Ron Paul on the Census 2010




Census: A Little Too Personal

by Ron Paul

Last week Congress voted to encourage participation in the 2010 census. I voted “No” on this resolution for the simple, obvious reason that the census – like so many government programs – has grown far beyond what the framers of our Constitution intended. The invasive nature of the current census raises serious questions about how and why government will use the collected information. It also demonstrates how the federal bureaucracy consistently encourages citizens to think of themselves in terms of groups, rather than as individual Americans. The not so subtle implication is that each group, whether ethnic, religious, social, or geographic, should speak up and demand its “fair share” of federal largesse.

Article I, section 2 of the Constitution calls for an enumeration of citizens every ten years, for the purpose of apportioning congressional seats among the various states. In other words, the census should be nothing more than a headcount. It was never intended to serve as a vehicle for gathering personal information on citizens.

But our voracious federal government thrives on collecting information. In fact, to prepare for the 2010 census state employees recorded GPS coordinates for every front door in the United States so they could locate individuals with greater accuracy! Once duly located, individuals are asked detailed questions concerning their name, address, race, home ownership, and whether they periodically spend time in prison or a nursing home – just to name a few examples.

From a constitutional perspective, of course, the answer to each of these questions is: “None of your business.” But the bigger question is – why government is so intent on compiling this information in the first place?

The Census Bureau claims that collected information is not shared with any federal agency; but rather is kept under lock and key for 72 years. It also claims that no information provided to census takers can be used against you by the government.

However, these promises can and have been abused in the past. Census data has been used to locate men who had not registered for the draft. Census data also was used to find Japanese-Americans for internment camps during World War II. Furthermore, the IRS has applied census information to detect alleged tax evaders. Some local governments even have used census data to check for compliance with zoning regulations.

It is not hard to imagine that information compiled by the census could be used against people in the future, despite claims to the contrary and the best intentions of those currently in charge of the Census Bureau. The government can and does change its mind about these things, and people have a right to be skeptical about government promises.

Yet there are consequences for not submitting to the census and its intrusive questions. If the form is not mailed back in time, households will experience the “pleasure” of a visit by a government worker asking the questions in person. If the government still does not get the information it wants, it can issue a fine of up to $5000.

If the federal government really wants to increase compliance with the census, it should abide by the Constitution and limit its inquiry to one simple question: How many people live here?

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  5. Julia still glistened with happiness. Damn. In the burning eased

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  6. Help! Census workers are coming to our door. They've been here 4 times. The last one threatened to fine us. I sent in our census form on time but only put 5 people living at the residence. They want our names. Do I have to give them our names? What is the law that protects me if I refuse to do this? Thanks.

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    • fred the protectionist

      Tell them you're a Ron Paul supporter and you have a gun.

      The words "Ron Paul" and "Gun" are like krytonite to these Gubmnt people, or like a cross to a vampire, they'll hiss at you then go away. C'mon do it, do it do it do it.

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  7. In response to the comments here. Am I missing something? How does any of this have anything to do with Obama? This is the same Census that has been done every decade for the last 200 years. Does anyone _really_ believe that the Census would be any different if McCain or even Bush was in power now?

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    • I agree 100% with Mark. This census has not changed in forever so quit beefing and go and spend some time outside! Take some deep breaths and quit blaming everyone else for your problems!

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    • "This census has not changed in forever" TRUE STATEMENT...but SADLY AMERICA HAS!!!

      These past few weeks, I have really gotten an education on our Government and the Census.

      Research has shown the past abuses and irresponsible behavior of the US Census Bureau. Hundreds of laptops (full of private information) not accounted for. Information that a teenager could hack into.

      The elderly being harassed time and time again even AFTER they completed the forms MULTIPLE times, because the Census LOST it the first 3 times.

      I am 55 years old. All my adult life, I have filled out the Census and sent it in.

      So what is different now?

      The United States we live in is different.
      US citizens understand that times have changed.

      They understand that sadly, you can not leave your home unlocked.

      You can not allow your child to play even in a neighborhood park unattended.

      Identity theft is rampant.

      They understand that a teenager from his bedroom can hack into VP candidate emails and financial institution records.

      What percentage of Census workers are rapists that have no record because they have not been caught yet? They see a woman living alone or with a child and they know that there is no one else in that home to protect her.

      What percentage of Census workers are thieves that have no record because they have not been caught yet? They see a big screen tv in the living room through the front door. Especially with the information in the ACS, they know the hours these homeowners work.

