American Community Survey (ACS), an annual census costing hundreds of millions of dollars

Heads-up on the American Community Survey!

By —— Bio and Archives--July 19, 2011

American Politics, News, Opinion | Comments | Print Friendly | Subscribe | Email Us

[An] 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.—Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution

Every ten years we wait for our little census forms to come in the mail so we can help the government count heads. Article I of the U.S. Constitution mandates such an enumeration for the sole purpose of determining the number of representatives within a given geographical area and the possible redrawing of Congressional Districts. According to the Constitution, we must have one representative for no more than every 30,000 people. Most people understand the reason for the census and most comply.


However, back in 2002, someone in Congress had the idea to conduct the American Community Survey (ACS), an annual census costing hundreds of millions of dollars. The survey consists of 16 pages of instructions and 28 pages of questions. According to the Honorable Bob Barr, Congress has the legal authority to conduct this survey, and it is mandatory to answer the questions or face some very expensive penalties.

John Whitehead, Constitutional attorney and founder and president of the Rutherford Institute says this survey asks a person’s name, place of residence, employer, income, physical and emotional health, family status, number of people who live in your home, their relationship to you, marital status, race, physical, mental, and emotional problems, how many bedrooms and bathrooms you have in your house, what fuel you use to heat your home, how much you pay for electricity, what type of mortgage you have and what your monthly payments are, your property taxes, how many sick days you took last year, how many vehicles you own, if you have trouble getting up the stairs, what time you leave for work in the morning, and other personal questions. You must also give information on your friends and relatives regarding their employment, educational level, languages they speak, and other personal data.

I want to know why the government needs to know all this. What use will they make of it if not to monitor all aspects of our lives? Will they cross check your information with your tax return? Do they intend to take us still further toward a surveillance state that would make the old Soviet Union pale in comparison?

The Founders never intended the census or any other such data collection to be taken, and I can only guess they plan to use to data to further curtail liberties. Though legal, I can’t see how they can justify the use of our money to infringe upon our freedoms. And I don’t see how anyone can consider it Constitutional, as it invades our privacy, a curtailment of our 4th Amendment Rights. One might also argue it violates our 5th Amendment Rights—freedom from self-incrimination—and the right to equal treatment under the law guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. So far it’s legal, but no one has yet brought a test case to the Supreme Court for the Constitutionality of ACS.

Americans need to say, “Enough!” They need to protect their God-given rights and not meekly allow government to constantly chip away at them. We need to write letters, make phone calls, and fill the e-mail boxes of our representatives to remind them that we elected them to protect our rights, not erode them.


Only YOU can save CFP from Social Media Suppression. Tweet, Post, Forward, Subscribe or Bookmark us

Joan R. Neubauer -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Joan R. Neubauer, is an author, public speaker, and works as the Public Liaison Officer for the Davis Mountains Trans-Pecos Heritage Associationin Alpine, Texas.

Commenting Policy

Please adhere to our commenting policy to avoid being banned. As a privately owned website, we reserve the right to remove any comment and ban any user at any time.

Comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence and death, racism, anti-Semitism, or personal or abusive attacks on other users may be removed and result in a ban.
-- Follow these instructions on registering: