.
March 30th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

What does it mean that the Census Bureau can't be ready for 2010 count?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

This Thursday, April 1 is National Census Day, the day the once-a-decade U.S. headcount officially begins.

The Census form is required to be returned by April 1. The first Census was taken in 1790, when the U.S. population was less than the current population of Los Angeles -- around four million.
The Census form is required to be returned by April 1. The first Census was taken in 1790, when the U.S. population was less than the current population of Los Angeles - around four million.

It may not be a coincidence that April Fool's Day is the same day. But the joke here is more sad than it is funny.

You see, even though the agency has had 10 years to work out the kinks in this cumbersome process of counting every American man, woman and child, it hasn't.

Information technology problems are a top concern, in particular two software programs that manage the maps and workloads for census takers making those door-to-door follow up visits. An estimated 50 million households out of a total of 120 million will likely require a follow-up visit. The Census Bureau says there is still time to fix the problems - they've had 10 years to get ready for this - but they say time is running out. No kidding.

The Census Bureau has already shelled out an extra $88 million for a technology glitch last fall that paid $300 to a reported 15,000 temporary hires who did little or no work updating the Bureau's maps.

The entire Census process is expected to cost taxpayers more than $14 billion, but that number will likely be higher and who knows how reliable the results will be. This is our government at work. Now they want to manage health care.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean that the Census Bureau can't be ready for 2010 count?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Isabella writes:
Can't be ready? How can that possibly be? The government has been conducting the census count every 10 years for hundreds of years. They've spent millions advertising so that Americans are "ready" to be counted. Now, the Census Bureau is not ready?

Steven in New York, NY writes:
It means that the Census Bureau is suffering the same malaise as all other government agencies and businesses for that matter. Our education system is cranking out people not bright enough to do the jobs or honest and conscientious enough to put in the effort. The tubes are greased and we're just slip-sliding away.

M.D. writes:
It probably means that health care will be down for the count too. Your government at work for you. What a farce. If this isn't the handwriting on the wall we are all blind or don't want to believe it. Maybe it would be better if the private sector handled the census. At least we could hold their feet to the fire if they were not ready on time.

Jesse in Vancouver, Canada writes:
It means that it is time for the Census Bureau to be closed and all the staff fired. I have more faith in Microsoft, IBM and Google, etc. to gather up all the information and make sure people are not counted twice.

Anonymous writes:
My wife is a crew leader for the 2010 Census, her third census. She has trained her crew, and they are awaiting their cases to enumerate. Everyday it is one computer problem after another, with the end result that no work is being readied and they are stalled out (without pay, do not worry!). Obviously I cannot give her name, or she will probably lose her job.

Elly in Minnesota writes:
I am an old lady, Jack, and I won't be opening my door for the government to pry into my affairs. I'm going to look out the window at them and don't answer the door. Just like I do when the Jehovah's witnesses show up.


Filed under: Population
soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. Michael G Tampa, FL

    That's an easy one Jack,
    It's just another example of our completely broken and failed government.
    The questions on the census go WAY BEYOND the constitutional mandate anyway.
    AND, the house districts will be gerrymandered into keeping the corrupt and inept incumbents further entrenchd anyhow so what's the point ?
    Oh, and didn't they have 10 years to prepare for it since the last census ?

    Michael G
    Tampa, FL

    March 30, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  2. Michael Alexandria, VA

    It means that people are afraid of getting shot knocking on the doors of right-wing whackos. After yesterday's events, they may have a point.

    March 30, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  3. John

    The 2010 Census will be done but the accuracy of the count will be quite skewed. Millions will be uncounted.
    John
    Pampa, TX

    March 30, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  4. Greg in PA

    Jack I guess it means they are not ready for the 2010 count. I am not quite sure why, probably because the Obamater was more worried about cramming billions of dollar of waste down our throats than anything else.

    March 30, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  5. peggy

    amnesty is a coming /////// and they haven't been counted yet//... next question

    March 30, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  6. SLM

    That the government isn't capable of running anything efficiently and that is why we are scared to death, literally for our future with the government attempting to take over health care.

    March 30, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  7. Tony from Southport

    It's being handled by Democrats. 'nough said.

    March 30, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  8. SCOTT ROSE --- PANAMA CITY, FL

    Jack, It means that this is just another example of buricratic bungling by the Obama administration. The Obama administration has had their collective heads up their wazzoos over this Obamacare debacle for so long that nothing else matters.It just shows how mioptic and a complete failure Obama really is.

    March 30, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  9. Mike in Denver

    Hey Jack, if the Census Bureau is not ready to process a little 10 question form that has been recycled for decades, what hope is there that the government will be able to administer a health care system for the same population?

    March 30, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  10. gordon

    It means that you can't undertake a major project every ten years and expect smooth sailing. Try playing golf once every decade and see how well you do.

    March 30, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  11. JENNA

    What does it mean that the Census Bureau can't be ready for 2010 count?

    It means that they are not ready..Come on Jack..

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    March 30, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  12. Tracie in NY

    Instead of blaming the Census Bureau for being another incompetent federal agency, maybe we should consider that the government has no business asking me whether I own or rent

    March 30, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  13. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, what surprises you about this? Name me one government organization or operation that functions efficiently or profitably and I'll kiss your ass on Main Street after giving you an hour to draw a crowd. Examples of such inefficiencies being the Congress itself, the post office, and Amtrac to name but three. They're all broken or broke. The Census Bureau's simply joining this parade of incompetence.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    March 30, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  14. Maria

    Well, let's see how long have they had to get ready for this thing? I'd be firing people left and right if they had anything to do with failing to get ready. What morons!

