by William Teach | July 17, 2017 7:37 am
I remember an old story, deep in my archives somewhere, about a leftist blogger who would wake up each day in a fit of Bush Derangement Syndrome. She’d grab her non-alcoholic beer at 7am, get her smokes out, and think about how she could be apoplectic over Bush. This seems to much the same as the NY Times Editorial Board goes after President Donald Trump. Oh, and while they’re doing this, they manage to hit previous President Barack Obama in the face
Save the Census
An administration uninterested in staffing federal agencies, at war with facts and eager to help Congress cut the budget is further endangering a cornerstone of American democracy: the duty to count all who live here.
The Government Accountability Office already put the 2020 census on its list of high-risk projects early this year, due to uncertainty about its budget and technology, and Americans’ increasing distrust of government data collection.
Then, the Census Bureau’s director, John Thompson, who was expected to remain on the job until at least the end of the year, resigned in June. Mr. Trump has not named a permanent replacement. The agency’s deputy director, Nancy Potok, an experienced statistician, left in January, and she also has not been replaced.
Sounds nefarious! Or, it could be that he had worked for the Census since 1975, and decided it was time to retire.
The bureau — criticized in the past by government watchdogs and Congress for cost overruns and management missteps — is strapped for cash in a critical preparation year. The bureau could need an increase of more than $300 million to its $1.5 billion budget to install new technology and conduct a comprehensive test in time for 2020, according to an analysis of bureau budget requests and projections by Terri Ann Lowenthal, a census expert. So far, the Trump administration and Congress are recommending an increase of about one-tenth that amount, according to the Census Project, a nonpartisan census advocacy group.
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OK, so, the Census is in desperate need for a technology update. These issues have been known since the last census in 2010. Remind me, who was president during the majority of time since the last census? This is the kind of thing that would have had all the media outlets, including the NY Times Editorial Board, Blaming Bush back in 2009 and 2010 (and beyond).
The census has always been vulnerable to political attack, and is especially so now. In 2009, Tea Party conservatives in the House tried unsuccessfully to kill off the bureau’s annual American Community Survey, a continuing tracking of respondents’ occupations, education, homeownership and other topics, as a supposed intrusion on privacy. A joint study by the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution this year calls the survey data “indispensable” in helping local governments plan.
And citizens call it intrusive and overbearing, asking for more data on our private lives that government has no right to ask. Hence the reason quite a few people refused to provide details beyond the basics.
Mr. Trump poses an additional threat: His repeated efforts to discredit voter registration data and government employment numbers leave census officials worried that a random tweet from him could discourage more people from participating. Census professionals worry that the administration’s efforts to deport undocumented immigrants could make them wary of providing information about themselves and where they live.
Aww, are the people living unlawfully in the U.S. worried? Good. They should be.
The census begins on April 1, 2020, and it must be completed in the summer for congressional reapportionment and redistricting to take place. Any failure would be immediately apparent — and it would tar Republicans at the height of the 2020 primary campaign season. Perhaps that reality will help inspire congressional leaders to support an accurate count, demonstrating to Americans that, even in the age of Trump, facts matter.
Good lord, it’s not that hard to count where people live. Which is one of the main points of the census, to count the population to apportion the House of Representatives. Which Progressives no longer like, because people keep moving to Republican states.
But, see, when we’re talking about the money, well, there have been massive cost over-runs and poor spending choices. Like most government. And, in fact, there is an acting director. The NYTEB forgot to mention his name, Ron Jarmin. But, this is all about Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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