Gary Rea (c)copyright 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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In 1790, the first census was taken in the United States, just three years after the ratification of the Federalist’s Constitution, which mandated the census. Prior to this, under our original constitution, the Articles of Confederation, no such requirement existed.

The 1790 census asked only for the number of people in one’s household, their ages (which was reported as an age range, not a specific age), their sex and little else. The purpose of the census, at that time, was to enumerate the population in order to estimate the number of representatives each state should be allowed in Congress. Period.

Since then, the census has become increasingly demanding of personal information, though the transition has been so gradual as not to cause much alarm among the people. Also, it has been, until now, completely voluntary.

That voluntary aspect of the census stops with 2010. Not only will you be asked many more questions about yourself, your family and your home, but you will be required to answer every question. If you don’t, a census taker will come to your door to get the missing information. If they are not successful in obtaining it, they will ask your adjacent neighbors for the information (good luck with that, these days, since most people don’t know their neighbors’ names, let alone anything else about them).

If the census taker still can’t get the questions answered, they will call you up to six times to get the information (one bit of data they want is your phone number). If that doesn’t work, then you will be subject to a fine of $5,000! Never mind that this is in violation of your Fifth Amendment rights.

To ensure that the 2010 census is successful, the Census Bureau is currently hiring millions of census workers at $17.50 an hour. I received a brochure soliciting me as a census taker about a week ago, as I’m sure everyone did. Not only this, but ACORN is involved in collecting census data, as well.

What’s more, as it has been for a few decades, now, the purpose of the census has now become to gather information that will be used to decide how much federal money each state gets. So much for those “declarations of sovereignty” from several states, eh?