Today, the Census Bureau sent out a press release announcing how it would spend the $1 billion it was given from the stimulus package. Though I’m sitting on these numbers for the weekend so I can properly analyze them, I am very disappointed that the Census Bureau made these financial decisions so quickly.
In the 1982 film Brewster’s Millions, Richard Pryor’s title character has to spend $30 million within 30 days. Since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009, the Census Bureau, much like Brewster, now has $1 billion in new money to spend. Here’s the problem: There’s still no date for the confirmation hearing of Robert M. Groves, the Census Bureau Director-To-Be.
In a time where there is so much controversy involved in the 2010 Census, (and this is a position that of the utmost important to America for approximately one out of every ten years, which happens to be right now!), wouldn’t it be wise for Congress to put Groves’ confirmation hearing at the top of their agenda? What are they waiting for?
I can only imagine the frustration that Groves (presuming he is confirmed) will feel when he arrives for his first day of work. How would you like it if you were starting a new job and your underlings (or even worse, your predecessor who worked for the previous administration) were telling you how to spend $1 billion? Brewster wouldn’t have stood for this, and Robert M. Groves shouldn’t either.
This also begs the question: Who was responsible for allocating the $1 billion, if not the man who who will be in charge?