Ron Paul
2004 Ron Paul Chapter 45

Ron Paul American Community Survey

7 July 2004

Home Page   Contents
Congressional Record (Page H5292)   Cached

Not linked on Ron Paul’s Congressional website.
American Community Survey
7 July 2004

2004 Ron Paul 45:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment. The Chairman. The Clerk will designate the amendment. The text of the amendment is as follows: Amendment No. 7 offered by Mr. PAUL: At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following: TITLE VIII — ADDITIONAL GENERAL PROVISIONS SEC. 801. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used for the American Community Survey. The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the order of the House today, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL). (Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

2004 Ron Paul 45:2
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

2004 Ron Paul 45:3
Mr. Chairman, this is an amendment that denies all funding for the American Community Survey. And if anyone has been listening to the debate early on, the Census has come up numerous times already, and much of what I have to propose here has in many ways has been debated. But I do want to bring it up one more time dealing specifically with the American Community Survey.

2004 Ron Paul 45:4
One of the reasons why it came to my attention is just recently I received this survey in the mail here in my temporary residence in Virginia. It is rather intimidating and it is rather threatening when you receive this in the mail. And I have the envelope here and right up on the front they have warned me. They said “The American Community Survey form enclosed. Your response is required by law.”

2004 Ron Paul 45:5
This was the second time. Evidently, I missed it the first time, so the second time around I have been threatened by the census police that I better jolly well fill it out or the police will be knocking on the door. And that does happen because I have known other individuals who have not filled out the long form, and they come to the door, the police are there deciding they want this information.

2004 Ron Paul 45:6
It was stated earlier in the discussion about the census that this was certainly the law of the land. The law of the land is very clear that the Congress gave the authority; the Census Bureau certainly does not do this on its own. We, the Congress, gave it the authority to do this. But it just happens to be an authority that we had no right to give. We have no right to give this authority to meddle into the privacy of American citizens.

2004 Ron Paul 45:7
Article 1, section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates a national census every 10 years. I am in support of that, and I vote for funding for a national census every 10 years for the sole purpose of congressional redistricting. But, boy, this is out of hand now. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars and it is perpetual. The argument earlier was, we have to have to survey continuously because we save money by spending more money. Ask people a lot of questions, personal questions about bathrooms and incomes and who knows what.

2004 Ron Paul 45:8
This survey I have got here, here is a copy of it. It is called the American Community Survey. And it says the Census Bureau survey collects information about education, employment, income, housing for the purposes of community uses so that they can do community economic planning.

2004 Ron Paul 45:9
How did we ever get involved in all of this? It is almost sacred now that we fund these programs and they are going to be perpetual, perpetual meddling in the personal lives of all American citizens, 24 pages here.

2004 Ron Paul 45:10
I got to wondering, I did not fill it out the first one. I got the second one, and they are threatening me. I know I did not vote for it, but you who did means, you are ready to send the census police out to get me.

2004 Ron Paul 45:11
I am getting worried about this. I mean, what is the penalty? So I looked it up, and it is not insignificant. Do you know what my colleagues have done and threatened me with? A $1,000 penalty for every question I do not answer. Wow, that is scary stuff. I had a friend that he did not answer the long form, after a couple of requests, the census police came and knocked on his door and said you better, you better answer all these questions or you are going to be penalized.

2004 Ron Paul 45:12
So that is the kind of thing that we do and everybody talks about all these wonderful advantages, but it is stuff we do not need. I mean, if we want this information, if people need this information in the communities, they ought to get it themselves. This whole idea that we have to collect all this information for the benefit of our communities to do all this economic planning, I mean, it is just so much more than we need, and we are not talking about 10 or $15 million. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars, and it is not just every 10 years.

2004 Ron Paul 45:13
It is continuous with this perpetual threat, you tell us what we want to know and we are going to put it into the record, and if not, for every question you do not answer, we can fine you $1,000 if you do not tell us your age and where you work and how far you have to go to work and how long it takes you to go to work.

2004 Ron Paul 45:14
I mean, this is way too much of Big Brother. Let me tell my colleagues, I think the American people cannot be very happy with all this meddling.

2004 Ron Paul 45:15
So my proposal is let us at least get rid of the American Community Survey, which is the ongoing nuisance that we put up with, and limit what we do here to what the Constitution has told us we can do and what we should do, and that is, count the people every 10 years for the purpose of redistricting. But big deal, who cares. For all we do around here, how often do we really pay attention to the details of the Constitution?

2004 Ron Paul 45:16
So I ask my colleagues to support this amendment and cut this funding.

Previous   Next

Home Page   Contents   Concordance   Links