    Maria

    Brunswick,MD

    March 30, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  15. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA

    It seems very strange that with 10 percent unemployment we can't seem to hire enough competent people to do an accurate and timely census. We have done it since the Constitution was enacted as it is required every 10 years. With all the modern conveniences what could be the problem?

    March 30, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  16. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    I am shocked. how can this happen. i thought we were all psuhing to have the government take over all our lives and teach us how to live right because they are so smart and efficient. Now I have to go back and rethink my life. How long have they known this was coming? Another fine display of government planning and excellence in achievment. Well comrads,. get ready for more of this.

    March 30, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  17. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Another prime example of our government's efficiency. Personally,I received a notice saying that I was going to be getting a census form. Where is it? Isn't it due by April 1st? I can't fill out something I do not have. All this money and time on the 2010 census and its findings are most likely to be based on incomplete data and thus the conclusions wrong. What else is new?

    March 30, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  18. Jason, Koloa Kauai

    I worked for the census in 1990 and after being on the inside I doubt that any of the information gathered is remotely accurate. Too many people just don't want to cooperate and too many hired temps just don't take the job that seriously. I thought maybe the down economy would mean more qualified people would apply for temp work and try to use it as stepping stone, but I guess not. It is too big a job to be done the same old way. Maybe if they made a census app for the I-phone it might actually work.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  19. Simon/Orlando

    This is just another example of how incompetent the government is with any program they are running. First of all, they are asking for way too much information. The census is about how many people live at a certain location. That's it. This administration wants to pry more information out of everyone. It's all about government control.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  20. Janne from NC

    Lets just add this to social security, medicare, freddie mac, fannie mae, the post office and oh by the way HEALTH CARE. Tell me one more time why we are suppose to believe the government can do anything right ??!!

    March 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  21. Richard Green

    Jack,
    It means that school districts won't be able to adequately plan for buildings and employees. Cities and counties won't be able to plan budgets adequately. Demographics won't be as current for businesses to plan expansion or new products. The gov't won't be able to determine the need for more representation due to population shifts. The information is valuable to many entities in society, Jack.....not just to a tyrannical, Marxist administration wondering how large to make internment camps. People need to fill out and return the forms!

    Richard Green, San Clemente, Cal.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  22. Loren

    It means more grousing about poor government, but President Obama can't be blamed for this one, the blame rests on a bureaucracy that all too otfen is more concerned with increasing its size than in doing the work it was originally formed to do. We can also probably blame Congress, because it is a habit to impose unfunded mandates on agencies, and it wouldn't surprise me if the Census Bureau had received some unfunded task that took it away from it't primary job. All in a day's non-work in Washington, D.C.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  23. Michael, Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: It is not ironic that the Cenus data begins on April 1st--an appropriate day-fool's day---because in the long run--the data will be as foolish as those who are collecting it. I think we need to rename April Fools Day--we can call it "Senseless Census Fools Day"--and we have the data to back that up. P.S. Don't forget to count the unregristered workers--we know how many there are-–we just don't know where they live.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  24. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    There is no excuse for the Census Bureau to not be ready for the 2010 Census. They had years to prepare for it. Sounds like the Census Bureau needs to do an employee restructuring.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  25. adem, california.

    Immigration reform might happen soon, so we could get the right census result.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  26. Paul from Michigan

    SNAFU comes to mind.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  27. Dennis North Carolina

    the problem is not the government but it is the fault of the public at large. the public has the idea that census will violate their freedom. the joke is that they do not understand that the census actual helps their freedom plus give them help to live because the services that the government provide to all. we force the government to waste our money as if they need help in that area but we create the joke our selves.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  28. Ryan - Galesburg, IL

    Jack, after 8 years of George W. Bush, it's a wonder we have any functional agencies left at all (one's that aren't in charge of war, at least). Equating these issues to the healthcare debate is completely disingenuous, in that trying to fix regulation is not the same as dismantling regulatory agencies, and counting 300 millions people is not the same as protecting citizens from a vicious insurance industry.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  29. Wisconsin Don

    It means you can't blame Bush for this one! Maybe Obama can just pull a number out of his hat like he did with how many jobs the "stimulus bill" created.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  30. Jane (Minnesota)

    It's similar to Health care, Jack.

    Let's see, 8 years of those 10 years, there was a GOP president in the White house and 6 of the 10 a Repubplican majority in Congress. From some of the kooky concensus comments made by the likes of Michele Bachmann, the census, like Health care reform is not a top Republican issue to fix; no one was held responsible to complete the improvement project. It's just politics as usual from what I see.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  31. Steve, Clifton, VA

    It means that the constant turn over of the principles, which subsequently means the lost of corporate and institutional knowledge, at the Census Bureau will once again result in a hap hazard methodology to conduct and perform a duty that the agency had 10 years to to prepare and plan for. There is a lot to be said for ensuring some continuity, some stability in Federal work places that are charged with performing such a critical and vital function which will affect the quality of life for thousands.... The real question should be why do we keep making the same mistakes every decade over and over again?

    March 30, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  32. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, just another day in the world of Government Programs. They only had 10 years to get ready and have only done this 25 times or so, why would anyone expect them to run the evolution smoothly or efficiently. AND, OBTW, if you haven't noticed, they don't WANT to run healthcare, they ARE running it. It is the law of the land. Can't wait to get government health care service started, the government way.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  33. Peter M

    Blame the crazies: T-partiers, Rethugs, White supremacists, Michelle Bachmann Palin and the loonies that are fanning anti-govt sentiments and telling their supporters not to participate. Do not count them and, deny them services!!! Let's see how that works out for them...

