LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Some Census demands are outrageous

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Mark Driver asked two valid questions (Do we really need pre-Census letter? March 11): How much money did the government spend on those pre-Census letters and "this is the same government that wants to run our health-care system?"

Reports indicate the pre-Census letter, sent just a week before the Census form, was mailed to 125 million households, costing taxpayers $85 million.

The Census Bureau claims this mailing saves $500 million by reducing the numbers of census takers required to respond to those who don't return their forms.

I don't know if that's true but in the end billions will have been spent on the overall Census endeavor - most of which is not only unconstitutional, but contributes to a form of larceny - taking money from taxpayers' wallets and redistributing it to others.

It is also a form of behavior control blackmail ("Do this or that, or else we'll withhold funds and not give you back your money").

Those who think it's fine to have government wield such power and control over its citizens should have visited the USSR to see just how that kind of system works out.

Instead of a Bolshevik revolution, we're creeping down the road to socialism in a vehicle named "progressive."

I don't have a major problem with filling out the simple 10-year/10-question Census form (although the Constitution only authorizes a census to determine the number of congressional representatives each state may have). But the government now demands a whole range of demographic statistics, the extent of which boggles the mind.

What most Americans may not realize is there is another, much longer, Census questionnaire - the intrusive American Community Survey (Google ACS survey).

This form of 28 pages, 48 questions (with well over 100 little boxes to check or fill out) is sent to 2 percent of the population (2.5 million households) every year on a rotating basis.

It takes at least 38 minutes to fill out, asks unbelievably intrusive questions and there's a fine of up to $5,000 if one does not answer.

The idea that government can - by law under the U.S. Code - demand any citizen fill out such a questionnaire or be fined and/or imprisoned is not only unconstitutional, but outrageous.

Yet the tax-supported funding being wasted on these surveys is tiny compared to the trillions of dollars that Obama will spend on stimulus giveaways and that insidious health-care plan.

Steve Singleton

Walla Walla

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