The Census Man Cometh

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by John Seiler by John Seiler Previously by John Seiler: Plunder! Dissects Government Unions

     

While working on an article at my home desk on May 14, at about 6 pm I heard a knock on my door. UPS? FedEx? Nope. Not expecting anything. And too late. Might have been some kid selling candy for a school function.

I turned off the music and walked over to the door. "Who is it?"

"Census."

I had been dreading this moment since the day months ago I decided, again, not to fill out the government's snoopy form. Also, there have been recent reports, even one I read earlier the day of the knocking, of violence by Census takers against citizens.

"Not interested."

"But you have to!"

Knock. Knock. Knock.

"Not interested."

I heard the guy groan, then he walked away. I never looked at him. But he sounded like some kid earning a few bucks during our Fed-caused Depression. My sympathies. My friends and I have been struggling, too. But I'm still not cooperating.

I turned the music back on and noticed the Internet radio station was playing: "Strange Days" by The Doors:

Strange days have found us  Strange days have tracked us down  They’re going to destroy  Our casual joys We shall go on playing Or find a new town

I know that standing up to the government, even passively, can have consequences. The fines supposedly can be from $100 to $5,000. As with most things involving the government, it's hard to say what the real number is.

Most likely, the guy just guessed at my status, or asked neighbors, and wrote something in his book. (If he's reading this, I'll reveal my Census info: I live in a writer's garret with 27 wives and 82 children, own six Bentleys, and am of mixed Hittite and Tierra del Fuegan origin. As a fan of Cervantes and enchiladas, I'm also Hispanic.)

In 2000, I didn't comply and nothing happened. In 1990, I only filled in my name, following the strict requirement the Constitution stipulates only for an "enumeration," back when I thought the Constitution still was operative. Again, nothing happened.

In 1980, I was a single guy in the U.S. Army, so it filled out the form for me (I think; it's been 30 years). In 1970, I was 15 and full of community spirit, so I think I filled out the form for my family; my father signed it. In 1960, my father filled out the form.

The U.S. Census form that came weeks ago in the mail — which I still have somewhere — pleaded that it's important for me to fill out the form so my area gets more federal money from government programs. Well, I certainly pay taxes for those programs. But I don't want it spent here. Huntington Beach already has way too much government at all levels: local, state and, especially, federal.

I want less government spending here, and would like for all federal spending to stop and the federal workers to leave. I'd rather just pay the taxes and get nothing in return. Even better: no federal spending, no federal workers, and no federal taxes.

People forget that with federal money comes federal officials. They not only boss you around, maybe kill you, but occupy your local community and start voting in local elections. The federal government unions, such as the American Federation of Government Employees, are powerful. They influence not only federal politicians to get themselves high pay and Lucullan perks, but naturally side with their local and state government-drone brethren in local and state government.

And federal government workers' pay is double that of private-sector workers. That means when these tax-eating parasites move to your community, they drive up the cost of housing — maybe so much you can't afford to buy a home, even in times of depressed prices.

Look at Washington, D.C.: a hellish swamp no one would voluntarily live in, even with air conditioning. But because it's the central lair of the federal government, high salaries drive housing prices to among the highest in the Republic.

And why, anyway, should I follow the supposed constitutional requirement to fill out a snoopy form — "But you have to!" — when the feds themselves no longer follow one jot or tittle of the Constitution?

Please, feds, go away and leave me in peace.

John Seiler [send him mail], an editorial writer with The Orange County Register for 19 years, is a reporter and analyst forCalWatchDog.com.

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