    March 30, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  34. Ken in NC

    The Chinese invented the Abacus about c3000BC and improvements were made on it over the years. The Census Bureau got the updated Abacus for the population count but they only bought 50 of them and they were the version updated in 1776.

    Can you say "Government Behind The Times"?

    March 30, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  35. Wisconsin Don

    It means you can't blame Bush for this one! Maybe Obama can just pull a number out of his hat like he did with how many jobs the "stimulus bill" created.

    Wisconsin Don
    Racine Wisconsin

    March 30, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  36. Doris Lauter

    The census count won't be ready because people aren't mailing back their reports.
    It costs the government millions to have to go to their homes to get the count.
    Possibly too many illegal aliens are hiding, and fear deportation it is revealed l how many people live in the homes.
    Doris
    Ojai, California

    March 30, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  37. Anon

    My wife is a crew leader for the 2010 Census, her third census. She has trained her crew, and they are awaiting their cases to enumerate. Everyday it is one computer problem after another, with the end result that no work is being readied and they are stalled out (without pay, do not worry!). Obviously I cannot give her name, or she will probably lose her job.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  38. Paul Austin, Texas

    It means that they can't count at all. They can not count or estimate how many hires they need to do the job and send out letters that state if you did not complete the forms sent you that you are in violation of the law. Only to say if you did send it in thanks. Would it not be better to only send the forms to addresses that did not send forms in. Oh, I forgot with forclosures and vacant houses they would send to census police to empty addresses. Just another waste of tax dollars on wasted time.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  39. Mr. D

    It probably means that health care will be down for the count too. Your government at work for you-what a farce. If this isn't the handwriting on the wall we are all blind or don't want to believe it. Maybe it would be better if the private sector handled the census. At least we could hold their feet to the fire if they were not ready on time.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  40. Bizz Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Your question means we have a bunch of idiots who either got their Jobs be cause of political connections or they just don't give a damn. It's a shame that things like this are expected to happen when our gov't is involved. It's such a common thing now for our gov't to screwed things up that people just shrug their shoulders. Meanwhile billions of dollars are being wasted contributing to a national debt that is ready to burst. Political hay will probably be made out of this mess. But it really doesn't matter, it will happen again, no matter which party is in charge of running our gov't.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  41. Bev

    It isn't any different than any other census being taken.
    If the people don't send it back in, then the takers have to begin their part.
    You can't rush it, as some people's mail lays around for days before they read it, so it slows the process.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  42. Eric

    For eight of those 10 years there was a Republican in charge of the federal government, so it's not surprising that non-military agencies got neglected.
    Toronto, ON

    March 30, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  43. JAB in MO

    The far right has been telling its people not to fill out the forms. They say that the census is unwarranted government intrusion. I hope they keep doing that. The fewer of them who fill out the forms, the more the right will be under represented when it comes to forming congressional districts.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  44. bob z. fr. pa.

    what did you expect wait and see what a mess this health care bill will be

    March 30, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  45. Layne Alleman

    Jack, It means that the "Bureau" is another government agency that is swimming out of control, and as is typical, in the wrong direction. This is what happens when "Bureau" chiefs are "appointed" by a new President every 4-8 years; they haven't a clue as to what has been going on(for better, or usually worse), and immediately decides to change everything around to his, or her liking whether for the better, but, more often than not, the worse. No matter which party, it's all favoritism appointments, pure and simple. Gee, I wonder why nothing in government works worth a crap. Layne A. Antioch,Il.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  46. Terry from Illinois

    Its hard to stay up with todays technology and everything, thats all.
    I say outsource it to Google, they already have a picture of your house and street...

    March 30, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  47. katiec Pekin, IL

    To compare the Census Bureau to Health Care Reform is ridiculous, Jack, even for you. I would imagine there has always been problems every ten years as we are talking about a massive project. And, with the media doing their usual sensationalizing, we have no way of knowing the seriousness or reliability of what is really happening.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  48. Joe R - Houston

    It means that they didn't hire Google last week.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  49. Greg H - Minneapolis

    Jack, the big problem facing the Census Bureau is that they are trying to deal with TOO MUCH INFORMATION! All the Constitution requires is an "enumeration" of the people every 10 years. That means, COUNTING PEOPLE, not how many pets one has, whether one rents or owns a home, etc.! If they just stuck to counting people, the form will take seconds to fill out (as it did for me) and processing the forms would not require so many people taking so much time to count so much unnecessary data!

    March 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  50. Gary Las Vegas

    This is an easy one Jack, they are a government agency!!! What more needs to be said?

    March 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  51. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, we are a country of 50 states, 14 territories and 308 million people. That's a lot to keep up with. Maybe it's time we stopped worrying about the size of our government and concentrate on making it work more efficiently. If the census people can't do their jobs, get someone in there who can.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  52. Bud Rupert

    It say that thye have outsmarted themselves with all the fancy technology that is probably incompatible and cannot be seemlessly integrated.

    Keep it simple and you are most alway better off.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  53. Miss M

    Can't be ready? How can that possibly be? The government has been conducting the census count every 10 years for hundreds of years. They've spent millions advertising so that Americans are "ready" to be counted. Now, the Census Bureau is not ready?

