With all the controversy over the 2020 census this year, you might think the bureaucrats would have been extra-special careful in preparing for it.
This doesn’t appear to be the case.
The Government Accountability Office has issued a scathing report on the readiness of the Census Bureau to begin conducting the count. They have dropped the ball in recruiting the thousands of workers who will go door to door; they have lagged in forming partnerships with local civic groups who assist in finding those hard to count; and they have missed deadlines in testing new IT technology that would allow many people to self-respond as well as telling the government to follow up with households that have not responded.
The census count will begin next month and the GAO is saying the Census Bureau won’t be ready.
“Where the risk is, is just time. We are in a pressure cooker of time to get things done,” said Nick Marinos, the GAO’s director of information technology.
Lawmakers held the hearing Wednesday to get an update from Census Bureau director Steven Dillingham and other agency officials on its readiness for the largest and most complex headcount in U.S, history.
As you might expect, the bureaucrats cheerily dismissed concerns, telling Congress “all is well.”
Dillingham testified that the bureau was on its way toward reaching its goals for hiring and partnerships.
“We are confident that we are on mission, on budget and on target,” Dillingham said. “The 2020 census is positioned for success.”
Congress ain’t buying what the Bureau is selling.
“Whether through incompetence or intentional action, this administration’s failures risk causing grave harm to this year’s census that could jeopardize a complete and accurate count,” Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York said.
Other lawmakers, led by Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, were unhappy that the bureau hadn’t yet shared with them a breakdown by congressional district of the partnerships the agency had established in each congressional district. Dillingham said some partners hadn’t given permission to make their affiliation with the Census Bureau public.
Just another excuse to bash Trump? Or are there real problems ahead?
Probably both. The whining from illegal alien advocates and liberal Democrats who think everyone in the world should be able to vote in an American election is expected and will be unavoidable. That’s because the census is supposed to count everyone — legal, illegal, citizen or not.
The controversy over whether to ask people who live here if they’re citizens was resolved in favor of non-citizens. We mustn’t get illegal aliens upset lest the lawbreakers live in fear of being caught, heaven forbid. But because all people are counted, the government will divvy up the taxpayer-funded goodies based on total population. Obviously, this benefits states with large illegal populations.
There’s always politics involved in this, so bashing Trump is mostly pro forma. But it appears that, at the very least, the census count is going to get off to a slow start with more snafus than usual. I guess it’s to be expected when you’re trying to count 320 million people, more or less. But then, the census happens only once in 10 years.
If the Census Bureau isn’t ready, maybe we should amend the Constitution to take a census every 20 years.