Are conservatives blowing the Census?

posted at 2:20 pm on April 1, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

As the federal government ramps up its hiring at the Census Bureau to complete the decennial obligation, conservatives have also ramped up the debate over its use and its composition.  A movement to refuse to answer the race/ethnicity question has already gained some steam, while some have counseled against answering the questionnaire at all.  Rep. Patrick McHenry, a conservative Republican from North Carolina, scolds such advocates for failing to adhere to the Constitution — and for inadvertently damaging conservative prospects in the future:

I’m not worried about ACORN rigging the count – we already succeeded in kicking them out of the census. I’m not worried about the President’s attempt to run the census out of the White House – we beat that power grab back last year. I’m not even worried about privacy – this year’s 10-question census form is the shortest in memory.

No, what worries me is blatant misinformation coming from otherwise well-meaning conservatives. They are trying to do the right thing, but instead they are helping big government liberals by discouraging fellow conservatives from filling out their census forms.

Early census returns are showing that conservatives have been measurably less likely than liberals to return their census forms. A recent article in the Houston Chronicle points out that conservative Texas is way behind the national average in returning census forms and some of the lowest rates are in Texas’ most conservative counties. [Update: Since the Houston Chronicle article was published, the average national census participation rate has increased to 52 percent and the rates in each of the counties mentioned in the article have increased to the following, still very low, rates: King County, 25 percent; Briscoe County, 33 percent; Culberson County, 22 percent; Newton County, 30 percent.]

Few things make will make Nancy Pelosi happier than large numbers of conservatives failing to respond to the census. If we do not respond, we will not be counted and if we are not counted, then we effectively will not exist. That would reduce conservatives’ power in elections, allow Democrats to draw more favorable congressional boundaries and help put more tax-hiking politicians in office.

McHenry doesn’t have much patience for the complaints about demographic questions, noting that the Constitution gives Congress the authority to draft the questions, and that such questions go back to the very first Census efforts in the US:

History also makes clear that this argument is completely unfounded. Every census in U.S. history has asked for more information than a simple count. In fact, the most private question on this year’s form asks for an individual’s race and that question has been asked by every census since the 1790 census conducted under then-President George Washington. To suggest that this question or others like it make this year’s census unconstitutional is absurd.

I suspect that the motivations back then may have been a little different than those in recent Censuses, but the point is well taken.  As McHenry says, conservatives tend to argue for a strict-constructionist reading of the Constitution.  The Census is one of the few federal exercises that actually has a basis in the Constitution these days, and the language appears to give Congress very wide latitude in conducting it:

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. (Article I, Section 2, Clause 3)

I’m always a little suspicious of questionnaires on ethnicity, but the Census has a Constitutional mandate — and it has far-reaching consequences.  People in states where conservatives outstrip liberals could be committing political suicide if a boycott effort results in shortchanging those states in Congressional representation to the benefit of states like California, New York, Washington, and Massachusetts.  It seems better to ensure that an accurate count gets taken by a concerted effort to count conservatives than the results a boycott or a “slowcott” would produce.

Of course, people may disagree on this topic.  Here’s a poll for Hot Air readers, which I hope covers the range of responses:


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Fill out the Census. For race, put “NORACE” or “AMERICAN” or “HEINZ57″ — whatever you want. For the rest of it, it is a Constitutional requirement.

SunSword on April 1, 2010 at 10:44 PM

I only answered Question 1, and sent it in. Everything else is either available through the public domain or none of their business. But I will stock up on fava beans and a nice chianti should I get a visit from a census taker.

Didn’t answer the ethnicity question, because if I recall right, with the election of Obama we became a post-racial nation…therefore such questions are irrelevant. If that isn’t the case, then somebody’s lying.

Left Coast Right Mind on April 1, 2010 at 10:51 PM

What a bogus survey! It didn’t have the only constitutional response! “How many people living in your house?” That’s what is required, that’s all that’s necessary, and that’s all that is constitutional.

Woody

woodcdi on April 1, 2010 at 11:00 PM

I was pretty offended that they were so dang specific about only Hispanics.

There were TWO places on the census to indicate if Hispanic. Everyone else only got one. What kind of garbage is that? Race shouldn’t be there at all.

scotash on April 1, 2010 at 11:10 PM

Are conservatives blowing the Census?

