Obviously, we are not going to send it in, as I'm very eager to help shrink the size of our government and will not consciously betray those principles by filling out a form that collects information for "government planners." Although it is tempting, as I'm sure not many atheist homeschoolers get to fill out the form (religion is not a question, though, as it is prohibited by law for them to ask about your religion).
From the website (with my helpful emphasis):
Decennial sample data are out-of-date soon after they are published, about two years after the census is taken. Their usefulness declines every year thereafter. Yet billions of government and business dollars are divided among jurisdictions and population groups each year based on their social and economic profiles in the decennial census.
The American Community Survey can identify changes in an area's population and give an up-to-date statistical picture when data users need it, every year, not just once in ten years. Communities can use the data, to track the well-being of children, families, and the elderly; determine where to locate new highways, schools, and hospitals; show a large corporation that a town has the workforce the company needs; evaluate programs such as welfare and workforce diversification; and monitor and publicize the results of their programs.
And my first question is: Who are the data users? Hmph.
Also: No, no, no, and no. While it may give some the warm and fuzzies to know that their federal government is tracking their well-being, it gives me the creepy shivers and keeps me awake at night. No. It is not the proper function of government to locate or provide new schools, highways, or hospitals. No. Large corporations should be able to figure out for themselves (by working with local officials, sure) if there will be a sufficiently numerous and qualified workforce for its offices. No. Welfare and workforce diversification? Again with the not being a proper role of government. No.
They very kindly sent a "guide" to filling out this 28 page booklet (snarky comments included free of charge).
Why are we taking a survey?
The Census Bureau is conducting the American Community Survey to provide more timely data than data we typically collect only once every 10 years during the decennial census. Eliminate the word "timely" and you've got it right.
What does the Census Bureau do with the information you provide?
The American Community Survey will be the source of summarized data that we make available to federal, state, and local governments, and also to the public. The data will enable your community leaders from government, business, and non-profit organizations to plan more effectively.
Here are reasons we ask some of the questions on the survey.
Names help make sure that everyone in a household is included on the List of Residents, but that no one is listed twice. Yup! Don't want to leave anyone out, as that might affect funding! Also, they want detailed information on everyone in the house, including the children. ?!?!?!
Value or rent
Government and planning agencies use answers to these questions in combination with other information to develop housing programs to meet the needs of people at different economic levels. Who are these "planning agencies?" I reiterate: I want the government to shrink, not grow. Planned economies have been tried and failed, although I guess our government officials must be a bit slow to catch on to that.
This question helps provide information on the quality of housing. The data are used with other statistics to show how the "level of living" compares in various areas and how it changes over time. How does the government knowing this protect my rights?
Place of birth
This question provides information used to study long-term trends about where people move and to study migration patterns and differences in growth patterns. How is this relevant in the 21st century? Migration patterns? Besides, this is such a stupid way to figure out shifts in population. I have personally lived in 9 different states. I did not move here from Connecticut, where I was born. So how could knowing that possibly be meaningful?
Answers to the questions about the jobs people hold provide information on the extent and types of employment in different areas of the country. From this information, communities can develop training programs, and business and local governments can determine the need for new employment opportunities. It is not the government's job to provide new employment opportunities. It is not the government's job to provide new employment opportunities. It is not the government's job to provide new employment opportunities.
Income helps determine how well families or persons live. Income information makes it possible to compare the economic levels of different areas, and how economic levels for a community change over time. Funding for many government programs is based on the answers to these questions. First of all, can't they get this from my tax return? Why, yes! They can! Furthermore, I don't want the government to fund any more wasteful, immoral programs.
Responses to the education questions in the survey help to determine the number of public schools, education programs, and daycare services required in a community. It is not the government's job to provide schools, education programs or daycare services. Pretend I repeated that one a couple times, too.
Questions about disability provide the means to allocate Federal funding for healthcare services and new hospitals in many communities. You know, I really hate repeating myself.
Journey to work
Answers to these questions help communities plan road improvements, develop public transportation services, and design programs to ease traffic problems. If you are familiar with Atlanta traffic, this one is simply hilarious! Really, I'm dying here!
I love how they take the time to point out how filling this form out is in my best interest, since I will be the recipient of so many services and gifts from
So, you're probably wondering what's going to happen to Brendan and me, what with the not filling out of the form. It is required by law, you see.
The American Community Survey is conducted under the authority of Title 13, United States Code, Sections 141 and 193, and response is mandatory. According to Section 221, persons who do not respond shall be fined not more than $100. Title 18 U.S.C. Section 3571 and Section 3559, in effect amends Title 13 U.S.C. Section 221 by changing the fine for anyone over 18 years old who refuses or willfully neglects to complete the questionnaire or answer questions posed by census takers from a fine of not more than $100 to not more than $5,000. The U.S. Census Bureau may use this information only for statistical purposes. We can assure you that your confidentiality is protected. Title 13 requires the Census Bureau to keep all information about you and all other respondents strictly confidential. Any Census Bureau employee who violates these provisions is subject to a fine of up to $250,000 or a prison sentence of up to five years, or both.So, there's a fine, and a brand new hefty one, too. It's money we can't spare right now (or ever), but we will. If I were threatened with jail time, I might make a different decision, in light of being deprived of my freedom, of having to be away from my small kids. But a fine I can deal with.
I simply cannot participate in this stupid, unnecessary, immoral, dare I say unconstitutional, prying into my life by the government. I can't pretend that this is all really for my own benefit or for my family's benefit. It's not. They want me to think that all this government planning is necessary to the proper role of government. It's not. They need my help to do this and I won't go along with it.