      Don’t believe it can happen, ask Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. One of their employees booked cruises and then robbed the homes of the cruise passengers; while they were on their cruise.

      We live in a world where children are STALKED on the Internet.

      Worst of all, what percentage of Census workers are sex offenders that have no criminal record, because they have not been caught yet?

      Now they know the name and age of the children in a particular area AND the children’s phone numbers. They know the parents NAMES, so that they can pretend to be a friend of the family.

      Why hasn’t someone thought about this? The information from a simple Census is all a predator needs.

      Even more sadly, they realize the growing number of our own government officials that can not be trusted.

      We must live a much more guarded life now.

      Instead of recognizing this, our Government is becoming more and more intrusive with the ACS.

      Times have changed and it is about time that our Government changed with it.

      I am asking that you consider a Census Privacy Act that would restrict the collection of information every 10 years to number, age, race and sex. True statistics, not personal information.

      The ACS should be completely done away with.

      I understand the necessity of a statistic, but a NAME is NOT a statistic. A date of birth is NOT a statistic.

      And the "proxy" should be completely outlawed, because INCORRECT information is worse than NO information.

      I do apologize for not being better informed before. I must admit I was shocked and sickened at the depth of the erosion of our Civil Rights today.

      Perhaps if the Government respected its citizens more, the citizens would cooperate fully and the needed result would be achieved.

      It is time that the real leaders of our country change our Government into an entity that respects those that have earned it.

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    • AHHH but you see the Bush family is still in charge as Obama is a shirttail relation of the Bush family. And while on the subject of the Bush family, they were the ones who started up the talk of a world order. Has anyone really stopped to let those words sink in? Did anyone ever think that maybe just maybe the direction the country is going in was planned? That they are pushing the American citizens into a revolution so they can then make America a po;lice state and then put their dictator in power? Think it is bad now, you just wait and see how things look a few years from now if the status quoe is left as is.

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    • Not everything is about "Bush vs Obama" or "GOP vs Democrats".

      I objected to the census form 10 years ago, when Bush was in office. I object today, when Obama is in office. I'll still be objecting 10 years from now, since some things don't change.

      It is none of the government's business what my name is, my ethnic origin, my income, how many toilets I have access to, how many guns I have, yadda yadda yadda.

      I have no objection to answering the one question authorized by the Constitution: "How many people live here?"

      That's where the Census Bureau should stop.

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  8. Recently bought an 1870 house. Looking at late 1800's census info to learn about the house's history. Guess what? They asked for the same info! Except for phone number (which you do not have to give, especially if you don't have a phone, and if you do, anyone can get it anyway) and the "other" place you may have lived (which you can obfuscate if you want and they won't catch on). So, I know whether or not black people lived in my house, if that mattered to me. How can Uncle Sam use the census info against you any differently than all the other info that is readily available? You seem extremely paranoid! Go live in northern Alaska if you want to become anonymous! GPS coordinates? Hasn't Mr. Paul ever looked at Google Maps? Is this man still in the stone age? I can look into his back yard from space! I can enter his address in my car's GPS and pay him a visit! The only thing I give Mr. Paul is that a simple head count would indeed be sufficient. The govt. can obtain, if it doesn't already have it, all and any info on any citizen. It is a waste to gather and compie all that other info. But that's what govt. is for, to provide jobs for bean counters. And that govt. employee who may visit you to obtain census info. That is the gal down the street trying to make a few exptra bucks in this lousy economy, not a black-booted Obama-nazi! Meanwhile, I see that there are only 12 million US govt. employees. That means that each one of them would have to keep track of 25 others in order for "Big Brother" to prevail. Just how ridiculous is that proposition? VERY! Also, who ever said that the govt. is efficient and proficient, thus proving the fact that there is absolutely nothing to fear from bunmbling govt. concerning "spying" on its citizenry. You guys are kooks! Mr. Paul has some very good ideas. But, if he ever wants my serious consideration, he's got to stop this crazy, paranoid Tea Party talk.

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    • If you think Google's addresses are always correct, then you're the one that's not up to date on his info. Oh, and guess what? The government gps got my address wrong, too! As for coming back to my house? Since no entrance to this house is accessible without coming through locked gates and dealing with my rather large and noisy brood of dogs ... well, good luck with that one Mr/Ms Census Taker. (they tied the first stupid form to my fence, for pete's sake. lol)

      No. I didn't answer their nosy questions. They wanna fine me, they're welcome to try. Since we don't have home mail delivery in this teensy burg, the games should be really interesting. Let 'em bring it!