You know that’s sort of a dumb question. Conservatives are more likely to respond to the census than others because we believe in the constitution. If we fail to respond to some of the unnecessary intrusive questions that is not ‘blowing the census’.

docdave on April 1, 2010 at 11:32 PM

What I find most offensive about this year’s census is the way it is being advertised as a tool to get more money from the federal government for your district. The vast majority of the ads are aimed at minorty ethnic groups. What happened to post racial?

paraff on April 1, 2010 at 11:32 PM

My husband folded like a RINO on the Census form.

disa on April 2, 2010 at 12:34 AM

I received the short form with 10 questions dated March 15, 2010 along with instructions to fill it out and return it immediately. The first sentence under “Start here” says, “The Census must count every person living in the United States on April 1, 2010.” A few days later, I received a postcard reminding me that I had not yet returned it. I wrote a note on the back saying I could not fill it out accurately until April 1, 2010, wrote “Return to Sender” on the front, and dropped it into the mail slot at the multi-million dollar post office downtown. Today is April 1, 2010, I filled it out — my race is HUMAN — and mailed it back. We saved a couple of boxes of Girl Scout cookies to share with the Census worker(s) should we be visited in the “follow up” phase.

opaobie on April 2, 2010 at 12:51 AM

I keep reading Ernesto’s comments about ethnic pride and he even used Italian as an example. Here’s the rub with all of this. Does it mean genetics or where your most recent famalia resided prior to coming to the United States?

Here’s my point. I and a co-worker did the DNA swab for the National Geographic Genological Project. Now, my co-workers parents are from Zacatecas, Mexico. He considers himself a Mexican. BUT, the results of the DNA swab proved he is actually of Viking decent. LOL. Doesn’t that make him Caucasian? But as everyone would guess, this category of Hispanic are not listing themselves as such. This is why race, ethnicity as a category passed being American IF you are born in the States is such a freaking cluster fark.

Sultry Beauty on April 2, 2010 at 2:18 AM

I filled the whole thing out and was accurate as to race, etc., which pained me somewhat. But I performed my own little act of civil disobedience and counted our soon-to-be born baby as a person living as of April 1, 2010.

Missy on April 2, 2010 at 5:34 AM

I mailed ours yesterday, as I am not a fortune teller and could not say with 100% certainty that there would only be 2 of us in the household on April 1, 2010. I was tempted to put “Resident” as our name, since it was addressed to “Resident,” but didn’t. I put American for our Race and gave our ages and birth years. Unless they intend to send me a birthday card on my birthday,there is no reason they need my actual date of birth. I only put the year because with the way Math is taught in school nowadays, I wasn’t sure some bureaucrat would be able to subtract.

Beaglemom on April 2, 2010 at 6:40 AM

I put “American” under race and NON PUB for my phone number.

I don’t give anyone my phone number and I saw no reason to make an exception for the government.

Jaynie59 on April 2, 2010 at 7:25 AM

I put the number of people and for some reason checked the boxes on sex – and that was it.

The race questions trending towards Hispanic people was – I guess these days you’d have to call them racist.

Dorvillian on April 2, 2010 at 8:47 AM

Count plus race == American.

Race has been used for devious purposes before by the feds. This time you can bet redistribution is high on that list.

tarpon on April 2, 2010 at 9:23 AM

Why the hulabaloo over the ethnicity part? Whats wrong with knowing the cultural makeup of a given city or town? I mean, why not be counted as of scots irish or german decent? What’s the big deal? Is it because the food isnt as good as the other ethnic cuisines? What?

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Shouldn’t the enthicity questions have been removed…oh…right around the time we stopped counting certain races as fractions?

After that, what’s the point?

Cultural makeup should be defined as American.

That includes the different cultural shadings that have produced that uniquely American culture.

Do you believe there are no fans, with roots in Cameroon, scarfin’ down brats while tailgating before a Bears game?

Or no Boston kids, with roots in Ireland, listenin’ to L’il Wayne while hittin’ the Taco Bell drive thru?

The American “Melting-Pot” created the most productive, prosperous, and freest society in the history of mankind.

