in your household.

Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann declared, during an interview with the Washington Times Wednesday, that she will not answer any questions on the 2010 U.S. census form beyond the number of people living under her roof. Representative Bachmann is concerned that questions the Census Bureau is forcing people to answer have become far too personal and invasive and she also expressed her uneasiness about ACORN, an organization famous for having employees indicted for and convicted of various voter registration and fraud charges, being heavily involved in collecting extremely personal information from millions of Americans, and other people living in this country.

From the Washington Times,

Outspoken Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann says she’s so worried that information from next year’s national census will be abused that she will refuse to fill out anything more than the number of people in her household.

“I know for my family the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home,” she said. “We won’t be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn’t require any information beyond that.”

Well actually the Constitution goes a bit farther than that and over the years Congress has REALLY gone further than what many citizens feel is necessary when it comes to counting the number of folks living within our borders. The intent of our founding fathers for the census was to get as accurate a head count as possible so tax revenue and House of Representative members could be properly apportioned among the states according to population figures.

This would be what our Constitution has to say about the census,

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.

That last line, allowing Congress to compel citizens to provide personal information far and above the number of people living within a residence, is what has given us the invasive long form that is sent to one out of every six households throughout the country.

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So just how nosy has the Census Bureau become with respect to digging into the personal lives of American citizens, those in this country legally and others?

Well let’s take a peek at some of the inquires shall we?

Does this house, apartment, home have – a. hot and cold running water? b. a flush toilet? c. a bathtub or shower? d. a sink with a faucet? f. a refrigerator? e. a stove or range? g. telephone service from which you can both make and receive calls? Include cell phones.

How many separate rooms are in this house, apartment, or mobile home? Rooms must be separated by built-in archways or walls that extend out at least 6 inches and go from floor to ceiling. INCLUDE bedrooms, kitchens, etc. EXCLUDE bathrooms, porches, balconies, foyers, halls, or unfinished basements.

LAST MONTH, what was the cost of electricity for this house, apartment, or mobile home? LAST MONTH, what was the cost of gas for this house, apartment, or mobile home? IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS, what was the cost of water and sewer for this house, apartment, or mobile home?

IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS, did anyone in this household receive Food Stamps or a Food Stamp benefit card?

About how much do you think this house and lot, apartment, or mobile home (and lot, if owned) would sell for if it were for sale?

Is this person CURRENTLY covered by any of the following types of health insurance or health coverage plans? Mark “Yes” or “No” for EACH type.

Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition, does this person have serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions?

Does this person have difficulty dressing or bathing?

Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition, does this person have difficulty doing errands alone such as visiting a doctor’s office or shopping?

How did this person usually get to work LAST WEEK? If this person usually used more than one method of transportation during the trip, mark (X)

What time did this person usually leave home to go to work LAST WEEK? (Hour and minute)

How many minutes did it usually take this person to get from home to work LAST WEEK?

What was this person’s total income during the PAST 12 MONTHS?

Keep in mind all of this very personal information is permanently connected to the names of those living in the homes these forms are sent to and this is just a sampling of some of the most egregious inquiries the government demands recipients answer. To read the entire version of this 2010 U.S. Census long form in PDF format click here.

So what happens if one refuses to divulge the required information? What happens if one decides to knowingly submit false answers?

According to the controlling section of the U.S. Code, 13 USC 221,

(a) Whoever, being over eighteen years of age, refuses or willfully neglects, when requested by the Secretary, or by any other authorized officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof acting under the instructions of the Secretary or authorized officer, to answer, to the best of his knowledge, any of the questions on any schedule submitted to him in connection with any census or survey provided for by subchapters I, II, IV, and V of chapter 5 of this title, applying to himself or to the family to which he belongs or is related, or to the farm or farms of which he or his family is the occupant, shall be fined not more than $100.

(b) Whoever, when answering questions described in subsection (a) of this section, and under the conditions or circumstances described in such subsection, willfully gives any answer that is false, shall be fined not more than $500.

