Every 10 years, I fill out the Census and the gifts roll right in

Found this little gem on the website for a Conservative magazine that Ronnie Reagan used to read, Human Events. Don’t be fooled by the title, the writer doesn’t just hate the ads . .

The Annoying Census Ad Campaign
by Fred Hadra

The Census Bureau conducted a massive and unprecedented advertising campaign (paid for by taxpayers) surrounding the 2010 Census. Consider the language of the TV commercials that comprised the largest (and most annoying) part of the Census campaign . .

. . the androgynous voice of the chorus chimes in with, “We can’t move forward, until you mail it back.” This idea of “progress” which defined the 2008 election pervades this commercial: join the “movement” and be part of the “change.” No thanks, I’ll pass.

This hatred for the Census is a great example of just how randomly stupid and bizarre Conservatives can be. Is there anything less dangerous than the Census? It assaults the right wing once every 10 years. The comet Encke returns once every 3.3 years, and it is arguably the greater threat, even though it’s still more than 20 million miles away.

America’s Founders are able to offer some wisdom as to our present situation. The Federalist Papers, the authoritative interpretation of the Constitution as written by its very creators, addresses “The Total Number of the House of Representatives” in “Federalist 55.” The author, likely James Madison, makes this prescient remark: “Nothing can be more fallacious than to found our political principles on arithmetical principles.”

The Census, judged according to its own ad campaign, is doing just that: allowing the data gathered to determine where and how taxpayer dollars are apportioned for various government programs. There are no principles to be considered here, my dear Madison, only political priorities.

And I’m thinking “This guy is angry that the government apportions its moneys to the states, ultimately to the people in some manner, by the james-madisonCensus?” Yes, he’s pissed about that. How big an idiot can you be? How badly do you have to let free floating fear mess up your brain?

So much so that you’ll scan and misinterpret The Federalist Papers to make your arguments. My reading of that one, Madison’s number 55, is different (if I’m wrong here, feel free to correct me).

Madison talks about how the House of Representatives is set up. He argues that a relatively small number of people (now 435) can be effective agents for all of the American people. Instead of having a fixed ratio of Reps/people (say 1/1000) that would be ever growing, to the point of having a crowd in the House, a small and fixed number is wiser:

. . the ratio between the representatives and the people ought not to be the same where the latter are very numerous as where they are very few. Were the representatives in Virginia to be regulated by the standard in Rhode Island, they would, at this time, amount to between four and five hundred; and twenty or thirty years hence, to a thousand. On the other hand, the ratio of Pennsylvania, if applied to the State of Delaware, would reduce the representative assembly of the latter to seven or eight members. Nothing can be more fallacious than to found our political calculations on arithmetical principles. Sixty or seventy men may be more properly trusted with a given degree of power than six or seven. But it does not follow that six or seven hundred would be proportionably a better depositary. And if we carry on the supposition to six or seven thousand, the whole reasoning ought to be reversed . . Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.

Madison is talking about how to set up the government so that it is most rational and effective, less given to weaknesses like mob rule. Hadra is pulling it out of context to attack the idea that the government, by participating in some part of Americans lives, through say Medicaid or education, is playing pork politics: “There are no principles to be considered here, my dear Madison, only political priorities.”

The Federalist Papers do not address how taxpayer money should be apportioned to localities in accordance with the results of the Census, and I think it’s safe to assume that this was not mere oversight. Our Founding Fathers would undoubtedly roll over in their sacred graves if they heard how the Census, a device intended to serve the needs of a people in a constitutional republic, is being promoted as “A tool. [To make] an impact” on the ways we as citizens view the legitimate role of government in our lives. And they would roll over again if they had to listen to that awful song. Thank goodness the next Census is a decade away.

So Hadra believes that the bleeding hearts are destroying “the legitimate role of government.” We’re using the Census to sucker the citizens with a massive coast-to-coast program of crony politics. And this is how we’ve been doing it:

“According to a report by the U.S. Census Monitoring Board, eight major programs accounted for $145 billion in federal spending (FY 2001), representing 87 percent of the funding allocated using census data:

1. Medicaid
2. Foster Care
3. Rehabilitation Services Basic Support
4. Child Care and Development Block Grant
5. Social Services Block Grant
6. Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant
7. Adoption Assistance
8. Vocational Education Basic Grants

. . . ”

Boy, is that ever some sweet swag, eh? Right-wingers are stupid jerks.