( No denying there were some pretty major stumbles along the way. Like the aforementioned fractions.)

But still, the idea worked.

Until we were infected by the plague of hyphenation.

Italian-Americans. Irish-Americans. African-Americans. Hispanic-Americans. Anglo-Americans. Arab-Americans. Asian-Americans. Uzbeki-Americans.

Ad Nauseum-Americans.

Now, as a free people the mentioned cultures, and the multitude of sub-cultures therein, have every right to create whatever delineations they wish. I’m not arguing against that. Fifty years of learning human nature have shown me that it’s inevitable. In fact, it’s probably a good prescription for society. But it’s a very powerful societal medicine, and dosages should be kept small and closely monitored.

And it should never be administered by the government.

At a time when the country seems to be ODing on hyphens, our government is pushing more of them on us.

It’s like a doctor attempting to counter-act a heroin overdose by ordering a morphine IV. It’s contraindicated. And fatal.

Quick and painless for a human.
Slow and excruciating for a nation.

This growing, government driven, hyphenated divide gives me great pause for the future of this country.

How soon before they decide to start counting in fractions again?

soundingboard on April 2, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Oh, and just to put it out there.
I did answer all ten questions, but answering them all wasn’t a high point in my week.

soundingboard on April 2, 2010 at 9:49 AM

I picked option #2 because we are a “hybrid” family. BUT we all have American citizenship. After “Hispanic” and “Puerto Rican”, what the heck else I am? AN AMERICAN!

Even for Mr. PPF he could not get it straight when I had to inform him that he is a Caucasian (which was NOT in the Census), and AN AMERICAN! Geesh!

Got too convoluted right after these two questions. It was a spin, and it was done on purpose. They tried to paint us as morons but it flipped like a pancake.

ProudPalinFan on April 2, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Races are only different gene pools.
Like dog breeds. Each dog breed is its own unique gene pool.

Badger40 on April 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Fetch our “race”. The main mixup: Taino Indians, Spanish and African-American. I have no problem whatsoever in the dog breed gene pool.

What I have a problem with is charging $500+ for a MUTT.

ProudPalinFan on April 2, 2010 at 9:59 AM

I filled the whole thing out and was accurate as to race, etc., which pained me somewhat. But I performed my own little act of civil disobedience and counted our soon-to-be born baby as a person living as of April 1, 2010.

Missy on April 2, 2010 at 5:34 AM

Let us know when and post a pic, ok? I love our HotAir babies! :D

ProudPalinFan on April 2, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Yeah, God forbid we should do something to make them waste our money.

Where you been, pal?

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 1, 2010 at 6:48 PM

So you are becoming part of the problem, not the solution.

Good job, I hope you enjoyed sticking it to the man…

Squid Shark on April 1, 2010 at 7:11 PM

Yeah, filling out a piece of paper is going to solve problems. Maybe they’ll move the Gerrymander one street over instead of two.

Also, I never said I was or wasn’t going to fill it out. I was merely questioning why we sheeple accept the heavy hand upon us (following the rules, PC and so on) and yet our masters are free from the same expectations.

I’m not trying to enslave you, so why don’t you pick a fight with those who are.

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 2, 2010 at 10:39 AM

opaobie on April 2, 2010 at 12:51 AM

I had that thought too. “Wait, it isn’t April 1st yet, how am I supposed to predict the future about how many people are going to be living here after April 1st? Maybe I’ll get hit by a bus on March 31st, and one less person will be living here…or maybe I’ll take in a boatload of Haitian refugees or something.”

I brought this up to my girlfriend as was told that I was thinking about it too much. I took that as a compliment.

Left Coast Right Mind on April 2, 2010 at 10:52 AM

IMHO, somone needs to get ahold of the radio hosts, et al who are screaming about the census forms. They are just helping the Dems gerrymandering efforts and are going to have directed us to screw ourselves in the end. Mike Gallagher? Are you listening?

stvnscott on April 2, 2010 at 11:08 AM

This whole “anti-census” issue is a red herring. I filled mine out, answered all the questions truthfully and sent it back the day I got it. We have more important things to be annoyed with than the census.

D2Boston on April 2, 2010 at 11:24 AM

I answered everything, but since I’m of a Mixed Face I got to pick “Other”. Same for my kids.