As far as I can determine there hasn’t been a single case brought by the government against someone for failing to “properly” complete a census form so I believe the threats of fines are simply there to intimidate the frightened masses into compliance.

What I can say from personal experience is while you may escape financial punishment for failing to fill out the census form the feds will certainly do whatever it takes to get the information out of you including sending census workers to your house day after day hoping to convince you to finally relent and give up the goods.

Back in 2000 my household was the lucky recipient of the dreaded long form. I called the Census Bureau and asked them why all the personal questions and of all the people living on our street why did they choose our house? I was told that they send the long form (one out of every six households gets them) to the same address every 10 years, as opposed to simply choosing residences at random. I was told we just happened to move into the house the year the census was being taken so we were obligated to complete the form and send it in.

It hit the shredder as soon as I hung up the phone.

A few months down the road people started showing up at the door or when I was mowing the yard asking me to provide the requested information since my completed form was not received by the government. I shooed them away several times saying I was only willing to provide the number of people residing at my address. The next thing I knew these census workers were canvassing the neighborhood talking to my neighbors trying to get the desired information about my family from them!

There is a reason why so many people do not trust the government and do not want to provide honest answers on these census forms. A good example would be the Japanese-Americans living in this country after Pearl Harbor was attacked. How do you think the government knew where to go to round these people up and throw them into detention camps?
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At the top of that page it says,

Department of Commerce
Bureau of the Census
Washington

Japanese residing in the metropolitan area of Washington D.C. April 1, 1940.

The Census Bureau also provides information gleaned from submitted forms to the IRS so they can use it to track people down who may not have filed tax returns. Democrats in the Obama administration are exempt of course. Cities are also able to get their hands on this information to more easily track down multi-family dwellings that in many cases violate zoning and code ordinances. The list goes on and on. Anybody who thinks the answers they provide on census forms will stay in house and be used simply to count the number of people in this country is sadly mistaken.

In fact, during the Civil War the Union Army made fabulously destructive use of census information, which had been dutifully compiled during more peaceful times, against the south as described in Erik Larson’s book The Naked Consumer:

Census officials began treating the collected information as confidential, although no law required them to do so. The custom didn’t keep the Union Army from turning census data into a weapon, however, thereby providing one of the earliest proofs of the second and third laws of data dynamics: that information produced for one purpose will be used for other purposes and eventually will cause harm to those who supplied the Information.

In 1864 Union General William Tecumseh Sherman concocted an audacious plan–a full-force march from Atlanta to the sea, which Civil War historian Bruce Catton called “the strangest, most fateful campaign of the entire war.” Sherman set out not to engage another army; but to destroy the Confederate economy and to convey the message that the United States, in Sherman’s words, “has the right, and also the physical power, to penetrate to every part of the national domain, and that we will do it… that we will remove and destroy every obstacle–if need be, take every life, every acre of land, every particle of property, everything that to us seems proper.” With the help of the census office–it was not yet called a bureau–he made a pretty fair try at fulfilling that promise.

He planned a fast, lean march. Doing so meant he would not be able to maintain conventional lines of supply; in those days before helicopter gunships and Harrier jets, an army was only as good as its ability to protect the roads, rivers, and railroads down which it had already traveled. Sherman would have to live off the countryside to a degree no Union or Confederate army had done before.

From the start of the war, Census Superintendent Joseph C. G. Kennedy had been earnestly providing the war effort with maps and census information on southern population and industry but had sparked only limited interest. Sherman, however, saw in Kennedy’s annotated maps the key to his campaign.

In practical effect Kennedy had provided Sherman with a kind of Mobil guide for the plunder of the Confederate countryside, using data produced in more settled times by the very people Sherman encountered along his route. He gave his troops explicit orders to forage, a practice that until then was technically against the law. The army’s mission included destroying mills, cotton supplies, railroads, anything of economic or military value. An Illinois sergeant wrote that his colleagues seemed “to take savage delight in destroying everything that could by any possibility be made use of by their enemies.”

