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.