Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's None of the Government's Business

It's not just school kids who are made to answer nosy, intrusive, personal questions. The U.S. government has zeroed in on 250,000 Americans and demanded that they answer nearly a hundred nosy questions about their living and work arrangements and habits. This is called the American Community Survey questionnaire, and the cover letter states ominously, "You are required by U.S. law to respond to this survey." Let me tell you some of the questions.

Does your house or apartment have a flush toilet or a bathtub? What is the monthly rent for your house or apartment? Do you have a mortgage? How much is the regular monthly mortgage payment? Do you or anyone in your household have serious difficulty hearing? Or have serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses? Or have difficulty dressing or bathing? At what location did you work last week? How many people usually rode to work in your car, truck, or van last week? What time did you usually leave home to go to work last week? What kind of work were you doing? What was your income in the past 12 months? When the recipient of this Community Survey doesn't fill out this questionnaire and send it in, the government uses repeated mailings and phone calls to compel obedience, and sometimes sends government employees to walk up and down the street asking your neighbors nosy questions about you.

In response to public demand, Senator Rand Paul and Rep. Ted Poe have introduced a bill in Congress that would make answering the nosy questions voluntary and decriminalize any refusal to participate in the survey. This bill won't please the government busybodies who delight in building databases with personal information on Americans, but if you like this bill, you can tell your Members of Congress to vote for it.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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