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  9. People need to look at who these people are, legalized criminals of the highest degree making up their own rules and regulation while steeling our tax dollars to fund their bad behavior. People became to0 comfortable in their own lives and allowed them unlimited power. I'm sure their spying on all emails, blogs and posts and will eventually criminalize speaking out against them. They make Bernie Madoff look like childs play compared to the trillions embezeled, extorted, and stolen by passing smoke screen bills like healthcare. This was the biggest Gov powergrab in history and biggest violation of our constitutional rights. The Census is just another rule imposed to criminalize the average hardworking individual! Ever ask why they need your phone #

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  10. It has become apparent to me that the obama administration (democrats) are intentionally trying to overthrow our constitutional form of government. Remember, in our constitution is reminds us that there are enemies both foreign and DOMESTIC. Freedom comes at a price folks, vigilance! This current administration is a pack of thugs. Also some serious enemies of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Time to hold them accountable America.

    I remain,

    A patriot,

    G. Olson

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  11. The $5,000 penalty is in a different part of the U.S. Code and stems from the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. See 18 U.S.C. 3551 et seq.

    Please think twice before you "dislike" this post, because what dislikes do is cause ronpaul.com to conceal what is written. If people need this information (even if it's unpopular), "like" would be a better response.

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  12. I received my census questionnaire. I answered ONE QUESTION ONLY! the 1st one. How many people live here? Then, below that box with a RED marker, I wrote " the privacy of the answers to the remainder of the questions are protected information under the 5th Amendment". I then signed the form and mailed it. Identity theft is growing like an untreated cancer! Too many government computers have been hacked, lost, stolen, or sold, for me, or anyone else for that matter, to trust ANY government entity with ANY personal information. Government tyranny and abuse are the main reasons for the creation of the Constitution. HEY CENSUS BUREAU! Come knock on my door and see what happens............

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    • This is one of the first respones that made scense to me. We want representation but don't want to do the bare minimum to get it. The constitution asked for a head count that's what they got. And like that has been mentioned before no mapquest (others) get it wrong but they have a pretty good idea of all your personal info already, they don't need the cencus to get it.

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  13. I got my little survey a couple of days ago, the only real question I will honestly answer is
    1 person living here. Every question after that is null & void! I happen to live in a large apartment complex. Let the Census folks figure out the other questions!
    The items I have the most trouble with are giving out my telephone number & date of birth.
    Question #2 should have the same answers as for Person #2.
    But then that all depends on how much personal information your willing to give.
    That proverbial knock on the door may not be to ask for answers, but to arrest me for the questions I didn't answer. Let The Games Begin!
    1 Person lives here.
    Hard Tymes {Gmail}

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    • Have the meds adjusted. Your tangents are becoming nonsensical.

      It's a census, a count of people. What would be the purpose of the other questions?

      Focus

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  14. VERY interesting.....the data is supposed to be under lock and key for 72 years but then I found this.

    http://www.sc.edu/library/pubserv/gdcensus2000.html

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    • There is no personal information revealed on this site. This is all aggregate data where you find information about South Carolina. How many people live in South Carolina, and are we going to need more roads, fire stations, police, hospitals? What percentage of the population is white, black, Hispanic, Asian? What is the education level? How many are in poverty, and is more social assistance going to be needed? Are there a lot of older people, and do we need more nursing homes? Are there a lot of younger people, are we going to need more schools? How else are we going to get this information if we ignore census forms?

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      • A census is a head count to apportion representation. That's it, nothing else. All of the other information is available in a myriad of other forms and is totally unnecessary for a census.
        What is so hard to understand?

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  15. Colt45- Professional CB'er

    On 3-17-10 I received my 2010 census form. Why is it okay for the government to send a form to my home, addressed to resident at [ omitted address ]? #5. says " Please provide information for each person living here. Start with a person living here who owns or rents this house, apartment, or mobile home.If the owner or renter lives somewhere else, start with any adult living here. This will be Person 1. Last Name:
    First Name: MI:".
    Since, this form was addressed to : Resident At, I have decided that this must be my name, because we all know that the Government is never wrong!
    Thank you, Colt45 - Professional CB'er

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  16. http://www.mysteriesofthemind.com/big-brother-ron-paul.htm

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  17. This census is nothing compared to this

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Community_Survey

    This is 24 pages long and asks REALLY intrusive questions. If you don't send it back they hound you. It states you are required by law to respond to the survey.

    Totally out of control!!!