Unfit For The Internet on April 2, 2010 at 11:42 AM

“When they came to my door and asked if they could have a look around to see if I had any weapons, I said, ‘Sure, c’mon in! Always happy to cooperate with law enforcement!’ We have bigger things to worry about than the second and fourth amendments.”

I’m not advocating throwing the forms out, I’m just astonished and disheartened by the attitude that the little things we should go along with, but then magically we’ll be inspired to resist over the big things. That just means the big things we’ll certainly give in on.

Still waiting for this ‘big revolution’ or the taking to the streets or whatever was supposed to happen if Obamacare passed.

It’s always, “OK, now, if they do this, oh boy, they better watch out then…we’re warning ya…you better look out…OK, well, OK…the next thing…man, OK, we’re serious now…we mean it!!!”

Why can’t we just be honest and admit that we’re not going to do a damn thing, that they’ve got us by the balls, and the most we can do is to be at least informed and talk about the issues as they put the leashes on us.

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 2, 2010 at 12:13 PM

Let us know when and post a pic, ok? I love our HotAir babies! :D

ProudPalinFan on April 2, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Will do! Thanks! :)

Missy on April 2, 2010 at 12:24 PM

This conservative is leaving a far-left House district in a matter of weeks, probably permanently. There’s no reason to hand a bluer-than-blue district a phantom representee.

Blacksmith on April 2, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Is no one thinking of the children? Do you want to screw up your great great great great grandchildrens genealogical search?

BL@KBIRD on April 2, 2010 at 1:26 PM

As has been noted, Scots-Irish are Scottish Presbyterians who were settled (mostly) in Ulster during the Plantation period. They maintained a coherent social identity when they later migrated to (typically) the Appalachian areas of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama.

PKO Strany on April 2, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Oh good grief.

Fill it out, don’t fill it out. List yourself as a mutt. Whatever. That is NOT the issue about the census. It’s a distraction from the real power grab by Obama to move the administration of the census into the White House under Rhamn Emanuel with the design of the forms to use the short form with minimal required information to meet the constitutional requirement and to use the Community Survey form as an estimate to produce the data that will be used to allocate federal funds. This controversy should be about how that estimate is going to be derived and how the information that will be used by various agencies will be disseminated and by who. This fight should be about moving the Census Bureau into an independent agency.

Obama is laughin’ his a$$ off at all this misdirected controversy.

Seriously sometimes I wonder why those who have the microphones seem to just dance around the issue and ignore the obvious.

Just another venue for wealth redistribution by the federal government that is being allowed to happen.

Texas Gal on April 2, 2010 at 1:39 PM

On the “ethincity” I put:
“dont know dont care”
On Race I put:
American

Linda in California on April 2, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Race may have been on every census since the beginning, but only in conjunction with questions about citizenship.

“Are you a US citizen?”
“Are you a naturalized citizen? If so, when did you become a citizen?

Where are the citizenship questions? Should non-citizens really be able to change our political boundaries and government services just by being counted? That seems like a silent invasion to me.

And just because we asked about race in the past doesn’t mean we still need to today. Other past questions include net worth, occupation, radio ownership, native language spoken, marriages, age at marriage, widowhood, live births, and living children.

Also, from the genealogical perspective, census data has always been slightly suspect. Many people, especially immigrants, strongly mistrusted the government and did not always answer truthfully. Census workers made many mistakes, and frequently got their information from neighbors of a family, which was often incorrect.

Common Sense on April 2, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Thank you, Congressman, for being the only Conservative telling other well-meaning but dunder-headed “I’m more Conservative-than-you” types to get out of their isolationist holes in the ground and return the forms.

rwenger43 on April 2, 2010 at 5:39 PM

What a bogus survey! It didn’t have the only constitutional response! “How many people living in your house?” That’s what is required, that’s all that’s necessary, and that’s all that is constitutional.

Woody

woodcdi on April 1, 2010 at 11:00 PM

Are you a Constitutional scholar? or an expert on what’s required or necessary? Do you work for the Census Bureau so you know what authority has been given to them by the Congress derived directly from the Constitution?

