Monday, June 22, 2009

On advise of Counsel, I respectfully decline to answer ...

Seems that the Census folks will be asking a lot of questions this time around. Some folks are planning on telling them how many people live in the house, and then telling them to clear off:

Outspoken Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann says she's so worried that information from next year's national census will be abused that she will refuse to fill out anything more than the number of people in her household.

In an interview Wednesday morning with The Washington Times "America's Morning News," Mrs. Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, said the questions have become "very intricate, very personal" and she also fears ACORN, the community organizing group that came under fire for its voter registration efforts last year, will be part of the Census Bureau's door-to-door information collection efforts.

"I know for my family the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home," she said. "We won't be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn't require any information beyond that."

Seems that the good folks at Census don't much like this:
Shelly Lowe, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Census Bureau, said Mrs. Bachmann is "misreading" the law.

She sent a portion of the U.S. legal code that says anyone over 18 years of age who refuses to answer "any of the questions" on the census can be fined up to $5,000.
Well now. I wonder if you have to sign the Census form, under penalty of perjury?

One of the unanticipated consequences of the left's statist agenda is that people end up trusting the government less over time. The government needs that trust, or a lot of things simply break down.

Me? I wonder if the expression Come back with a warrant would make them unhappy?

Hat tip: Zeta Woof.


Sena said...

IMHO, it's not really a left vs. right issue. Trust in government has been erroding just as much under Nixon, Reagan, Bush I & II, as it has under Johnson, Carter, and Clinton.

It's all just big-corporatized inflated gov't that only reins itself it in when it might help people and writes blank checks to enrich cronies (industry, lobbyists, etc..). The biggest joke in it all is managing to fool the citizenry that the Left/Blues/Democrats and the Right/Reds/Republicans are opponents, when in reality they're all teammates feeding the same goal of elite greed.

As for the census issue, it is getting invasive and there is a privacy issue to address, but Michele Bachmann is a nutbar, an embarassment to my state, and I would to hear that she got fined for not answering. If she's got problem with the laws concerning answering questions, change the law, cause that's kind of in her occupational scope.

Borepatch said...

Sena, you make a great point about trust. Government intrusion has expanded under both parties for decades.

I don't know anything about Bachmann, so she very well may be a nutcase. I think that a lot of Ron Paul's positions are nutty as well. Sometimes, though, even nutcases are right on things.

I'm very uncomfortable with being compelled by the government to answer a lot of prying questions, especially if it's under penalty of perjury. It may not be, but in that case, why not just put down misleading data?