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  18. According to the post of Title 13,Section 221-"Refusal or neglect to answer questions;false answers" I read that to mean 1) If you do not answer questions you may be fined no more than $100. 2)If you give false answers to questions you may be fined no more than $500. I think the comments of a $5000 fine are incorrect. I think this was derived by thinking 10 false answers @$500 each equals $5000.That is not what the Title says. On another note I saw an article on Yahoo face page today that talked about a study by professors at the University of Utah and University of Calif. that used census data to study immigrants and housing markets in various cities.Very interesting article. They were using 2000 census data. The article states "Still other question whether it is too soon to draw too many conclusions because of the heated political climate, the recent down turn in the economy, and the COMING 2010 CENSUS. I seem to recollect reading on the offical census web site that "By law the Census Bureau can not share respondents' answers with ANYONE including the IRS,FBI,CIA or any other government agency.Maybe its ok for professors' to utilize it? I will answer the body count question only. They can fine me the $100 for the refusal or neglect to answer the other questions. I personally think it will be the best $100 I ever spent.

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    • http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/Title_13.txt

      -CITE-
      13 USC Sec. 8 01/05/2009

      -EXPCITE-
      TITLE 13 - CENSUS
      CHAPTER 1 - ADMINISTRATION
      SUBCHAPTER I - GENERAL PROVISIONS

      -HEAD-
      Sec. 8. Authenticated transcripts or copies of certain returns;
      other data; restriction on use; disposition of fees received

      -STATUTE-
      (a) The Secretary may, upon written request, furnish to any
      respondent, or to the heir, successor, or authorized agent of such
      respondent, authenticated transcripts or copies of reports (or
      portions thereof) containing information furnished by, or on behalf
      of, such respondent in connection with the surveys and census
      provided for in this title, upon payment of the actual or estimated
      cost of searching the records and furnishing such transcripts or
      copies.
      (b) Subject to the limitations contained in sections 6(c) and 9
      of this title, the Secretary may furnish copies of tabulations and
      other statistical materials which do not disclose the information
      reported by, or on behalf of, any particular respondent, and may
      make special statistical compilations and surveys, for departments,
      agencies, and establishments of the Federal Government, the
      government of the District of Columbia, the government of any
      possession or area (including political subdivisions thereof)
      referred to in section 191(a) of this title, State or local
      agencies, or other public and private persons and agencies, upon
      payment of the actual or estimated cost of such work. In the case
      of nonprofit agencies or organizations, the Secretary may engage in
      joint statistical projects, the purpose of which are otherwise
      authorized by law, but only if the cost of such projects are shared
      equitably, as determined by the Secretary.
      (c) In no case shall information furnished under this section be
      used to the detriment of any respondent or other person to whom
      such information relates, except in the prosecution of alleged
      violations of this title.
      (d) All moneys received in payment for work or services
      enumerated under this section shall be deposited in a separate
      account which may be used to pay directly the costs of such work or
      services, to repay appropriations which initially bore all or part
      of such costs, or to refund excess sums when necessary.

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    • The professors are not using personal information from anyone. They are not looking at individual census responses. It is aggregate data. The census is how we know what we have in this country. We know the country is about 67% white, 15% Hispanic, and 14% black. How? It comes from census data. How does the poverty rate get set? From census data. How do we plan if we need more schools or more senior centers? We as a country look at census data. These questions are not some intrusion in our lives. These questions are absolutely necessary for the lives we lead.

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      • Then answer them. There's nothing wrong or unconstitutional about the government asking questions like these, but they shouldn't legally require you to answer. If you feel that answering the census questions is necessary for good governance, then fill it out, send it back in, and respect others' wishes on the matter when they differ from yours.

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    • If "Big Brother" is going to give out fines of $500 or more for not answering questions in a truthful matter........how are they going to know what questions you lied on?
      Hard Tymes on Gmail

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  19. I'll be answering question 1 only. Come fine me.

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  20. Question 1 on the Census form:
    1. How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?

    English is not my first language but this is poorly phrased. It is specific for a day!

    If I am filling the form addressed to my place of residence but I intend to stay at a friend's house on April 1, 2010, I should answer zero for this question.

    Any lawyers out thee?

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    • Reply to Zooz
      For purposes of the census, the question is "where do you reside as of April 1, 2010." If you are visiting somewhere, you are not living there. You are only visiting. You should be counted at the place you eat, sleep and live most of the time. There has to be a reference date for the census, and since 1930, it has been April 1 of that census year. If Grandma died on March 31st, she gets counted. If a baby is born on April 2, the baby is not counted.

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