    March 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  54. TD from SoCal

    Jack,
    This is about politics and power, not about trying to determine the actual demographics of the country. As a descendant of Native Americans, it strikes me as interesting that the census form seems to basically ask if your ethnicity is Hispanic or Other. This is a thinly veiled means of trying to ascertain the number of Mexican and Central Americans who have entered the country illegally in order to bolster the Democrats' call for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. With 10% unemployment, trying to be sure to count illegals for a political end certainly seems to be counter intuitive if we are trying to find a way to put American Citizens back to work.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  55. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    It means bureaucracy is the antithesis of efficiency, and the poster child for government waste.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  56. marlene

    Jack, I was OK with your posting, until the last statement. Anyway, setting aside the mistakes, which everyone makes, the Census is important, but the non-sell by the political class tells you that they prefer the status quo. Misplaced privacy concerns are keeping some factions from filling out the form and no one cares. Lots of money could be saved if the initial forms are filled out, therefore making it unnecessary for follow up visits or contact.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  57. Annie, Atlanta

    It means we're a big country, and this is a massive undertaking. Maybe the job of counting people should be shifted to the states, where the importance of being counted could be stressed by local media. Just don't tell Michelle Bachmann I said so. She's crazy.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  58. Joe CE

    TheCencus data will processed and probably within a reasonable time. Not a good reason to leave health care in the hands of middle level bureaucrats whoise jobs depend on finding reason to deny claims and eliminate coverage.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  59. Mark Republican in PA

    The problems with the census are just a symptom of whats happened in the past ten years. We have become more mobile ( cell phones have replaced landlines and phone books), We have become more paranoid ( after 911 and the teroroist attacks and eignt years of being told by Bush lie after lie) to the point we don't want to be counted making the problem even harder. In my neighborhood we still don't have a good 911 system because the polititions can't agree on a new numbering system for the houses, and thats the situation in most states. People are moving more often now than in any previous decade due to Job and housing loses. The younger generation went to college but are working at Walmart and can't hold a permanent residence to be counted. More people are forced to live with unrelated folks to aford a place to live than ever before. Do we really think we can computerize the census with all this going on- I think not.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  60. Kyle, Irvine, CA

    It means that the government is broken and trying to do to many things at once. Now they want to manage health care, go figure.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  61. southerncousin

    The Census Bureau has been politicized and possibly radicalized by the corrupt Obama administration. Remember they were going to appoint a Republican, Judd Gregg, as Commerce Secretary and then some libertard remembered that a Republican would be running the census and might stand in the way of their corrupt, slimy dealings. Gregg withdrew his nomination and Obozo put in a libertard stooge.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  62. Jesse J Vancouver Canada

    Hi Jack,

    It means that it is time for the Census Bureau to be closed and all the staff fired.

    I have more faith in Microsoft, IBM and Google etc to gather up all the information and make sure people are not counted twice.

    Heck wouldn't it be easier to get all the personal info from all the DMV's, colleges, schools, and IRS / Banks accross the US and cross reference them against each other ... I'm sure a super computer could do this in a months time.

    Jesse J
    Vancouver Canada

    March 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  63. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    It means that the Census Bureau needs to enter the 21st century and let people answer Census questions online and submit their answers that way. And shame on you for your slam at the new healthcare bill–I thought that you were better than that.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  64. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Jack:

    Is there a mental disease that can be caused by all this news? Because it wears on you. Is your vote counted, is tax money more prescious than the tax payer, is accountability only for the non elected public? on and on. This can really make one sick. The new healthcare system will be busy.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  65. John from Alabama

    Jack: There are always clitches in any system devised by man. I believe that by December 31st 2010, this nation will have a good handle on how many citizen reside here. The data will be examined by demographers, politicans, schools, highway builders, county and city planners to solve problems of people moving and living in this nation. It will be used to build and provide the necessary service and infrasturature to handle many different needs, such as, water systems, elecricial services, and natural gas lines.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  66. Nita hemeter

    I have worked for the census bureau before, and what a mess. They sent me so much paper I told them I needed a bigger house, and here is the really bad part, they sent it overnight Fed Ex! Wasteful, Wasteful. It was insane. The training is basically reading to us out of a book. Talk about going to sleep in class. I can read. I would have done better taking the material home, studying and then asking questions. This would have taken half the time, saved the government money and not have been nearly as frustrating. Overhaul the census. I could go on with nightmare ineptitude stories.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  67. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Several things come to mind Jack. The first is that each American born is issued a social security number and at that time their name, race, and date of birth is recorded. When a person dies their death certificate is sent to the social security office showing they are dead. The only question the census really needs to concentrate on is where the people are located in between birth and death. Since heath care reform every American will have insurance and the government will know exactly who they are and where they are so the billions of dollars wasted on the census bureau can now go back into the general revenue fund.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  68. Gigi Oregon

    What can you expect from the Federal government when the focus is on money and not people. The IRS can't even be audited because of poor management. And we all know money is more important than people. Maybe if we let each state be responsible for the census we would get better reporting. And the accurate counting would produce more federal money for the states. And while thinking of saving money a flat tax might add billions for the State and Federal government.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  69. Sue From Idaho

    Situation normal Jack, all fouled up!!!

