TLP: Ron Paul Comes Out Against Counting

ron paul census rant
Maybe Ron Paul has found another pony to ride after all. The Texas congressman was the lone vote against an innocuous resolution that passed the House of Representatives supporting participation in the 2010 U.S. Census.

Why? Paul wrote about it on his congressional Web page:

Article I, section 2 of the Constitution calls for an enumeration of citizens every ten years, for the purpose of apportioning congressional seats among the various states. In other words, the census should be nothing more than a headcount. It was never intended to serve as a vehicle for gathering personal information on citizens.

But our voracious federal government thrives on collecting information. In fact, to prepare for the 2010 census state employees recorded GPS coordinates for every front door in the United States so they could locate individuals with greater accuracy! Once duly located, individuals are asked detailed questions concerning their name, address, race, home ownership, and whether they periodically spend time in prison or a nursing home - just to name a few examples.

From a constitutional perspective, of course, the answer to each of these questions is: “None of your business.” But the bigger question is - why government is so intent on compiling this information in the first place?

If you are the owner of a tin-foil hat, you already know the answer to that one, right? Otherwise, strap in and click on any of the "Recent Posts" on Paul's page. (Skip the Fed stuff; see also: one-trick pony.)

The Lazy Paperboy got a "To Resident At:" letter just yesterday from Census Director Robert M. Groves, soliciting participation. And he writes:

"Your response is important. Results from the 2010 Census will be used to help each community get its fair share of government funds for highways, schools, health facilities, and many other programs you and your neighbors need. Without a complete, accurate census, your community may not receive its fair share. Thank you in advance for your help."

What else might prompt citizens to answer? The same thing that makes it curious that a congressman would buck the Census: self-interest. Tim Hodson, a redistricting expert who is director for California Studies at Sacramento State University, told the WSJ's Washington Wire that it's the law and also the basis for how House seats are allocated.

So, The Lazy Paperboy will concede the point to W.C. Varones that Paul may have found himself another pony to ride. Not that this one is likely to get him anywhere, either.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. Amend the Constitution if you deem that part wrong.

2. Why do you need to disclose race, sex, home ownership, GPS coordinates to get gov't pork?

3. Why not make the constitutional parts mandatory and the rest voluntary so that the sheeple like yourself can duly fill it out in full, and those who value their privacy can flip the bureaucrats the bird?

Anonymous said...

Sure, we should give them a count, that is what they need for redistricting, and that is perfectly legitimate. Demanding under penalty of fine that people answer personal questions other than that is NOT legitimate. Big Brother is not in the Constitution, no matter how 'great an idea' they think they have for using our private information.

The Lazy Paperboy said...

People can do what they want and this post doesn't advocate one way or the other. All manner and breed of politicians pull stunts like this, over all kinds of issues. Paul is just wildly entertaining at it and attracts quite a flock, if we want to talk sheeple.

Invoke a little Big Brother (read closer: no one is asked to provide GPS data; Census crews compiled it to figure out where the fuck they're going. Should they have asked the Postal Service?) and watch the frothing begin.

joseph said...

If the central government were following the Constitution, there would be no federal funding of education. It would be done by state and local governments. Look at the results of our education system and tell me the current system works well. The Constitution doesn't give the central government the power to create "programs" either. The Constitution doesn't prevent state and local governments from trying these social experiments or programs, but they never wanted the central government to have that kind of power. If a state or local government has high taxes, endless regulations, and a massive social welfare state that eventually cripples an economy, then the individual is free to move to other places in the country where they still value freedom. What is the individual to do in a heavily centralized system where the states are glorified vassal states to the central government? Most of the Founding Fathers(excepting Hamilton and Adams) thought that a centralized governmental system was a recipe for tyranny. We have a soft tyranny now. Your mind is too addled to grasp that manifestly true statement though. Do you imagine in your delusional state that this one-size-fits-all centralized system serves you or anyone well? Really? Localism's endless variety demands that most laws come from legislators closer to us than those in D.C. You can take your overbearing Census and shove it.

Andrea & Brian said...

The Census is supposed to be a head count - nothing more is required or allowed. One radio commercial I have been hearing talks about how without the Census local officials would have no idea whether or not they need another traffic signal at a local street corner. The ridiculousness of that add (wait 10 years to see if we need a new street light, even though Census figures don't show traffic patterns?) just brings me to tears.