This is what amazes me about all you Constitutional know-it-alls: you probably would accept a paycheck from the Federal government for work performed for the Dept of Energy, Education, HUD, Transportation, or Ag, which are 100% extra-Constitutional, yet you pretend that somehow the Census is unConstitutional because it asks some questions about the functional aspects of a count (the existence of which have usually been upheld by conservative, strict Constructionist justices on the Supreme Court.)

The Constitution gives Congress the responsibility to count Americans before it gives the Congress the right to coin money, levy taxes or defend the republic. If you’ve got a problem with recognizing Constitutional authority then don’t call yourself a Conservative. I refuse to yield to you the privelege of using that self-description.

rwenger43 on April 2, 2010 at 5:57 PM

IMHO, somone needs to get ahold of the radio hosts, et al who are screaming about the census forms. They are just helping the Dems gerrymandering efforts and are going to have directed us to screw ourselves in the end. Mike Gallagher? Are you listening?

stvnscott on April 2, 2010 at 11:08 AM

People in states where conservatives outstrip liberals could be committing political suicide if a boycott effort results in shortchanging those states in Congressional representation

Neal Boortz should be run out of GA if his Libertarian ranting s result in GA not receiving another Congressional seat.

Based on the mechanics of how Census Bureau counting is done, “political suicide” is an understatement. How ’bout Conservative under-representation in Congress for the next 40+ years? The CB uses the results of this count in the mechanics of planning for the next decennial count, and the next, etc. That’s why the Libs have had to complain for decades about undercounting the inner cities before someone–the Clintons, not Obama–engineered a plan to get more inner city folk counted; it is NOT a conspiracy, just an unexpected windfall–that Conservatives are going to put ourselves out to pasture at the very time when we’re poised to gain representation.

For all you Consitutional experts /sarc who are only filling out Q. #1, the CB does not consider this to be a completed form. You will receive numerous visits from an Enumerator in effort to complete the incomplete data. You should only avoid completing the form if you are prepared to sue to get the CB to accept it. Otherwise, you ARE NOT going to be counted. And blaming Boortz/Gallagher, et al will not absolve the rest of us for the results of your stupidity.

rwenger43 on April 2, 2010 at 6:20 PM

Are conservatives blowing the Census?
You know that’s sort of a dumb question. Conservatives are more likely to respond to the census than others because we believe in the constitution. If we fail to respond to some of the unnecessary intrusive questions that is not ‘blowing the census’.

docdave on April 1, 2010 at 11:32 PM

That used to be true–but not this time. Conservatives are staying away in droves, putting at risk our projected snatch of 6-10 Congressional seats for the Sun Belt–the reddest states in America, away from the lib Northeast.

rwenger43 on April 2, 2010 at 6:25 PM

I put the number of people and that was it. They don’t need to know our names, ages, phone numbers etc. That isn’t in the Constitution.

MobileVideoEngineer on April 1, 2010 at 2:30 PM

It’s also not in the Constitution that people are allowed to count themselves. All the extra questions–other than race–are designed to prevent persons being double-counted and verify the accuracy of the count.

Don’t you think that QC-work should be done behind Federal employees and recalcitrant respondents? If not, I guess you know Constitutional law better than Antonin Scalia and the other strict constructionists on the USSC./sarc

rwenger43 on April 2, 2010 at 6:39 PM

That is the rub, they have all of this info anyway and just want us to do the job of dead weight federal employees.

thomasaur on April 1, 2010 at 2:31 PM

The CB is forbidden by law from getting your PII from any source other than you. Census employees face immediate termination, 5 years imprisonment and $250K fine for giving or receiving PII from another source, even your mailman.

The only exception is your neighbor, for basic info only, after your local Census staff has proven that you were unable or unwilling to be reached.

Persons who respond to Q 1 only who then fail to answer any other attempts to reach them will have their neighbors asked about them. The CB may well end up with less official info than what was provided by the respondent on the original form.

rwenger43 on April 2, 2010 at 6:50 PM

I understand why the census is necessary, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s really annoying. I mean, sending forms out to everybody just telling them the census is comng? Then sending us another form after we recieved the census telling us we got it?! What a complete waste of time and money!

