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The Census Bureau estimates that the life cycle cost of the 2010 Census will be from $13.7 billion to $14.5 billion, making it the costliest census in the nation’s history. Suppose you suggest to a congressman that given our budget crisis, we could save some money by dispensing with the 2010 census. I guarantee you that he’ll say something along the lines that the Constitution mandates a decennial counting of the American people and he would be absolutely right. Article I, Section 2 of our constitution reads: “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.”
What purpose did the Constitution’s framers have in mind ordering an enumeration or count of the American people every 10 years? The purpose of the headcount is to apportion the number of seats in the House of Representatives and derived from that, along with two senators from each state, the number of electors to the Electoral College.
The Census Bureau tells us that this year, it will use a shorter questionnaire, consisting of only 10 questions. From what I see, only one of them serves the constitutional purpose of enumeration — namely, “How many people were living or staying at this house, apartment or mobile home on April 1, 2010?” The Census Bureau’s shorter questionnaire claim is deceptive at best.
from Big Government:
According to a report issued by the Government Accountability Office Oct. 7, approximately 785 employees with disqualifying criminal records could still end up working for the Census Bureau this year. Excerpts (below) show the exact wording of the agency’s frightening information about the people who go door to door conducting interviews and collecting information for the 2010 Census:
The Bureau’s efforts to fingerprint employees, which was required as part of a criminal background check, did not proceed smoothly, in part because of training issues. As a result, over 35,000 temporary census workers — over a fifth of the address canvassing workforce — were hired despite the fact that their fingerprints could not be processed and they were not fully screened for employment eligibility.
…of the prints that could be processed, fingerprint results identified 1,800 temporary workers (1.1 percent of total hires) with criminal records that name check alone failed to identify. Of the 1,800 workers with criminal records, approximately 750 (42 percent) were terminated or were further reviewed because the Bureau determined their criminal records — which included crimes such as rape, manslaughter, and child abuse — disqualified them from census employment.
…we estimate that approximately 785 employees with unclassifiable prints could have disqualifying criminal records but still end up working for the Bureau
In addition to the news about the criminal element aspect of the 2010 Census, the 2009 report contained an estimate of the total cost of the 2010 Census being some $3.4 billion higher than the estimate in a 2006 GAO report. Compared to ex-cons knocking at my door, I guess I can live with cost overruns. But I digress.