Jeremy said...

I agree that the census is full of "none of your business" questions. I can't believe the author has somehow turned this into anti-Paul propoganda. Perhaps he thinks everyone is comfortable about just giving up everything to the government. It's important that people stand up against unnecessary government... that is where is support comes from.

Jr Deputy Accountant said...

Jeremy,

I don't think he was railing on our buddy Ron Paul, it's just that Dr Paul tends to be the patron saint of lost causes. It endears him to his army of fans but is lost in the noise of Washington.

TLP knows better than to outright trash RP on my website :)

Fuck the Census. And don't worry, kids, if things keep up like this we won't have to bother with it come 2020, all of our identifying info will be conveniently located in our RFID cattle tags.

Anonymous said...

Sheeple of Gov't = surrender anything gov't demands for pork (fruits of other people's labor) and a false sense of security.

Sheeple of Ron Paul = get absolutely NOTHING except your natural right to life, liberty and property.

I'm a Ron Paul sheeple, if you can even call it that.

Anonymous said...

I support Rep. Ron Paul in taking a stand against encroachment of government into our lives. I agree completely, a headcount is all that is required. As soon as you (we, the people) allow them to go beyond this, we don’t know where that can eventually lead. But my take is, we do not need Uncle Sam using the census as some sort of QuestionAmerica Survey - that is completely not what it was in the Constitution for. It does not matter to me one bit that the information can be seen by many as “harmless”, it’s the principle of the matter.

.
Also, the census numbers and statistics will certainly be heavily swayed by illegal aliens living in our country:

Michigan Republican Rep. Candice Miller of Harrison Township has proposed a constitutional amendment specifying that congressional representation “shall be determined by counting the number of persons in each state who are citizens of the United States.”

Miller, in reintroducing the amendment last year, said that states with a large number of illegal immigrants are gaining unfair representation in the House. Had her amendment been in place before the 2000 census, Miller said, California would have six fewer seats in the House while New York, Florida and Texas would have one fewer seat.

States with fewer undocumented residents, including her own state of Michigan and others such as Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, would have picked up a seat, she said.

Anonymous said...

"Paul is just wildly entertaining at it and attracts quite a flock, if we want to talk sheeple."

Paul is one of the few Constitutionalists in government. People keep up with him because they are entertained. They keep up with him because they have strong feelings for the same political agenda as R.P. You taking shots at him and other constitutionalists is a childish way to go about discussing where he stands on matters.

Jr Deputy Accountant said...

Anon @ 10:17a, you're missing the point. TLP isn't anti-Ron Paul (he wouldn't be here if he was), he merely pointed out what *I* reiterated in an earlier comment: Ron Paul is the patron saint of lost causes.

His dedication to the Constitution is admirable but unfortunately not feasible in this cut-throat, scandal-plagued political circus we call a democracy (which it never was. But you should already know that if you're a fan of RP).

While yours truly is certainly a Ron Paul fantard (honorary Tin Foil Hat Officer, going on 2 years), I don't consider myself a "sheeple" in any sense of the word - blindly following ANY politician is a shitty idea, even if one is following an honest, well-meaning man like Dr Paul.

So stop getting all bent out of shape.

Brian Defferding said...

So just wanting the Census to be only a head count means one wears a tinfoil hat? That's got to be the stupidest thing I've read on the internet in awhile. The Census should be just a head count, and it should remain that way. This blog is nothing more than flame-bait (yes, I admit I may have just taken the bait too...oh well).

Kitt said...

It amazes me that the Constituion and the thoughts of our founding fathers are considered radical. The US has gone from being a leader to being a follower. If we follow current trends we only need to look across the ocean at England, France, and Austrilia to see exactly where our policies will get us.

The Lazy Paperboy said...

If this is going to be about the Constitution, instead of Dr. Ron Quixote, let's look a little closer at Article I, Section 2. First of all, the director's cut that was graciously dropped from later editions had this little bit of special math in it: "... three-fifths of all other Persons." So maybe we can get off our fucking knees to the Founding Fathers.

But if not, let's read further and suck on this: "The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.

Besides, what's the government going to learn from a lame, voluntary exercise that is destined to be more ignored than rebelled against that it can't learn in any number of other ways? Tin-foil hats aren't much good against the black helicopters. Just ask JDA.