Emily M. on April 1, 2010 at 2:34 PM

It’s all based on statistical analysis, which is the one thing the CB is great at. It’s like all those political robo-calls–studies show that a certain number of “attempted reaches” has a desired effect, even though that certain number +1 or -1 is more counter-productive.

For the CB, the effect is amplified. Every robo-mailed card costs the CB less than .50, yet every follow-up visit by a NRFU Enumerator costs over $50. Once a household goes into the Follow-up pool, on average it will require 2.5 visits to complete the questionnaire, so the total bill for that household may be $55-275 with an avg. of $138.

Additionally, completely filled-in respondent cards totally stay out of the Reinterview pool, with its additional costs. Therefore, any reasonably cheap method of raising overall response is positive even if it annoys a few households into total nonresponse.

rwenger43 on April 2, 2010 at 7:15 PM

I’ve filled out my Census formed and mailed it in. I’ll be damned if my lack of participation leads to more political power for Blue States or less for my state.

amerpundit on April 1, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Glad to see that. I wish I’d heard more of that.

You may be surprised to know that we at the CB–at least in my office–consider our jobs to be Constitutionally-mandated and vital to the concept of representative government. But we also acknowledge that it’s a good thing this only happens once a decade, because we have successfully demonstrated–not by our choice, mind you–that the government is totally incompetent at achieving either of the twin private sector objectives of quality and cost-efficiency.

At least once a decade, it’s good to be reminded just how bad the Federal govt is at doing anything other than treating people well while treating them like dirt, and it should firm our resolve not to allow government intervention to happen in any realm of life not mandated by the Constitution.

rwenger43 on April 2, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Missy on April 2, 2010 at 5:34 AM

+1

I filled it out in it’s entirety. I decided it was not in my financial ‘best-interest’ to risk a fine. I guess I wimped out. :( (I was tempted to say that 10 others reside at my address, race non-hispanic…but again, I wimped out.)

LEBA on April 2, 2010 at 7:54 PM

Number of people: 2. Name of Person One: “Person One.” Name of Person Two: “Person Two.” The only race we belong to is the HUMAN race. I wrote “Human American”. The rest I left unanswered…none of their business. Besides, the Federal Government has access to everything and anything about us all – from tax records to utility records. They know who we are.

Posey on April 2, 2010 at 8:06 PM

All the extra questions–other than race–are designed to prevent persons being double-counted and verify the accuracy of the count.
rwenger43 on April 2, 2010 at 6:39 PM

You have reeeaaallly drunken the Kool-Aid, haven’t you? What about these?:

-Is this house, apartment, or mobile home: owned with mortgage, owned without mortgage, rented, occupied without rent?

-What is your telephone number?

The Census Department even tells us why they ask all the BS questions and it has nothing to do with enumeration and everything to do with big government.

http://2010.census.gov/2010census/how/interactive-form.php

BierManVA on April 2, 2010 at 8:46 PM

Racially, I am homo sapien sapien modernis, and so are you. The signifier of race as a biological construct is whether offspring may result from sex. The Mongol and the Portugee, the Bushman and the Aleut, the Irish and the Nippon may all have happy wee children, and so they are all of the same race.

Scribbler on April 2, 2010 at 11:25 PM

Early census returns are showing that conservatives have been measurably less likely than liberals to return their census forms.

We know this how?

Ronnie on April 3, 2010 at 12:43 AM

Early census returns are showing that conservatives have been measurably less likely than liberals to return their census forms.

We know this how?

Ronnie on April 3, 2010 at 12:43 AM

My question EXACTLY

IowaWoman on April 3, 2010 at 8:06 AM

I filled out how many people live in the house, and what their names are. That’s it. I’m not required to give them anything else. And I don’t believe them when they tell me they’ll keep it private, cuz there’s this convenient excuse known as the Patriot Act.

I didn’t give them a phone number either. They found my address. If those arrogant little $#!ts want me, they can come and get me.

HOO-rah.

manwithblackhat on April 3, 2010 at 10:04 AM

I haven’t filled it out yet. But, the point about under representing anyone not belonging to one of the 13 flavors of Latino is well made.

Not that California has any hope of pulling out of its nose dive into the Pacific…

I believe I will limit my reply to a head count and “race”.

Other than that, they don’t need to know.

