May 20, 2008, - 1:16 pm

Dumb Idea of the Day: I-Pods for Illegals–U.S. Census Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes

By Debbie Schlussel
In the brilliant movie, “Idiocracy,” centuries have passed and America is so dumbed down that a prostitute and a mediocre desk grunt are the smartest people in the world. The President is a pro wrestler and there’s no more Congress. It’s now the “House of Representin’.”
Well, apparently, we need not go to Hollywood make-believe or even the remote year 2500. Because the U.S. Census Bureau is already deigning to act like the House of Representin’ in 2010
Yup, it’s almost that time again. In about a year and a half, the U.S. Census will be taken. Illegal aliens will be counted. And Muslim Arab agencies, like the Arab Community Center for Econonomic and Social Services, will send out Muslim, Arabic-speaking census takers to exaggerate the number of Arabs and Muslims around so that ACCESS and others can get more government funding.

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But the U.S. Census Bureau doesn’t think the exaggeration and inaccuracies in Census taking are bad enough. So, it wants to give out prizes and sweepstakes to encourage more lying and further incongruous counting the number of live humans in America. . . by giving prizes and coupons to illegal aliens and terrorists.
It reminds me of the liberal gun buyback and Midnight Basketball programs of the Clintonian ’90s. People were given concert tickets and cash for turning in guns (even though they still kept a private stash at home) and kids were given hoops sessions late at night to try to induce them from committing crimes and breaking the law. Neither of these things worked. And this prizes for Census participation idea is an even more absurd extension. The same idea has been floated to get millions of dummies in America to vote. Thankfully, we didn’t go that route.
Incredibly, the lawmaker most pushing for this “National Census Prize Lottery as Sponsored by Donald Trump’s “Stem Cell Apprentice” and E-Bay” is one of the most conservative members of Congress–Republican Oklahoma U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, known as “Dr. No” for his opposition to most spending. And the one who opposes the sweepstakes and prizes as not reflecting the original intent of the founders is one of the most liberal, Democrat Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. On this rare occasion, she’s on the money; he isn’t:

Fill out your Census form and . . . win an iPod? A Starbucks gift certificate? Cash?
Doing your civic duty would literally pay off if the Commerce Department and Congress decide to dangle prizes to get people to answer Census questionnaires in 2010.
The Census Bureau is looking at ways to increase responses, including the use of prizes as an incentive, says spokesman Stephen Buckner.
It’s not the first time the idea has come up. The Census Bureau explored launching sweepstakes in the 1990s. It rejected the plan partly because of concern that it would cheapen the national population count mandated by the Constitution every 10 years. It’s not clear if using budget money to fund prizes is even legal.
Nevertheless, the concept is resurfacing for the 2010 Census because of concerns that the response rate may be hurt by mounting fear and suspicion of government, says Census historian Margo Anderson. More communities are cracking down on immigrants here illegally and the war on terrorism has prompted surveillance measures, including wiretapping. [DS: USA Today’s always gotta find a way to get that “woe are the illegal aliens’ and terrorists'” sob story message in there.] . . .
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., says offering prizes would be cheaper than chasing people who don’t return their questionnaires. . . .
A $1 million prize has been suggested but “something on the scale of a Starbucks coupon would be more appropriate,” says John Hart, Coburn’s press secretary.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, a member of a House Census committee, says incentives would “turn the Census into a lottery ticket. . . . I doubt that this is what Thomas Jefferson had in mind.”

Right on, sister. This time, she gets it. Hard to believe she’s finally an “originalist.” At least, this once.

Ed Spar, executive director of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics, opposes giving prizes to fulfill civic obligations.
“The Census is a national ceremony,” he says. “It’s for the American people.” . . . “We don’t know what kind of crazy biases it would enter into the data,” Spar says.

Funny, I checked my copy of the U.S. Constitution. And unless it’s been amended lately, the document still says:

Article I, Section 2:
The actual 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.

Nothing in there about giving out free Chuck E. Cheese tokens or gift cards to Victoria’s Secret and Hair Club for Men in exchange for the required participation in the Census-taking.
Hell hath no fury like the day someone goes to the gas station with a square piece of paper bearing this message:

Whereas the holder participated in the U.S. Census, this Coupon entitles the holder to one free package of Trojan condoms.

Can’t wait ’til Ed McMahon and Bob Dole do the Census sweepstakes commercials.
Anyone can win. Oh, and someone please translate that into Spanish and Arabic.

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2 Responses

I think we already have tens of millions of dummies voting in all our elections. Look at everyone who gets elected to office, what the ‘issues’ are in the campaigns, the ridiculously pathetic and dumbed-down types of political discussions occurring on the MSM, almost all talk-radio stations, and in most political ‘discussions’. I guess there’s always room to dumb things down more, but it’s so abysmally low now, it’s hard to see how it could get very much worse. Well, I guess they can make sure all the felons can vote.

c f on May 20, 2008 at 4:36 pm

Actually, I might get behind the idea of ADVERTISING big giveaways in cities where you have large illegal populations (i.e. almost all of them).
The catch would be you have to go to a central location to claim your prize.
Everyone who shows up has to prove you’re a US citizen. If you can’t, it’s onto the bus & over the border.
But what about real citizens who don’t have their proof with them, you ask? MY answer is if you’re that greedy & stupid, you deserve whatever happens…

DocLiberty on May 21, 2008 at 8:46 am

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