My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Posts Tagged ‘Glenn Beck’

Is this really Fox News? Or an April Fools joke?

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the following opinion piece by Liz Peek of Fox News, but perhaps on the heels of Karl Rove’s 2010 Census PSA, the Republicans are finally doing the right thing…even if they are still highly critical of the process and making many unsubstantiated accusations about the White House’s influence in this headcount:

Republicans Have It Wrong, Census Forms Need to Be Filled Out Early and Often!

By Liz Peek

- FOXNews.com

I recently filled out my Census form and sent it in. It took about ten minutes, as advertised; four or five to actually write in the required information, and another several minutes to talk myself out of cheating.

Glenn Beck and Representative Michele Bachmann have it entirely wrong. Rather than bristle at the Census’ supposed invasion of privacy (you have to provide more info to join Costco, for heaven’s sake) they should be encouraging Republicans to respond…over and over again.

Instead of correctly marking down that two people live at my address, I wanted to write in fourteen. Why this sudden urge to fib? I’m afraid that others – many others — will cheat, and that I will lose out unless I do so, too. The more people who respond from my neighborhood, the more federal monies will flow in our direction. Over $400 billion in government funds is at stake. More important is that the Census totals determine how many Representatives your state sends to Congress. That means if you and the people who live next door are undercounted, you will also be underrepresented. That’s just plain stupid.

Why am I worried about widespread fraud? The 2010 Census is unusual in that the Obama administration has patched together a veritable army of people intent on increasing the count of those minorities historically considered to be “undercounted.” More astonishing, the Census Bureau was awarded an extra one billion dollars in Stimulus funds expressly to “hire additional personnel for partners and outreach efforts to minority communities and hard-to-reach populations.” One billion dollars! That’s a lot of outreach.

Not only will hundreds of thousands of Census workers fan out in coming weeks to press for higher response rates. Assisting them will be some 30,000 community organizations – such as the SEIU — resembling the coalition that helped elect President Obama. These “partners” of the Census Bureau will be mining Hispanic communities, in particular, where there is typically a high number of illegal aliens. These folks understandably shy from any contact with the U.S. government, for fear that filling out forms – any forms – might lead to their deportation. Those who advocate for illegals estimate that more than one million Hispanics were undercounted in the last Census, costing that community millions in support services.

While that is a reasonable purpose, it also invites fiddling with the numbers. Consider that such minority neighborhoods will almost certainly vote Democratic. The higher the numbers counted, the larger the number of Democrats in the House. That’s simple math.

MyTwoCensus Editorial: Advice for Tea Party, GOP, and Conservative Leaders…Cut the nonsense and TELL YOUR PEOPLE TO MAIL IT BACK!

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

If Glenn Beck could say one thing about the 2010 Census to his activist audience, I would hope that he explicitly tells them to mail back their census forms when they arrive at homes across America in mid-March. The mathematical and economic principles behind this plea are simple: Taxpayers save $85 million for every one percentage point increase in the national mail back participation rate for the 2010 Census. This money comes from avoiding payment to approximately 600,000 Americans who will work on non-response follow-up (NRFU) operations this spring and summer by making phone calls and ringing doorbells of individual households that have not mailed back their forms. Boycotting the 2010 Census is completely contradictory to the goals of the Tea Party movement, as it will create significantly more government spending.

However, the aforementioned facts have not yet been embraced by FoxNews commentators or the right-leaning talk-radio media. Perhaps these institutions want to keep ratings high by railing against the feds, but this is really the most ludicrous form of hypocrisy one can imagine. Sadly, it is not only the right-leaning media that is to blame, as Michael Steele and the national GOP continue to send mailers out to party members that emulate 2010 Census forms. It is shocking that this practice has gone on for months now in all regions of the US, even as Rep. Patrick McHenry, the ranking Republican on the Census subcommittee on the Oversight and Reform Committee in the House of Representatives has railed against Steele’s nefarious and ill-informed actions. MyTwoCensus recommends that Congress immediately passes a law to stop this most deceptive and counterproductive form of advertising.

Utah’s Rep. Chaffetz: Integrate Census With Postal Service

Friday, June 26th, 2009

On Wednesday, it was reported that Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) (whom I know from following stories of his “Freshman Year” on CNN) had proposed integrating the decennial census with the U.S. Postal Service. Thanks to the Salt Lake Tribune for covering this topic:

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, wants your mail carrier to count you.

Chaffetz said Wednesday he will introduce legislation to marry the U.S. Postal Service temporarily with the Census Bureau so that the postal workers can help with the once-a-decade count of how many people live in America.

“They really have the workforce in place to do this,” Chaffetz said. “They already go to everybody’s door.”

Chaffetz proposes taking a “postal holiday,” so that mail carriers, instead of dropping bills and magazines to your mailbox, would count the number of people in each household. The Postal Service matches up well with the Census needs, Chaffetz argues.

There are 760,000 postal employees, and the Census is anticipating it will need 750,000 temporary workers to conduct the Census next year. Congress is forking out $11 billion to do the count while the Postal Service is looking at a $1 billion revenue shortfall this year.

The Postal Service had no comment on the bill because the legislation had yet to be formally introduced Wednesday and Census officials did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment.

And today, Glenn Beck of FOXNews took up Chaffetz’s cause in an interview, so we’ll soon see if this idea gains any momentum in the near future…