TheCulturalist on April 3, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Again, the only thing required by the Constitution is the number of people in the household. Please send it in with only that info as it determines our number of representatives in Congress.

hopefloats on April 3, 2010 at 11:20 PM

Please send it in with only that info as it determines our number of representatives in Congress.

hopefloats on April 3, 2010 at 11:20 PM

I don’t think Kahlifornia needs any more ‘representatives’ in congress.

Fighton03 on April 3, 2010 at 11:50 PM

What a bogus survey! It didn’t have the only constitutional response! “How many people living in your house?” That’s what is required, that’s all that’s necessary, and that’s all that is constitutional.

Woody

woodcdi on April 1, 2010 at 11:00 PM

Are you a Constitutional scholar? or an expert on what’s required or necessary? Do you work for the Census Bureau so you know what authority has been given to them by the Congress derived directly from the Constitution?

This is what amazes me about all you Constitutional know-it-alls: you probably would accept a paycheck from the Federal government for work performed for the Dept of Energy, Education, HUD, Transportation, or Ag, which are 100% extra-Constitutional, yet you pretend that somehow the Census is unConstitutional because it asks some questions about the functional aspects of a count (the existence of which have usually been upheld by conservative, strict Constructionist justices on the Supreme Court.)

The Constitution gives Congress the responsibility to count Americans before it gives the Congress the right to coin money, levy taxes or defend the republic. If you’ve got a problem with recognizing Constitutional authority then don’t call yourself a Conservative. I refuse to yield to you the privelege of using that self-description.

rwenger43 on April 2, 2010 at 5:57 PM

It’s pretty simple, really. No one need be a “constitutional scholar” to be able to read and understand the Constitution. The classes I took to earn my high school diploma taught me the reading skills to understand the Constitution. I know that Congress is only authorized to count how many of us live in each state. Congress is authorized to pass law to get that count done. That’s the limit of Congress’s power in that regard. Beyond the count, Congress cannot authorize more. That’s all that can be derived from the Constitution.

Your strawman might accept a check from the government for something under one of those agencies you mentioned, but not me. I assume you include yourself in that group of “constitutional scholars” since you seem to know so much about it yourself. As for myself, I never said I was a “Conservative”. I will now admit that I am a conservative now that you’ve taken the opportunity to jump to that conclusion without knowing.

As for you, you’d do well for yourself to learn a bit more about the Constitution. You’ve taken the opportunity to express your ignorance and arrogance to your own embarrassment. If you don’t feel that embarrassment, that’s all the proof you need to see I’m right.

I’ve read the Constitution. I know the limits of the federal government. I am a strict constructionist, original intent, constitutionalist, and a conservative.

Woody

woodcdi on April 4, 2010 at 12:21 PM

All the extra questions–other than race–are designed to prevent persons being double-counted and verify the accuracy of the count.
rwenger43 on April 2, 2010 at 6:39 PM
You have reeeaaallly drunken the Kool-Aid, haven’t you? What about these?:

-Is this house, apartment, or mobile home: owned with mortgage, owned without mortgage, rented, occupied without rent?

-What is your telephone number?

The Census Department even tells us why they ask all the BS questions and it has nothing to do with enumeration and everything to do with big government.

http://2010.census.gov/2010census/how/interactive-form.php

BierManVA on April 2, 2010 at 8:46 PM

Sorry, my reference to “all” other questions was overstated. Some of the other questions are related to verifying the accuracy of the count.

If you view Civil Rights laws as unConstitutional, then you’re right that a couple of the Qs are used to evaluate the adequate enforcement of unConstitutional programs. But if your point is that the entire form beyond Q1 should not be answered, I think you are very grievously wrong.

If the CB caves to political Conservatives and starts counting questionnaires that only have Q1 completed, in 2020 the other side will pack the boxes with an precedented level of fraudulent responses–and we will have no defense.(This is the first time the CB has made it possible for persons to obtain multiple forms to fill in.) The USSC has always held that a Census form must have a certain standard by which it is considered complete and therefore countable. Answering Q1 alone does not meet that standard of completion.