    March 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  70. Linda in Arizona

    And yet they managed to take the GPS coordinates for everyone's front door (here at least), which really creeped me out. I sent my form in like a good girl, so I don't expect to see anyone here again. I do sympathize with the enormity of their task however.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  71. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    How in the hell can they ever be ready if their practices and policies are nothing more than work arounds for 50 million inept Americans who cannot take 3 minutes to fill out the census, put it in a self addressed and self postage envelope?.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  72. Banned in Hartwell GA

    It means that we have way too many people in this country.
    First we need the illegals to go home. Then those who follow Hate Radio shows can follow Hate Radio hosts to whatever country they are moving to since the health care bill was passed. Then those who want smaller government can more to some dictatorship or empire, where the government is likely one person and a large army.
    I think that should take of 100-plus million, and make the job of the Census Bureau a lot easier.
    Allen
    Hartwell GA

    March 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  73. k

    Incompetance. Waste of billions of taxpayer dollars.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  74. Mike, Boca Raton,Florida

    It means they are not ready to talk to and count people in Spanish which is more important now than being able to talk to and count the people in English.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  75. Mari, Utah

    Well, Jack, it means that they will need to hire more people. We have plenty of people looking for work, let's put them to work!

    March 30, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  76. Eileen from Scarborough, Maine

    It means that from 2000 to 2008, nothing got done. There was no funding for anything the Government was supposed to be doing. The dollars all went to pay off the people who got G.W. Bush into office.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  77. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Let me try to understand this. I can put my street address into Google maps and view the front of my house, then do a 360 degree panoramic spin to check things out as seen from the front walk. It is obvious Census Bureau would have been ahead to negotiate a contract with Google to do the census IT work rather than some political hack. But since one of the brilliant founders is Russian....

    March 30, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  78. Wilbur

    Jack, Walking around from door to door counting people is a thing of
    the past.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  79. Larry 13

    It's not just the Census process that squanders taxpayer's money. In how the 2 parties look after taxpayer's money,(which I assume is their primary responsibility), the entire government has become a sieve. Neither party will deal with this because to do so would reveal too much information about government management under the long-term presence and supervision of the Democrat and Republican parties.
    It all reeks of neglect of certain responsibilities by our publicly-elected officials over the workings of government. It must be all those lobbyists distracting them from their work in representing their constituents.
    We live in the tension between representation and exploitation.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  80. Eric Martin : Hawaii

    It means we're screwed. How hard is it to count Americans vs. provide necessary services to them.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  81. honestjohn in Vermont

    It simply means that we are wasting alot of money, so much we can't even count it all.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  82. Tom in Tx.

    What do these Census Bureau problems have to do with your slam about the government "managing" health care, I would like to know?

    March 30, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  83. Michael from Keller, Texas

    It means that 20 million illegal aliens can rest assurred that they can live in the shadows for another 10 years without having to pay their fair share of taxes, but receive free healthcare, welfare, education, own property , vote illegally, and everything that goes along with being a freeloading block of the populace.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  84. Duke, Sarasota

    It means a number of things, Jack.

    One being government mistrust. The word Census sounds alien in itself. People would rather not be "paid a visit" by someone who is
    at the door to peep in their house to see who's living there. What race
    they are. The later being perceived as the most prevalent reason .The whole process is reminiscent of the Nazi and brown shirt era of the 1940's.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  85. Rich

    Jack, I'm not surprised that the Census Bureau can't be ready for 2010 count. It simply means business as usual for our government. Since when is any of our bureaucrats ready for anything? Moreover, there is no way on God's blue/green earth that the Census process should cost $14 billion. Perhaps we should look into hiring Japanese or Korean Firms to conduct our Census in the next decade. We could probably get better results for a fraction of the cost.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  86. Mary

    Why does the government want to know WHO they are helping through
    census taking? maybe census IS the cause of some parts of the
    country being neglected while others seem to flourish. Maybe these
    "census are really being used to discriminate against certain areas.
    The government should just fix things for everyone, not just cherry pick
    from the "census forms.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  87. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    Is it fair to only point at Government failures? We have privatized some of our military, had a private health care system, have a private banking system. How well have those worked? And how many seniors want to see Medicare taken out of Government control? We have had New Coke, Toyota mess-ups, and even recalled spinach. But when Government errors it is proof that Government can't work. Let's be fair.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  88. mindbodythoughts

    It means business as usual in the good ol USA!

    March 30, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  89. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    it might halt the counting process for those who needed to be included in the 2010 count?

    March 30, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  90. Ed Russell

    Simple......the Census Bureau is a Government managed organization. Therefore, by definition it is incompetent, disorganized, inefficient, staffed by bureaucrats and has no concern for cost/value.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  91. Joanne

    The leaders in Wa are clowns these days and all Americans know it. I'm hoping John Huntsman runs for Pres in 2012....we need a "real man" for a change.
    Joanne
    Mn

    March 30, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  92. Eloise, MN

    I am an old lady jack and I won't be opening my door for the government
    to pry into my affairs. I'm going to look out the window at them and
    don't answer the door. Just like I do when the Jehovah's witnesses
    show up.

    Elly

    March 30, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  93. David Gerstenfeld

    They're doing what's expected of our government. Wait 'till you see what the final cost is!
    David, Las Vegas

    March 30, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  94. jeane

    They have the same software/glitches that the rest of us deal with in the digital age. How do you know that the people who updated the maps are responsible for the system glitch/programming.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  95. Mike from Texas

    It means theres alot of illeagle pocats in this country thats trying to hide under the tax payers skirts thats feeding off our good will and some that are planning harm on our country seek and evict lets get rid of the leaches .

    March 30, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  96. John from San Antonio

    Saying the government can't do anything is a bit misleading, although true. The real reason is because we the people failed to hold government employees accountable and as a result we have an obscene number of political cronies who have no talent except to collect paychecks. We have also allowed our congress and the FDA to become a wholly owned subsidiary of the large corporations.

