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Sorry Congressman, but Census Idea Won’t Work

You all know that I am a Jason Chaffetz supporter.  I like his politics and I like what he is trying to do in Washington.  However, I think that Jason is wrong with his latest efforts to save the tax payer money.

No, he isn’t wrong in trying to save tax payer money.  Saving the tax payers’ money is always a good thing.  But his approach in this case is wrong.

Chaffetz has recently proposed that the USPS be used to conduct the census.  And while it is a very interesting idea, and it couldpossibly work. At best, this legislation is too little too late.  Maybe for the 2020 census this could work.  But it is impossible to coordinate for the 2010 census.

I find it hard to admit, but the fact is, that I agree with Bob Aagard on this one.  Actually, I only agree with him on two points.  He is wrong about ACORN.  There is evidence of corruption at the higher levels of ACORN, and there is a very good reason to keep them out of Census counting.

However, I agree that “hiring” the postal service to conduct the census would still require more people than the US Postal Service currently hires for two reasons.  First of all, going door to door takes longer and is harder than going mailbox to mailbox.  Especially when it comes to the gathering census data, you have to keep trying to get a hold of people, you don’t just leave letters and hope they pick them up. The second reason is that there are still people who are needed to calculate and tally the numbers.  And the job of the Census Bureau is more than data collection.  It also involves calculation, and I am pretty sure that the Post Office isn’t the best place to do this.

The Salt Lake Tribune report indicates that $11 billion would be given the to the USPS.  However, this is inaccurate.  At best,  Chaffetz’s bill would divide up the money between the number crunchers and the postal service.  I would guess that the USPS would only get slightly more than half of the money.

Many will probably agree with Holly on this issue.  But the fact is that a greater understanding of this whole process is needed.  As the Census currently stands, it is too hefty of a project for the Postal System to fully cover the effort.

Now, the bill that I think Chaffetz should propose is that the census be conducted as Judge Napolitano suggests in his interview with Chaffetz.  We need to simply ask how many people live in the home.  It is arguably unconstitutional for the census takers to ask fore more than this.  And if the census was as simple as that, then I think the USPS could probably do it effectively.

I look forward to legistation that limits the census to just counting the number of people in each state.  The constitution seems to be open for enumerating more than just number of people.  However, it’s intent should not be construed to being anything more than counting people.  So, let’s change the laws to reduce the census to just counting people.  That alone will save us a lot of money.

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