My apologies regarding the propaganda they put on the website. In their ongoing effort to get people counted who have always been afraid to respond, they are turning away the people who have always been responsive.

rwenger43 on April 4, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Woody

I acknowledge that working for the Federal govt has made me a little more arrogant–simply because I lose patience with Conservatives that are so isolationist that they don’t even want to have civil discussions with someone who works for the CB. They just want to spout the rhetoric they have heard and believed without checking to see if it’s right–like the ACORN thing, or the felons as employees thing, or the unConstitutional thing. I get tired of treating people like they’re intelligent when they are clearly daring me to tell them otherwise.

We also are guilty of forgetting that individuals matter, because the CB only looks at numbers. I couldn’t care less who you are–only how you answer the questions.

Having said that, I didn’t tell you you couldn’t read the Constitution–only that certain functional details are clearly implied that are not specified. Do you think that no one ever performed QC checks behind Enumerators in the 19th century? Maybe it is a modern thing–but it is undeniably necessary.

When the first Census was performed in 1790, do you think the Enumerator didn’t have to ascertain if a person was owned or free? According to you, that question is unConstitutional, yet the need for the question is implied by the 3/5 clause.

Congratulations if you do not have a Constitutional double standard like so many of us Conservatives do. My pastor rails against the Federal government even while 30% of the offerings are given by persons receiving Federal paychecks, and that’s not counting the checks church members receive from Fed programs that we all wish were smaller but will never be able to scale back.

The point still remains that if all you answer is Q 1, it doesn’t matter if that’s all that is Constitutional. If your purpose is to be counted, you won’t be. If your purpose is only to comply with the Consitution, your response is open to interpretation. But Justice Antonin Scalia would disagree with you, and I like his knowledge a lot better than yours or mine.

rwenger43 on April 4, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Sorry, my reference to “all” other questions was overstated. Some of the other questions are related to verifying the accuracy of the count.

I don’t understand what’s so inaccurate and needing accuracy verification by reading and following the instructions and writing the number of people living in your home on a specific date in the proper box. EXAMPLE: What’s so inaccurate and needing verification about a number like “2″?

But if your point is that the entire form beyond Q1 should not be answered, I think you are very grievously wrong.

No where in the Constitution has Congress been granted power to ask anything more than how many people live in someone’s home to perform the enumeration.

If the CB caves to political Conservatives and starts counting questionnaires that only have Q1 completed, in 2020 the other side will pack the boxes with an precedented level of fraudulent responses–and we will have no defense.

Are you telling me the Census Bureau won’t count how many people live in my house if I only submit the response Congress has the power to ask? I think the Census Bureau will wind up in a lot of trouble if they purposefully refuse to count everyone. As for fraud, doesn’t the Census Bureau cross check each census form with each address? If the Census Bureau does its job properly, no one could get away with “stuffing the box”. There is only one census form for each address.

The USSC has always held that a Census form must have a certain standard by which it is considered complete and therefore countable. Answering Q1 alone does not meet that standard of completion.

How about producing that standard for all of us to see.

When the first Census was performed in 1790, do you think the Enumerator didn’t have to ascertain if a person was owned or free? According to you, that question is unConstitutional, yet the need for the question is implied by the 3/5 clause.

That WAS constitutional back then, and it wasn’t implied. It was as directed. The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments made the 3/5 rule moot.

The point still remains that if all you answer is Q 1, it doesn’t matter if that’s all that is Constitutional. If your purpose is to be counted, you won’t be. If your purpose is only to comply with the Consitution, your response is open to interpretation. But Justice Antonin Scalia would disagree with you, and I like his knowledge a lot better than yours or mine.

If I’m not counted as Congress is directed to do in the Constitution, Antinon Scalia and everyone else on the Bench will be very busy. As for Antonin Scalia’s knowledge or the knowledge of anyone else on the bench, they know as well as any one of us who can read the Constitution exactly what is required of Congress vis-a-vis the actual enumeration that’s required every ten years.

Woody

woodcdi on April 4, 2010 at 10:12 PM

Um, it doesn’t ask what my political views are.

bklyn04 on April 5, 2010 at 8:08 AM

You left off the option of only providing the “enumeration” of individuals living at the residence. Which is what I provided along with the identity of our race as other – Human.

ihasurnominashun on April 5, 2010 at 11:50 AM

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