    John – San Antonio

    March 30, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  97. Frank W.

    It means Bush and his boys blew it and Obama's Team has to clean up another mess!

    Frank W.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  98. Bill Davis

    You forget Jack that eight of those years were under the Bush administration who made a point of proving our government of, by, and for the people didn't work.

    Bill D
    Champaign, IL

    March 30, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  99. Judy

    I guess we can't COUNT on the CENSUS Bureau......

    March 30, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  100. David

    You're right Jack. Our government is totally incompetent. This country doesn't know what it's doing. Of course, I'm the smartest guy around. Put me in charge of the US Census and I'm sure it'll be humming along divinely in a few years.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  101. Andrew Orlando, FL

    We are talking about a bureaucracy with tons of red tape here. I think you set your expectations just a little too high, Jack.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  102. Ted Hamilton

    Who has been running the Government for the last 10 years....that's what we should expect. Perhaps anyone elected should be in office 10 years and then fire them if things aren't ready for next time.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  103. Ken in NC

    What it means is this. The Chinese invented the Abacus about c3000BC and improvements were made on it over the years. The Census Bureau got the updated Abacus for the population count but they only bought 50 of them and they were the version updated to 1776 to keep cost down.

    Can you say "Government Behind The Times"?

    March 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  104. John Brandt

    If the government can't even do the census...What makes you think they can run Healthcare?!
    They Can't run the Post Office
    They can't run Social Security.
    They can't run welfare.
    They can run Medicaid
    The can't even run the VA healthcare system!
    Were Screwed!

    March 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  105. donald

    Well, Jack....work expands to fill time aloted. Thats what happens lots of times. Don.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  106. Dave in CT

    It means just like the vast majority of government positions from the top down, there is no accountability and no motivation for the employees/elected officials/managers/appointees. I'd get fired if I counldnt make a date with ten years notice and virtually unlimited budget.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  107. bob graham/highlands ranch, co

    Jack, It means no one has addressed the one problem which is cosistent throughout our government....No one is held accountable...

    And this is an accounting exercise...LOL

    March 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  108. Jacque D (Oregon)

    It's simply typical of all beaucratic operations, overstaffed with underqualified and under motivated employees, performing poorly organized functions, that are often duplicated repeatedly unprepared for any deviation in proceedures which stops them dead in their tracks, unable to figure anything new out for themselves.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  109. donna tobin

    Jack, The government is the "people" asking the "people" to cooperate. It will never be done right, on time, or correctly.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  110. Wills

    I think that is a poor question. With the rapid changes in technology, having 10 years to prepare is not actually helpful. I bet the map technology they use didn't exist 10 years ago. We really don't have enough information to make an informed judgment about how well the Census is being run.
    How do you know that the 15,000 people did little or no work? What source do you have for that claim?
    I think it is quite possible that the Census is run poorly, and that is has spent money unwisely, but you haven't presented significant evidence of that.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  111. Nancy, Tennessee

    The Census Bureau forgets how to work from one time to the next, I guess. Imagine if you only did your job once every ten years. Wouldn't you get a little rusty.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  112. Charles

    Jack,
    that long and no positive results. " your fired", and to think that an automatic pay raise is in play. I thought they worked for us. We did select (hire) so why is it that a pay raise is not approved by us.
    Ten years, no fix no oversight, your fired.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  113. Deezy in St. Paul Minnesota

    As long as the word Negro is there on those forms i feel like i am being counted in the 1920s.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  114. Jerry Wills

    Hi Jack,
    Our government (census) hasn't hired enough identity thieves yet!

    March 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  115. RanDe

    They cant even count us? How the heck will they ever run health care , "Repeal the Bill" !!

    March 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  116. Joyce Jensen

    Before anyone blames Obama – let's remember who was President for eights in which these fixes should have been made.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  117. Trevor

    Its the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Simple as that.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  118. Dodie

    Well Jack

    You need to ask the Cheney/bush administration why they fell flat on their faces with this. They had 8 of the 10 years to prepare. Or were they too interested spending our trillions of dollars on two wars!!!

    You think private industry would do any better? Get Real! Look at the mess of our health care via insurance companies. So Get a Grip!!! Look at the oil companies and the mess they have made of the world. Oh yes, some Americans are aware what our Oil companies have done to other countries including how many wars and lives lost?

    March 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  119. Alex

    It means the our gov is no good at it's job and I'm a lil worried about how ill prepared with our jobs this gov is( health car, education any one )

    March 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  120. Morgan Scott

    The fact that the Census Bureau is not ready for this year's census, which only happens every 10 years, is a major testament to the priorities and focus of the previous administration. There was a census and there was an election in 2000....the same person was the head of the US government for the next 8 years, which should have been managed properly to be ready for a 2010 Census. It shows that the US government is laxidazical and has had their priorities in the wrong places for many many years.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  121. Sokoya, Baltimore

    Jack,
    Our question should've been "How scary would it have been if they WERE ready." It doesn't matter how long they had, beareucrats will never allow things in this country to move at it's proper pace.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  122. David Rowley

    I recently read that the census director will have a longer term which will make it less susceptible to politics. This one has been years in the planning, under the Republicans, who seem less supportive of it.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  123. Nelson in NC

    It means that the government is having about as much difficulty with its software as most private companies do. With 25 years experience in software development, mainly in the private sector, but also in the government sector, I can tell you that getting complex software systems to work is no easy task. Also, private enterprises are no better at it than government agencies. People like you who have no knowledge of what is involved in developing software have no business throwing tantrums.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  124. Stuart in Phila, PA

    It means one thing, someone needs to be fired. I've done IT projects for years, and granted this is a big project, but the answer in the corporate world would be "You're fired!"

