“The Man” is starting to arrive…….

Who’s the man?  Well, not you or me, most likely.  For the sake of this commentary, the man is coming to visit you from the US Dept. of Commerce and he/she will be wearing a badge identifying them as a US Census taker.  If you did not fill out your census, or filled it out incompletely, the actual people are beginning to come around and ask you personally.

The Census has taken a hit as being highly intrusive and asking many questions they don’t really have any reason for asking.  While in my opinion this is still the case to a certain extent it is much less intrusive than in past years.  Before you decide what you should and should not answer I’d like to cover what the census is for and how it’s authorized.  A census was authorized in the original US Constitution to apportion the number of representatives in the house.

The US Constitution in Article 1, Section 2 calls for a census every 10 years.  It was modified by the 14th Amendment after the Civil War and the slaves were freed.  So what does the Constitution say the Government needs to know?

First off, how many people live at that location.  Total number.

Second, and this may surprise you, but the age of those people.  Why?  Because even though the right to vote in the US begins at age 18, the Constitution still apportions representatives by the number of people over 21.

Third, gender.  Why?  Because according to the 14th amendment, the numbers of male citizens that are denied the right in federal elections to vote for a few reasons (mostly having committed a crime) means they need to reduce the number of people in proportion to the total number of males over 21 in the United States.  Interesting, though, that they do NOT ask if you are eligible to vote in a federal election.

Fourth, race.  Not for any discriminatory reason, but because “Indians” (native-americans for the PC crowd) that are NOT taxed are NOT counted.  Interesting again is that while they ask for race, they don’t ask if you’re an “Indian not taxed”

That’s it.  That’s all the Constitution requires they find out.  Over the years the government has used the census as an excuse to go on their own personal fact-finding missions.  In the past questions regarding how many flush toilets you had, what your heating system was, how big your house is, your income, etc., were included as well.  On the mail in forms this year there were only a few questions and most of them legitimate.

How many people lived at the location, their names, their age, their birth date, their race, and whether or not you owned your home and if you were paying a mortgage.  As you can see, some of these questions are not authorized by the Constitution.  Even though they weren’t authorized, they are still codified in law.  So what if you’re a strict Constitutionalist, as I am, and don’t want to answer them all?  My answer was I won’t answer them.

I provided the names and birth dates of the people living at my house.  In the box where they wanted the age I wrote “Are you all really that stupid you can’t figure it out? I already told you my birth date.”  For race, I wrote in “None of the Above – Not an Indian not taxed”.  In the area about my housing I wrote “None of your damn business”.

As I mentioned, by not answering completely I did violate the law.  It’s important to note, though, that I DID NOT LIE.  I did NOT misrepresent anything on the form.  But I did violate the law in a small act of civil disobedience.  By doing so I am well aware that I can be fined $100 per USC Title 13 Chapter 7.  If you lie, you can be fined $500.  There is no jail penalty for not filling out the form completely.  If they wish to charge me with a violation of the law, that’s fine.  I’ll go to Federal Court without a lawyer, plead guilty and explain my reasons, and pay the $100 fine.

To me it’s worth $100 to do a small part in limiting what the government can and can’t do.  For anyone else, you just have to make up your own mind.


Published in: on May 6, 2010 at 5:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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