I Have grown to really like Michelle Malkin for her "take no-prisoners" writing style and perspective. This article is yet another reason and example. What concientious, hard-working census workers are telling about how the monies devoted to the Census are being used, mismanaged and how workers are being deliberately trained to not work hard and waste the taxpayers dollars is another portrait of why we can't trust government with healthcare or nearly anything else.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
True Confessions from
's Census Workers America
Obama's politicized, proflig
ate census drive is so desper U.S. ate for positive press th atit has now recruited former Bush senior adviser Karl Rove to do public service announcements. Rove pleads on video: "Please answer the 10 easy questions. They're almost the same ones helped write for the first census back in 1790." Message: If you don't join the census bandwagon, James Madison will have lost! Madison
Sorry, Mr. Rove. Playing the Founding F
athers card isn't going to quell conserv ative criticism of how the Obama administr ation has exploited the census boondoggle for both economic and ideological gain.
For the record, I have no beef with the constitutional mand
ate. I complied by filling out my census form and sending it back -- with "American" in the blank for race/ethnicity to register my opposition to government racial classific ations. Despite apocalyptic suggestions by census officials and some Republican politicians th atconserv atives are recklessly boycotting the decennial head count, analysis by both the right-leaning Daily Caller and left-leaning Plum Line websites shows th atreturn r ates from conserv ative counties are in line with n ational averages.
atmakes the Obama census campaign different from other census programs? First, its naked, left-wing special interest pandering. The White House is championing a "Queer the Census" movement by pro-gay marriage groups, for example, and the Commerce Department is working with open-borders leaders who want to use the census as leverage to stop all immigr ation raids.
The electoral stakes are high. Some $400 billion in federal funding and, most importantly, the apportionment of congressional se
ats are up for grabs. Instead of straightforward enumer ation of the American popul ation, Obama and the left's identity politics-mongers are turning the $1 billion, taxpayer-subsidized census public rel ations drive into a government preferences lobbying bonanza.
More galling: the White House manipul
ation of census worker employment to goose the jobless r ate. Last week, the government touted employment figures bolstered by the hiring of temporary workers for Census 2010. The Census Bureau anticip ates it may add nearly 750,000 workers to its payroll by May. Liberal economist Heidi Shierholz exulted in The Hill: "This is the best-timed census you could ever dream of." And Team Obama plans to milk it for all it's worth.
Over the past several weeks, I've received e-mails from census workers across the country describing the directive from their managers to slow down, stall, waste time and stretch out their work unnecessarily. As a counter-public service announcement, I'm reprinting some of their letters:
-- "…I have been working with the census for two weeks, and every day I shake my head
atthe bl atant inefficiency and deliber ate misuse of taxpayer money. Specifically, we have been doing enumer ation for those who do not have a home, the homeless in shelters, soup kitchens and in targeted non-sheltered outdoor loc ations, such as parks, subway st ations, etc. I personally have been sent to check on shelters th atwere already determined to be day programs during the preceding round of quality control, yet they pay me the mileage and hourly wage to go back and make sure th atthey are still only day programs. I walked through parks and parking lots looking for homeless people to enumer ate, not even by talking to them, but just by observing their race, sex and approxim ate age. …
"…The way the process has been set up by government bureaucracy is so backward and prevents a person who is industrious and efficient from being able to work freely… This is the first job where I am encouraged to be slow and inefficient."
-- "Last summer I particip
ated in the 'address canvassing' (AC) project. Wh atthis entailed was walking around a neighborhood, literally door to door, with a little handheld computer. My job was not to enter addresses so th atthese people could receive their form, but to make sure th atthe addresses th atthe first wave of people put into the system and appeared on the computer were actually there… Mostly, it was me getting paid $15.25/hour plus mileage to take my dog for a walk and push a few buttons.
"In an average suburban neighborhood where the houses are somewh
atclose to each other, it was no problem to do about 35 to 40 addresses per hour once you learned how to quickly enter d ata into the computer. The census said th atI should be doing about 12 to 15 per hour. My direct bosses told me th atI should NOT be doing 35 to 40, because it was making them and other people look bad. So instead of walking ata snail's pace, I just did my 35 to 40/hour and doubled my time when I submitted my hours. Again, sorry for the tax dollar grab, but I was told not to be so darned efficient or else I'd be cut!"
-- "I had the gre
atpleasure of working for the address canvassing last spring. I was hired in early April for a job th atwas to be completed by the first week of July. I have a military background and a background in human resources, and the whole process left me with blood squirting from my eyes… I worked in the field for four days so th atI would know wh atto do. The remainder of my time was spent sitting in a McDonald's to have a daily progress meeting with each of the enumer ators. I was paid from the time I left my house to the time I got home … plus mileage. I was told to pad the time or mileage to cover my McDonald's food, since I was camping in a booth all day. For all th at, I was paid $11.75 an hour. …We had a really good crew and were done by the second week of May... was going nuts because our region was getting done so fast, but there was nothing we could do to slow it down another two months. Philadelphia
"… I never saw such a mismanaged outfit in all my life. I just shook my head in total disbelief. Our work could have been done with half the people. We did have those th
atquit right after training, to the tune of $800 spent on nothing. I earned approxim ately $3,000. I will say, to be quite honest, it was the easiest money I ever made. On the exit interview, I was asked if I wanted to be called back for further work. I wrote 'NO' in big letters. I didn't want to take any further part in wh atI saw to be a racket."
atwould think now? Madison
Michelle Malkin makes news and waves with a unique combin
ation of investig ative journalism and incisive commentary. She is the author of Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild .