With more than $340 million of taxpayer money to fund initiatives to help more people fill out the form, there are those who simply just don’t want to fill out the 10-question survey.
The costly census promotions, which clutter television ads and create litter along our streets, have made it literally impossible for anyone to be in the dark about the census.
Why would anyone want to pass up a chance to get a slice of the $400 billion American pie?
Although her 2009 proclamation is dated now, Michelle Bachmann, a representative from Minnesota, said her family will not complete every question on the census form this year.
“I know for my family the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home,” she said in an interview with the Washington Times. “We won’t be answering any information beyond that because the Constitution doesn’t require any information beyond that.”
Although Bachmann didn’t outright refuse to fill out the form, her cynical view of a document that is essentially the lifeblood of our representative democracy is shameful. A person with as much clout as Bachmann could easily deter an average politically inept citizen in her district from filling out the form.
As outspoken as Bachmann has been in the past, it would still be surprising if she would accept the maximum $5,000 fine in which the constitution spells out for those who neglect to participate.
Looking at a map of the 2010 Census Participation rate, as of April 12, some Tallahassee residents are skeptical about filling out the form as well. The participation rate for Tallahassee is 64 percent, 68 percent for the state, compared to 69 percent nationally.
Neighborhoods with heavy minority and college student populations have participation rates below 50 percent.
Coincidentally, these same areas have streets plagued with decrepit roadways; only a stunt driver could avoid the pothole that adorned the intersection of Railroad Avenue and FAMU Way.
These areas have little access to quality hospitals and clinics; sustaining a life threatening injury on this side of town could spell disaster, if the ambulance can’t get to you fast enough.
Probably the most important reason to fill out the census is to enhance or some cases keep your voice in Congress. Without this document, congressional seats cannot be properly appropriated. With general distrust in Washington already looming, Americans definitely wouldn’t want to leave any type of “guess-work” up to the government.
There are those who argue that the census is too personal.
If the government wanted to know anything about you, they most certainly have their ways — Patriot Act anyone?
If that doesn’t work, a quick hack of your Facebook page could provide Washington with all the information about you it needs.
Besides, by law the Census Bureau can’t share your information with anyone. The benefits of filling out the census definitely outweigh the potential dangers, if any such dangers exist. Let’s work to make America and even better place to live in mailing back our completed census forms.