After the campaign, Sherman dropped Kennedy a thank-you note: “The closing scene of our recent war demonstrated the, value of these statistical tables and facts, for there is a reasonable probability that, without them, I would not have undertaken what was done and what seemed a puzzle to the wisest and most experienced soldiers of the world.”

So there you have it Representative Bachmann, it would seem your decision to withhold anything but the most basic information when the census form arrives in the mail may be just the right approach after all.

The question is, how many millions of other law abiding American citizens, who also prefer to keep as much information about their personal lives out of the hands of government bureaucrats, will have the same frame of mind?

From Rasmussen 3-15-10:

As 120 million U.S. Census forms begin to arrive in mailboxes around the country, only 13% of Americans realize that it is illegal not to answer all of the Census questions.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% of adults think
– incorrectly – that it is not against the law to not answer all the questions on the Census. Another 30% are not sure.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of adults say the Census simply counts the number of people in the United States along with gathering some basic information. However, 22% believe the Census asks detailed personal questions. One-in-four Americans (25%) are not sure which it does.

Seventy-six percent (76%) say they have received notices in the mail about participating in the Census. Twenty-two percent (22%) have not.

Seventy-four percent (74%) say they have seen TV commercials about participating in the Census, and only 20% say they have not seen any such ads. The Census Bureau spent $2.5 million on ads that ran during the Super Bowl. Before the kickoff, 62% expected to watch that game….

read the rest here>>>

This entry was posted in Featured Articles, U.S. Politics.

9 Responses to Republican Congresswoman Will Limit Her Census Response To Number In Household

  1. brian says:

    I did this in 2000, just gave number of people in the household. The census workers came back twice and tried to intimidate to get more info. I just stated that “an enumeration” was all that was required by the constitution. Thanks for the article.

    • Jim says:

      I believe the statement “in such Manner as they shall by Law direct” is in reference to the means by which the census is to be conducted, not the type of information that can be gathered. For example, the government may, by law, state that electronic collection of data is not legal, and only handwritten forms are legal. Or that it is legal to perform a sampling of the population to estimate the actual total population. But I believe the context of the statement is still subordinate to the earlier part of the paragraph in Article 2 which states the reason for the census which is to basically understand how to apportion congressional representatives and the collection of taxes.

  2. Dave says:

    I dont remember getting this in 2000 but just got it today. Im only going to answer question #1 and when they come knocking I wont answer. F them.

  3. James says:

    Got mine today. I’ll only give them numbers, nothing else.

  4. FED-UP says:

    These tyrants can commit their crimes only by our consent. It pays to understand our founding documents.

    Question “1” is captured within its own box because it is the only information they are authorized to ask. All other questions are unconstitutional prying and as they exceed specific Constitutional limits (enumeration only), are not lawfully enforceable.

    Contract law was the best research I ever did.

  5. MY Freedom NOW says:

    I responded to the 2010 Census with the number of residents living at my address. Nothing more, nothing less.

    • 2big2fale says:

      Then you did your duty as a Constitution-abiding American. Nothing more, nothing less.

      Thank you for that.

  6. Stephen says:

    If they keep prodding on just tell them to read you your miranda rights and that you have a right to remain silent… After of course telling them about what you are obligated to answer by the U.S. Constitution (number of folks in your household).

  7. Goofy says:

    I’ve been doing the research, I can’t see where the census bureau is entitled to know more than how many people live here either. The fact that I am legally required to answer any question asked by a government agency doesn’t really seem to apply, and i believe that if that’s what we have allowed our government to put into writing as LAW, then it’s definitely time for a change. How many people is all they got from me also. I live in a very poor neighborhood, most of the people on my block have substandard living arrangements, some have rooms in crack houses for 200.00 a week. I am poor myself, but one of the more fortunate on my street. Any information that I provided would not be indicative of those around me anyway. I must say, also, that if they start trying to get information from MY neighbors, lol, they may want to carry a big stick. We smile and wave, but we don’t fraternize.

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