Prior to the U.S. Census an employee of the U.S. Census process came around and asked us from what group of people we were descended: European, Oriental, African-American, American Indian, etc.? I said that I refused to participate in a racist question except to answer that I was an “American Mutt: a bit of everything”. That’s all I would tell them. And I was right to do so.
When we received the U.S. Census papers, our family obeyed the U.S. Constitution and told the government how many people lived at this address. Not a problem. We did not tell them anything else, but we did tell them the number of people who live here.
A few weeks ago, we were “chosen” to be participants in “The American Community Survey” (ACS). Not happy with the intrusiveness of the questions (all listed below so you can judge for yourselves), we chose to respond by not responding. We have not – and will not – send them our information.
Friday, Nov. 4, 2011, in the afternoon we received a phone call from an ACS surveyor asking if we had received the ACS, and if we had, did we fill it out and send it back yet? I said we had received it, had not sent it back, and that our response was to not respond. She said that not responding was not a choice. She asked if I wanted to answer the questions while I was on the line with her. I said no. She also said that we were required by law to respond (pay attention to that: we will revisit it in a moment). I said, “So sue us.” She said she would call back and ask us again to respond. I said I looked forward to it.
When I hung up, I checked my caller identification feature on my phone and wrote the number on the fridge’s white board. We agreed that we won’t be answering any calls from anyone who calls with a number that starts with the first six of those numbers (area code and first three of the number), which means no numbers from that building will be answered. That problem was solved.
My husband got curious as to what will happen when we don’t comply. He looked up the ACS noncompliance punishment on the internet and said that the most we could face is a $100 fine. Other places said up to $5,000, but the comments on that one said that it is highly unlikely and that the regulation said up to $100. So, that’s probably the max, but it will be difficult for the government to get it out of us.
When we checked the accompanying literature, we found that it states that the ACS will help, “decide where to locate new highways, schools, hospitals, and community centers; to show a large corporation that a town has the workforce the company needs; and in many other ways.” Wonderful. Our information will be used against us because it will be used to “measure the performance of programs” (and then I’m sure those programs would be given more of our money if they’re not performing up to the already low standards currently in use). I will not benefit from any of those programs, but I will be taxed more for things that I do not use (like senior citizens paying for the public schools via property taxes). Isn’t that grand?
The literature goes on to state, “Your response to this survey is required by law (Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141 and 193). Title 13, as changed by Title 18, imposes a penalty for not responding. We estimate this survey will take about 38 minutes to complete.” Excuse me? I got curious and did an internet search for the legal authority for the American Community Survey, and found that according to this Government Accounting Office response to U.S. Congressman, Bob Barr,
“While Census clearly has authority to conduct the ACS, we found no public laws, committee reports, or other congressional actions in which Congress has required the Bureau to develop and implement the ACS.”
According to the GAO, the government has “no public laws, committee reports or other congressional actions in which Congress has required the Bureau to develop and implement the ACS. [my bolding and italics]” So according to the GAO, there is nothing that legally requires us to participate because it is Congress and the Senate that writes the laws that we are supposed to be subject to. Other things are regulations, not law. There is a difference. Also note,
“It is clear that Census was not reacting to congressional direction in developing the ACS but acting on its own initiative to address the costs associated with the collection of data in the decennial census and the timeliness of that data.”
So the U.S. Census Bureau, an entity not established as a separate government office within the U.S. Constitution, but instead, only as a process, an activity, is now acting on its own to invade our privacy. It is taking it upon itself to ask you personal questions. Not only that, but it is costing us more to do the ACS than the regular census the U.S. Constitution delineates – counting us but not asking personal questions (read the questions below) — and the Census Bureau is saying it is addressing costs? I don’t think so. I think they are perpetuating their own jobs and trying to preserve them, making their existence more secure via the time needed to develop, promote, gather, correlate and write reports on all the information requested on the ACS. This is not about doing what is delineated in the U.S. Constitution. It is about job preservation for the Census Bureau!
If you don’t believe me, look the questions – and the sheer number of questions — that will command many, many people to analyze and organize the answers into some sort of government report – and tell me that the questionnaire (all twenty-eight pages of it!) is not a way to ensure Census Bureau jobs for a very long time.
Considering how intrusive the questions are, I’m surprised they didn’t ask when the last time was that Person 1 used a public library, watched NPR, or flushed the toilet. This is a ridiculously intrusive survey. It is also not what our Founding Fathers had in mind when it came to a census (they wanted a count of the people for districting only). It is what the liberals/Wrongies/progressives are using to try to manipulate us and trying to tax us more and trying to enforce more regulation on us. If, for example, there aren’t enough people using public transport the government will now know and use more of our taxpayer dollars to make more taxpayers take public transport. It’s not a good thing, folks.
I would advise you to not cooperate with the invasion of your own privacy. I would advise you to not return the ACS, or to return it with the U.S. Constitution’s delineation of the census,
“Article I, Section 2:
“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. 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 asthey shall by Law direct. [my bolding and italics]”
“Article I, Section 9:
“No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”
There are two keys there:
1) “By Law” — Remember the GAO states, “we found no public laws”. Therefore the ACS is totally unconstitutional — BY LAW.
2) Notice that word, “Enumeration” which means: “1. To count off or name one by one; list:”. The U.S. Census says that the U.S. government has the right to COUNT us in a manner “as they shall by Law direct. [my bolding]” Considering that the Government Accounting Office states in their own look into the authority of the Census Bureau to do the ACS, they found “no public law” that gave them or anyone else the authority to do so. Therefore, in their own words, and in the words of the U.S. Constitution, I am not obligated to comply. Nor can they compel me to comply because the government has no subpoena to compel me to do so, nor am I – even under oath – forced to answer questions due to the Free Speech Clause and the Fifth Amendment.
I’d love to see the obamination administration try to make me comply with their intrusive questionnaire. I’d love to see them try.
The following questions are in the ACS:
To see the questions visit
The list is extensive– to say the least