Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
The official counting of America has ground to a halt, along with the rest of daily life. Faced with a 16.7% response rate and an inability to field the half-million door to door workers required to finish, the Trump administration has rightfully requested a delay in the official deadline to complete the census. Americans’ causal approach to participating aside, the decennial enumeration is quite essential, and getting it right, even more so.
Think of the census as America’s stock-taking. It measures elements of our nation, such as population size, ethnicity, income levels, familial makeup, and breaks them down by geographic area, race, gender, and various other categories. This inventory becomes the authoritative record, and even when the results are demonstrably false, the official count continues to drive policy decisions and dictate government funding. Most importantly, it forms the basis for reapportioning congressional districts and allocating political power.
The census doesn’t just reflect America; it shapes it.
The American Left has perfected the art of using government-produced data to advance their agenda. Government agencies have invested billions of dollars in studies aimed at validating Democrats’ man-made global warming policies. Similarly, the census is the founding data set for many other schemes. That is why partisans feverishly fought the Trump Administration’s proposal to include a question about citizenship on this year’s survey, taking the issue to the Supreme Court and broadcasting the unpublished musings of a dead man to label it as “racist.” They didn’t want an accurate count. A comprehensive accounting of the number of illegal aliens would be a set back to their socialist agenda.
Tens of billions of dollars flow to areas densely populated by illegals based on census data, even though persons residing in America without permission hold no right to federal dollars. Studies have shown that illegal immigrants cost taxpayers over $100 billion per year. A precise accounting could cause tectonic change. Imagine the funding impact that removing these people from government calculations would have for areas such as New York. Further, excluding the estimated 2.4 million noncitizens in CA could mean the left-leaning state could lose some of its 53 congressional districts and political clout in the House of Representatives.
The impact of the census is also why traditionally undercounted groups, such as Native Americans, have been pressing their members to fill out their census forms. Native communities rely heavily on federal funding that is distributed partially by formulas, many of which are dependent on census data. They, too, have a version of an illegal immigration problem in the form of groups calling themselves Indians and lining up for hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts and other funds intended for legitimate tribes. They use names like “Lumbee” and “Machis Creek” and demand the same treatment as other tribes but offer little to substantiate their claims. Like aliens in other communities, these people should not be eligible for federal dollars. However, when thousands of people make the same false ethnic claims—and check the Native American box on the census— a new people group is created along with a dishonest path to financial programs.
The scope of things affected by the census is vast, reaching nearly every aspect of American society. The expected continuation of direct payments to the masses In the era of the China Coronavirus, make the stakes even higher. The Supreme Court has already ensured that the 2020 Census will be missing valuable data, and we can’t afford to make things worse. A brief delay to get it right as possible is the responsible thing to do.