The party that can’t seem to get enough of Founder Fetishism has apparently drawn a line in the sand, and apparently even Thomas Jefferson was too oppressive:
The House voted Wednesday to eliminate the detailed surveys of America that have been conducted by the Census Bureau since the nation’s earliest days.
The survey is not part of the constitutionally mandated population count, but some version of it has been done by law as part of the decennial survey since the time of Thomas Jefferson to assess the needs of the nation. It’s generally considered a vital tool for business.
So, why do Republicans hate the ACS? It’s not cost, which is neutral versus the long form that it replaced. It’s privacy:
“It would seem that these questions hardly fit the scope of what was intended or required by the Constitution,” said Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), author of the amendment.
“This survey is inappropriate for taxpayer dollars,” Webster added. “It’s the definition of a breach of personal privacy. It’s the picture of what’s wrong in Washington, D.C. It’s unconstitutional.”
Of course, census responses are completely anonymous, so Webster is lying. The questions really aren’t that intrusive anyway, the most sensitive aspects include income (which you have to report to the IRS anyway in a very non-anonymous way) or marital status (which is a matter of public record). As usual, the GOP just hates any kind of government, even when it’s useful.