Bachmann's Census crusade continues with proposed law change
When Rep. Michele Bachmann proudly announced that she was only going to report the number of people in her household when she fills out the Census, she took a lot of heat for her plan to break the law. Even Republicans begged her to stop the madness because the fear-mongering could seriously damage the credibility and usefulness of the upcoming Census.
Once it was proved that Bachmann's plan was flat-out illegal, it would probably be logical for her to apologize for her statements. Well that's not how Bachmann functions these days. Instead of following the law, Bachmann has decided to change it so her plan is officially legit.
Bachmann and Rep. Ted Poe have proposed a bill to limit the amount of personal questions asked in the Census.
The standard Census questions is very short and limited, but a random sampling of 3 million households receive the longer survey with more in-depth questions.
More from Poe's press release on the proposed legislation:
The American Community Survey Act would make the survey voluntary and only require people to answer four questions: a) name; b) contact info; c) date of response; d) number of people living or staying at the same address.
"After learning how intrusive the questions in the Census survey are, I feel that it is important that the Census Bureau stick to counting people and not intrude into the personal lives of the American people," said Congressman Poe. "The primary purpose of the survey is to determine our population, not inquire how much you pay for your utilities, if you have emotional problems or if you had a job last week. This legislation will eliminate these types of irrelevant questions and ensure our right to personal privacy."
"Under the U.S. Constitution, a count of the nation's population is required to be conducted every ten years. This is not only a legitimate purpose, but essential in order to apportion representatives in Congress and direct taxes," said Congresswoman Bachmann. "But throughout the years, additional questions of a more personal nature were added so that the federal government could have more detailed information to make and implement its ever-expanding public policy. A lot of Americans - myself included - have real concerns about the ultimate protection of our sensitive personal information. I am proud to partner with my colleague, Representative Poe, on this important initiative that respects the American people's privacy."
Unfortunately these Republicans are missing the point. Their endless Census fear-mongering will likely only work on their most loyal listeners and therefore make their population underrepresented in the next Census data. More money in the pot for everyone else!
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.