    Sorry, sometimes the truth hurts...

    March 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  125. Matthew Cunliffe

    It means there are a lot of people. Over 300 million if you want to get more specific. We are the third most populous country in the world. It's gonna be hard counting that many people throughout our fifty states. It would be much easier and cheaper if people would simply fill out the census form and return it. The problem is NO ONE is ready to deal with an estimated 50 million people being to lazy to answer 10 questions. No matter what party runs the government.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  126. Karen

    I am very, very afraid the government will not only ruin 1/6 of our economy but ruin the best healthcare system in the world. The government has never run anything efficiently or at cost. Why should we think they can do so now? Social security, Medicaire, Medicaid, and now the Post Office are all suffering from economic woes. Get the picture?

    March 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  127. Steve Canada

    It proves the government is bad at this..The "free market" solution would be to hire all those number crunchers from Lehman Bros. and AIG to do it "right"......

    March 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  128. RickFromDetroit

    They may try a National ID Card and require everyone to have one and require one for all retail purchases and have law enforcement perform random checks of people living on the streets to see if they have one. Then when they want to perform a Census all they have to do is look at the computer.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  129. David (West Virgina)

    It's not surprising,since pretty much nothing they've had control of has ever come in on time, on budget, or according to plan. They need to run it as if it were any private business, namely either the job gets done or persons responsible are replaced. If we the American People demanded that of our politicians, and had the ability to hold them to it, there would be no National Debt, no Health Care Crisis, and – most certainly of all – nobody screaming about Doomsday when the other side manages to get a bill past....

    March 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  130. Tom

    Without making excuses for Obama, his administration entered office with two wars and an economic collapse to manage. What would Americans have said if he pushed the census to the top of his agenda? Contrarily, President Bush had eight of the last ten years to get the problem solved.

    Heck of a job, Bushie!

    March 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  131. John Agatski

    Don't forget that out the 10 years of preparation for the census, eight of those were under the leadership of President Bush. He was the decider, after all. Perhaps he decided preparing for the census wasn't a top priority.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  132. John Knight, Deltona FL

    What's the big deal? I got a notice the forms were coming, I got the forms and I got another notice reminding me to send the forms in. Some printing house can retire early. It's being run by Government, ie people who take a test for employment and if they fail they're hired.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  133. Andrew Smith

    It means, Jack, that the current systems that the Census Bureau uses are outdated and budgets are applied to the wrong things. There is hardly a "paperwork reduction", as payroll is done daily on paper forms. They tried the handheld computers last fall for Address Canvassing but have scrapped that program, doing who-knows-what with all of those devices that were paid for. Better management who were able to use some foresight to identify potential problems and support for the field offices would make this Decennial task more feaseable.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  134. Sarah

    It is a perfect example of how government bureaucracy is inefficient and important services should not be run by them if it can be helped. If there were private companies vying for the job of "doing the census", and competition was in place, you would see a great deal of efficiency.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  135. Kevin Mills

    Census in America is now becoming more inaccurate each due to the increase of illegal immigrants living in this country. Plus, its becoming more expensive to conduct these surveys, and the government is spending more money each year with less accurate account.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  136. Ty

    George Bush was running the country during eight of the last 10 years, no wonder the Census is screwed up, behind in technology, and not organized. It was not important on his watch just like all the really important things. If it was non important, then Bush funded it.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  137. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    It means you keep moving door to door for the census to be completed for people to get the resources they need in their community.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  138. Mike

    It should be noted that the government that "now wants to manage Health Care" is not the same government that had 10 years to prepare for the census. Eight of those 10 years were under the Bush administration. It is unfair to assert that the current government is incompetent based on how we were governed under the previous iteration.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  139. Michael

    So it came in the mail, will I get fined if I only put 1 person and leave the rest blank?

    How about my child. I share custody up the middle. Do I put 2? or 1.5?

    March 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  140. Bill K Reseda, Ca.

    It simply means that maybe the Census should be taken every 20 years instead of every decade . That or have your Census Form attached to a American Idol Finals Vote .

    March 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  141. Kevin Mills

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Census in America is now becoming more inaccurate each day due to the increase of illegal immigrants living in this country. Plus, its becoming more expensive to conduct these surveys, and the government is spending more money each year with less accurate account.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  142. John Jameson

    First, let's get rid of the failed notion that the government is more incompetent then private sector ran businesses. Jack, that sad fact is that it seems every entity is incompetent. I wouldn't trust a private company to do a better job with the census either. Would you have trusted the failed companies of Enron or Arthur Anderson to run the census? I've worked in the private sector for the last 20 plus years at almost every level and can tell you that companies are not ran any better then government. At least with the government there is some semblance of accountability.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  143. Megan from MA

    Remind me why we have a government!

