Bachmann census conspiracy theory may cost GOP big-time
It all began last year when Rep. Michele ‘Mama Che’ Bachman (R-Minn.) announced to anyone and everyone who would listen that the information collected in the Census could be used for such evil and nefarious purposes as putting us into internment camps. Bachmann continues to beat the anti-census drum, counseling us to refuse to fill in the form, despite the law that requires that we do so.
According to Bachmann -
If we look at American history — between 1942 and 1947 — the data that was collected by the Census Bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations at the request of President Roosevelt. “That’s how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps. I’m not saying that’s what the administration is planning to do. But I am saying that private, personal information that was given to the Census Bureau in the 1940s was used against Americans to round them up.”
It appears that many a Tea Partier has taken Mama Che’s advice to heart and are refusing to participate in this year’s census. One such American is GOP Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), who voted against a congressional resolution asking Americans to participate in the census.
In commenting on his strong, anti-census feelings, Paul said-
The invasive nature of the current census raises serious questions about how and why government will use the collected information. It also demonstrates how the federal bureaucracy consistently encourages citizens to think of themselves in terms of groups, rather than as individual Americans.
Via Houston Chronicle
Here’s the thing. While Reps. Paul and Bachmann may not have gotten the memo, we actually do know how the information is used.
It’s used to reapportion Congressional seats every ten years to better reflect the population, reset the number of electoral votes a state gets in presidential elections and divvy up federal aid dollars based on population.
What Congressman Paul also missed was the fact that his home state of Texas had been counting on the census to deliver four new congressional seats, four new electoral college votes and millions of dollars in federal aid over and above what the state is currently receiving. Why? Because while Texas’ population is growing –the federal government is unable to recognize that growth without the benefit of the census.
According to the data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas is running well behind the national averages on getting their census forms filled out and turned in. And no, its not the African-Americans and Latinos we historically undercount due to non-participation, Rather, it’s the protestors who have listened to people like Bachmann and Paul to their own, distinct determent.
Counting the percentage of census returns in some key Republican counties in Texas, the Houston Chronicle reports-
In Texas, some of the counties with the lowest census return rates are among the state’s most Republican, including Briscoe County in the Panhandle, 8 percent; King County, near Lubbock, 5 percent; Culberson County, near El Paso, 11 percent; and Newton County, in deep East Texas, 18 percent. Most other counties near the bottom of the list are heavily Hispanic counties along the Texas-Mexico border.
Via Houston Chronicle
Currently, about 34% of the nation’s citizens have filed their census report. Clearly, these Texas communities – along with the entire state (only 27% of all Texans have filed) – are falling well below the national average.
Frances Diviney, director of the non-partisan Texas Kids’ Court, says that for every Texan missed in the census count, the state will lose an estimated $12,000 over the next decade in federal funding for transportation, agriculture, health, education, and housing, totaling “hundreds of millions of dollars in lost opportunities” due to uncounted residents.
And those additional four congressional seats the state was hoping would increase its influence? Not looking so good – and yes, they would likely be GOP seats.
So, to Michele Bachman, a well earned “You go girl!” It’s good to see you doing your part to insure that fewer GOP obstructionists will be reaching Congress in the years to come. Now, we can hope that Bachmann’s own district will heed her words and register their protest by avoiding the census form. With any luck, Rep. Bachmann may find herself re-districted out of a job.
Should this happen, I hope Rep. Bachmann will look to the bright side. While she may no longer be privileged to spread her reactionary dribble in the halls of Congress, she can comfort herself in the knowledge that, due to her efforts, she will be less likely to find herself in one of those Obama re-education camps that she swears are lurking in our future.