Archive for the ‘2010 Census’ Category

U.S. Census Tracks Mail, Raising Fears Among Some

Saturday, March 20th, 2010
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • MARCH 19, 2010

By JEAN SPENCER

Census Bureau officials are counting on an advanced postal tracking system to speed up responses and save the government millions of dollars in follow-up letters and visits by census takers.

But some privacy advocates and lawmakers are troubled by the tracking system, which they say oversteps privacy bounds.

The 2010 Census forms arrive this week at 120 million addresses across the country. Each piece of Census mail comes with a unique barcode that lets the U.S. Postal Service and the bureau track individual letters as they travel to and from the bureau. Each time a letter zips through sorting equipment—typically five times between the initial mailing and delivery—it generates data that are fed into a computer system that lets the bureau monitor its progress.

The Census Bureau can check on what letters have been delivered, residents who have changed their addresses, homes and apartments that are unoccupied and who has returned their Census form, all in real time. (more…)

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The Super-Sized Census Boondoggle

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010


By Michelle Malkin · Friday, February 5, 2010

If only the federal government were as responsible with our money as Pepsi is with theirs. The soda giant has been in the Super Bowl ad business for more than two decades. But this year, Pepsi determined it was economically unwise to pay $3 million for a 30-second spot. So, who’s foolish enough to pay for Super Bowl gold-plated airtime? You and me and Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Census Bureau will squander $2.5 million on a half-minute Super Bowl ad starring D-list celebrity Ed Begley Jr., plus two pre-game blurbs and 12-second “vignettes” featuring Super Bowl anchor James Brown. It’s a drop in the census boondoggle bucket (otherwise known as the tax-subsidized National Democratic Future Voter Outreach Drive).

The Obama White House has allocated a total of $340 million toward an “unprecedented” promotional blitz for the 2010 census. That’s on top of $1 billion in stimulus money siphoned off for increased census “public outreach” and staffing. In all, the census will triple its total 2000 budget to $15 billion.

Ads pimping the census have already appeared during the Golden Globe awards and will broadcast during the Daytona 500 and NCAA Final Four championships. Some $80 million will be poured into multilingual ads in 28 languages from Arabic to Yiddish. Racial and ethnic groups have been squabbling over their share of the pie.

The U.S. census is a decennial census mandated by our Constitution. Should Americans know about it? Sure. Should the P.R. budget become a bottomless slush fund in recessionary times? Surely not.

(more…)

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