I’m a little ashamed of myself.  I too got caught up a bit in the hysteria over the 2010 Census questions.  But, before you decide that this is where you ‘draw your line in the sand’, let me give it to you ‘in a nutshell’.

Here is a link to the proposed questions, as submitted to Congress in March 2007 (not during the Obama administration).  You can decide for yourself.:

2010 Census & ACS Survey

To summarize: Every 10 years the CENSUS is taken.  It is NOT mandatory that you participate.  The next will be taken in 2010, some time after April. Most of these questions have been asked for the last 200 years, and most people wouldn’t have a problem with them.

The part that people are upset about is the AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY.  This is now taken every year, with about 1 in 6 households being chosen to participate.  This IS mandatory, with fines up to $5,000 for not providing a truthful answer to the questions.  This is where the intrusive questions are asked.

At the above link you can see each question, along with an explanation of the date it was included in the census &/or survey and the reasons the question is being asked.

From what I could see, all of the questions were being asked to tailor existing social service programs and benefit levels to the needs of the individual community.  I happen to have familiarity with a number of these programs and can confirm that they depend on this information.

That being said, certainly the information could be used for other purposes.  It also requires trust to give up so much personal information and, frankly, this administration spent most of the public’s trust in its first 100 days.

Besides these questions being submitted to Congress, for approval, a year and a half before Obama was elected, another thing to note is that these questions are the same ones from the 2000 ‘long form’ census, with the exception of one that is being dropped (regarding military service) and 3 that are new:

  1. What type of health insurance do you have? (multiple choice)
  2. Marriage History: change of marital status in last 12 months?  How many times married?  Year of last marriage?
  3. Do you have a service-connected disability rating from the VA? (Veteran’s Administration)

I am not convinced of the rationale behind the Marriage History questions.  However, a ‘new HEALTHY MARRIAGE grant program’ is mentioned.  I can’t say I’ve heard of it myself, but I expect it is legitimate.  If so, then the questions might be justified.

So, as for me, I guess I won’t be exercising nonviolent civil disobedience, but will go ahead and answer the questions-except perhaps the new ones regarding marriage.

My main concern however, is the involvement of ACORN which is currently under investigation-and rightfully so, as it appears.  If I were to refuse to answer any questions, it would be because ACORN is conducting the survey.  I say, offer the job to the wonderful Senior Citizens that volunteer at the polls in my city.  With them asking the questions, I’d feel comfortable answering.

(In the past, when the 10 year Census was conducted, most people received the ‘short form’, but some received the ‘long form’ that asked additional questions.  A couple of changes have been made:

  • The census dropped the additional questions and now is only ‘short form’ and still is only every 10 years.  It is asked of everyone, and is voluntary, but not too intrusive.
  • The additional questions became the ‘American Community Survey’ which is now taken every year.  It is sent to approximately 1 in 6 households each year.  It is mandatory and seems fairly intrusive to many people-most of whom are hearing the questions for the first time.

If you are concerned, it is understandable in light of the current administration’s deceptions, manipulations, excessive pressure, contrived sense of urgency, usurpations of power, monumental intrusiveness, radical agenda, and trampling of our constitutional rights.  However, this may not be the ‘big deal’ some are making it out to be.)

Here is the viewpoint of someone who objects to the basic census questions, based on the principal that they are unconstitutional:  ‘Census Is For Counting Not Prying’ by Chuck Baldwin.  A case could definitely be made that we should not give the government ‘one inch’ more than the Constitution allows.

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