Most everyone has heard the expression “I’m from the Government and I’m here to help you.” And when we hear or think of that saying, it is usually tongue-in-cheek because most of us know how much “help” the government purports to provide to us.
Under the US Constitution, the federal government is required to conduct a general census every 10 years. The results are utilized for legislative redistricting and, supposedly, for allocation of federal resources (i.e. our tax monies).
Completing the census online is fairly easy and relatively non-intrusive.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the so-called American Community Survey (the “ACS”).
The same Census Bureau that conducts the constitutionally-mandated decennial census also conducts the ACS under legislation passed by Congress- in other words, it is not required by the Constitution but rather by laws passed by the Congress and signed into law by a president.
The ACS is currently 20 pages long. You can view it at the following link:
Addressees to whom the ACS is sent are supposedly selected at random, and a failure to respond or providing false answers could subject one to a fine of up to $5,000, although web research indicates that no one has ever been prosecuted for these types of “violations.”
If you are sent an ACS form and do not respond, you can often expect to be contacted by phone or in person by a solicitor, some of whom are extremely aggressive and can even be threatening. They want to collect all of the personal information required by the form, but, of course, they claim it will be held in strict confidence by the government. If you believe that, I suggest you consider purchasing a bridge that is reportedly for sale that goes between Manhattan and Brooklyn and on which you, as the new owner, can install toll booths.
Some liberty-loving members of Congress have sought to eliminate the ACS, without success so far, but this is the type of federal government highhandedness that needs to be addressed and eliminated.
There are quite a few articles online about the infamous ACS that will take you into the weeds on this very troubling topic. If you are really interested, simply ask Dr. Google.