Is this person deaf or does he/she have serious difficulty hearing? Is this person blind or does he/she have serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses? Does this person have difficulty dressing or bathing?
In what year did this person last get married? At what location did this person work last week?
How many people, including this person, usually rode to work in the car, truck or van last week? What time did this person usually leave home to go to work last week?
What kind of work was this person doing? What was your income in the past 12 months?
When the recipient of this Community Survey fails to respond, the government uses a variety of intimidating tactics to compel obedience. The government tries repeated mailings and phone calls demanding a response, and sometimes the government employees walk up and down the street asking nosy questions about you from your neighbors.
In response to public demand, Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., introduced a bill to defund the American Community Survey, calling it a "breach of personal privacy, the picture of what's wrong in Washington, D.C." He obviously touched a nerve; it quickly passed the House 232 to 190.
Webster's bill was immediately denounced in editorials by The New York Times and even The Wall Street Journal. Indeed, big and intrusive government has its allies.
Webster's House victory was followed by the introduction of another bill that would make answering the nosy questions voluntary and decriminalize any refusal to participate in the survey. The sponsors are Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas.
This bill will not please the government busybodies who delight in building databases with personal information on Americans and vehemently resist state laws that require parental consent before making schoolchildren answer nosy questions. The bureaucrats protest that "if it's voluntary, then we'll just get bad data."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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