“[An] Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.” ~The US Constitution
So this is it: 2010, the year of the census. Now, being a conservative libertarian (this is a pretty good definition), I admittedly have a few issues with the intrusiveness of the Federal Census in its current form. I don’t see why I should tell the Government whether I own my home, my level of education, what race I am, my political ideology, how much money I make (well, I already do that in my income tax- which I have issues with as well), or what my favorite color is. I don’t want them sitting up there on Capitol Hill, figuring out what to do “for” me (read: control) I just want the freedom to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And I want the freedom to choose to give my time and money to help others in need.
BUT… The census IS required by the US Constitution in order to make an accurate count of our population. And that includes kids, as well. Many parents may not realize the importance of accurately reporting the number of children in their family, including newborns. The truth is that the undercount of children means that we do not get a true picture of our nation and our communities do not get their rightful share of public funds. Whatever my view of how these public funds should be spent, the fact is, they’re there, and we need to make sure the process is fair.
Why Children Count Too
Children have been undercounted in every census since the first one in 1790. Local communities rely on census information in planning for schools, child care, health and other critical services. And as a conservative libertarian, I believe the local community is the life-blood of our country. The states and local municipalities are also the entities that have the greatest allocation of powers, according to the Constitution.
So even though the census is taken by the Federal Govt, the data is used extensively by the states for planning, as well as delineating Congressional Districts. Census counts are used, in whole or in part, for more than 140 programs that distribute more than $400 billion of federal funds to states and localities, including such child-focused programs as:
* Special Education Grants to states ($10.8 billion)
* Head Start ($6.9 billion)
* State Children’s Health Insurance Program ($5.9 billion)
* Foster Care Title IV-E ($4.7 billion)
* Improving Teacher Quality State Grants ($2.9 billion)
Do I fully support the ways these all of these programs are administered? Maybe not, but I still want to provide an accurate count of US Citizenry on the census, so that means counting my kids as well.
Will you include your kids on the Census this year? What are your thoughts on it? (even if you don’t agree with me)
This post is part of a Public Service Campaign by Global Influence Network.