Jr Deputy Accountant said...

Wha wha? I have no idea what you are talking about, TLP.

Anyone else find it funny that people who have never read JDA in their lives are getting worked into a lather over this and accusing us of flame-baiting?

*snicker*

Anonymous said...

But if not, let's read further and suck on this: "The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.-Lazy

What does race, sex, home ownership, nursing homes et al have to do with ENUMERATION for the purposes of representation and taxation?

If we're just going to ignore the intent of the exercise and just focus on the "in such Manner as they shall be Law direct", then they could ask pretty much anything they want can't they?

Like, are you a foul mouth blogger? If so, how many time do you put dick in that dirty mouth? And for how much?

Anonymous said...

Good for the Doctor. Yes another example where he shows he's the only congressman who GETS IT.

Josh said...

Who the fuck are you? "One pony?" I think you need to pay attention to the news a bit better, or at least understand it a bit more.

Plus, the Fed is one hell of a "pony." Read about the Great Depression and I think you'll find out why.

Jr Deputy Accountant said...

Actually I recently read half of an interesting book on the Great Depression

Highly recommended.

The Lazy Paperboy said...

Keep working on the laugh lines, Josh. I know a thing or two about the news. And the Fed.

Jr Deputy Accountant said...

p.s. Josh, there are handy links at the top of the website if you're wondering who we are.

Yours truly is a raging libertarian but you'd know that if you'd bothered to check. TLP chooses not to pick sides, he's a good neutral reporter that way.

Who the fuck are you?!

Anonymous said...

Lazy Paperboy, the constitutional passage you quote regarding the census states that the ENUMERATION is to be taken in such fashion as Congress directs. Per Merriam Webster's dictionary, to enumerate means to "ascertain the number of;" hence, enumeration is the process of so doing. Surely, then, the fact that they are granted authority to achieve a population count in such fashion as they see fit is far from a demonstration that they have authority to demand whatever data they want, including private information such as an individual's religion.

With regards to the three-fifths clause, this is a wrongly-maligned effort (NOTE: I do not think slaves were actually only three-fifths people) on the part of the Founding Fathers, as it was, in fact, an anti-slavery policy; think this through:
The Census was important because it would determine a state's congressional representation. Hence, a larger population would give a particular area more weight in Congress. It was the pro-slavery contingent at the Constitutional Convention that wanted slaves counted as full persons in the Census, because this would grant more electoral votes and representative power to slaveholding states, and would strengthen slavery's legislative foothold as a result. Conversely, the anti-slavery delegates argued in favor of the three-fifths clause, because it would weaken the legislative power of pro-slavery states and accordingly aid the cause of eventual abolition.

Anonymous said...

Webster and Harper both describe the origins of the "ascertain the number of;" definition of "enumerate" as in the late 19th century.
Meanwhile, "to name one by one; to list" has origins in 1650.

Read the 9th amendment and tell me how in the world that makes sense if the drafters thought enumerate meant "count".

Better yet, look at the 1790 and 1800 Censuses, which were far more invasive in their questioning than the 2010 Census. You would think the founders would have corrected that considering they were still alive and running the federal government then.

Face it, the Constitution calls for a detailed list of every individual, not a headcount.

Anonymous said...

Information requested by the 1790 census:
1.Name of head of family
2.Number of free white males 16 and up, including heads of families
3.Number of free white males under 16
4.Number of free white females including heads of families
5.Number of all other free persons, except Indians not taxed
6.Number of slaves


It asks for the name of one individual (head of household), and the remainder is a series of questions about numbers which ARE relevant to the apportionment process. You actually think THIS is more invasive than what they're putting out now?

GABEnTX said...

TLP pretends that Ron Paul is SOOO crazy that he's against *counting* when Dr. Paul is actually fighting to legalize the constitution.

Instead you should've written a (good) blog about ALL the other politicians who are openly AGAINST our constitution.

JDA
This is most definately a Ron Paul bashing; one that he doesn't deserve. It just shows that there is still much work to do and more people to educate.

Anonymous said...

the question was" what`s the government going to learn from a lame, voluntary exercise..."
the answer is they will learn what the american people are willing to give up-how far they will bend-it`s easy to see...and the tin foil hat argument is way tired by now-try something original please