    March 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  144. Eric Green

    The Census (Commerce Dept) puts out all of its data and maps for use by the public (no FOIA needed). It's very extensive and useful; it's not just a count. On the other hand, having done some IT consulting I am very aware of inertia from salary employees. But basically, it is way more than a headcount.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  145. Greg McCarthy

    Jack,2 weeks before the gov't sent out the census they sent out a letter saying that in a couple weeks you would receive a census.A week or 2 after we received our census we received a letter asking if we filled out our census.I'm not sure how many households there are in America(let's just say 100 million).100 million times 3 letters @ approximately 50 cents apiece is 150 million dollars.Where is the other 13.85 billion dollars?Also,a local report here in Tampa said that about a week and a half after the census went out,they only received 1% of the forms back.I said it's because the other 99% are illegal immigrants.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  146. Tim in Texas

    Jack,

    This is the same government that just this week was confused as to why a business like AT&T would lose money when their taxes increased. The real issue here is that many of our leaders, the President included, are career politicians who have never been a boss, never had to be on time for anything, and never had to meet a schedule. Any time they mess up or forget to do something they either change the rules or change the subject to cover their mistakes. This will not change until we as a public are smart enough to elect officials who have actually accomplished something in their lives outside of politics. Until then, idiocy and ineptitude will win the day.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  147. Tony Inman

    I agreed, if your statement about the Census Bureau has been working on this "moment in time" for the last ten years. I don't believe they have. There just like everything else in this world, they need budget and I bet Bush was not coughing-it-up for the last ten years.
    I'm retired, did not work for the government, give these guys a break, it can not be that bad, I filled out my census form and the information wasn't that complicated. Let's go find something better to complain about.
    Tony

    March 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  148. Jack Dempsey

    Jack, it means they couldn't Out Source the job. Jack Nice Ca.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  149. Mike from Michigan

    Jack,

    This is just another example of the multitude of things that the government does that should be done by private business. The tax payers would get a far better and less expensive result paying private industry to do this work than it does paying the government to do it. This is true of most things. The government should primarily protect the nation and leave most of the rest of it to the free market.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  150. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – It actually means nothing. Every IT project in the world has problems like this, all the time. Data analysis for the 1880 census took nine years, and were it not for the invention of the Hollerith machine, predecessor to the IBM computer, the 1890 census would have taken 13 years instead of three. The Census Bureau is an independent Constitutional agency, the only one if its kind, and has nothing to do with any other aspect of "your government at work." It is required by the Constitution to count everybody – in a country three thousand miles wide, 1500 miles deep, inhabited by nearly 300 million people. It takes every minute of the ten years between data collection dates to compile the data from the last count, figure out how to do the next one better, and set up the hardware., software, manpower and procedures to do the job. No other nation on earth has an agency like this with a requirement like this. It is the heart of American proportional representation by population. It costs what it costs, no politics, no cheating, but no perfection either, because perfect is impossible.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  151. Ken - - Lincoln City Oregon

    Jack, – Obviously, you have not ever worked for the government.

    Incompetents supervising incompetence yields incomplete enterprises !

    They never heard of the 7 P's Adage:

    Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  152. Allen

    Having a 35-year background in operations management and having worked for the 2010 Census for 6 months last fall as an Assistant Manager of Administration, I can honestly say that the entire Census operation is just short of a disaster. Needless complexity, incredible waste of both time and materials, software applications that were riddled with bugs and poor performance, and bureaucracy that defies description. It is hard to comprehend that in all these years with all the incredible technology presently available this is the best America can do. As for results, if we can't control our borders, how on earth can the Census count be worth a fraction of the expense involved. Our government at work for us. . .?

    March 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  153. Elinor Bowles

    How and why did you manage to make a swipe at the Obama administration when talking about a technical problem in the Census Bureau that occurred years before his election? Different types of problems, different administrations.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  154. Jerry

    For the same reason This new Admin is going after Insurance Fraud!
    In every Admin. we have no gooders wjo feed on the money, but do nothing to earn it! What are the real educational rquirements for Census
    hiree's? I know Federal
    Offlicers who just have a GED requirement. Without real educated people we will always have this situation.... people with no real co
    mittment to reality! We have the technology, no
    one ready for this next Century! All we really have is empty promises
    just for the sake of income for the non/educated!

    March 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  155. Bob In Florida

    Jack, I think it is a reflection of the Bush administration (8 year of prep or lack of same) and general software contracts that do NOT have penalties for unworkable software. The Veterans Administration and the Border Security departments are both prime examples. The Census bureau is more political than it should be.

    I worked as an interviewer in the last Census and it amazed me how many people refused to participate. Not illegals or homeless but plain ole middle class families. Sometimes I would go back four times without results. Taking a Census SOUNDS easy, but it is FAR from easy if citizens DO NOT COOPERATE.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  156. Rob in Alberta

    Jack you seem so upset these days. What I would ask is why does it cost so much? 14 Billion?? The last one in Canada cost 567 million in 2007. Per capita that is almost 3 times as much. Why do you guys pay so much more for everything than the rest of the world and get less?

    March 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  157. Megan from MA

    Bet ya those 15,000 temporary workers that got paid $300 and produced little will by the first on the rehire list.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  158. Medifico, PA

    What it may mean is that the reality is it could never be accurate, when you have so-called law abiding citizens stating right here on your blog that they will not answer the door when a census person shows up. Not to mention those who will not submit their info because they don't belong here in the first place.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  159. Bob from Houston

    It means that we should give them more money. In my eyes, the government is starting to look more and more like a drunk stripper.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  160. Daniel

    Honestly, it troubles me that they are unprepared. They have known the date of this census for years. There is no reason why they shouldn't be ready for it.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  161. Mark, Oklahoma City

    It means that Obama's administration doesn't even know how to count people, let alone run their health care!

    March 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  162. Jon from Va. Beach

    Hi Jack,

    Thanks for the message! I've been meaning to fill out this census form for a number of days now. Instead of complaining about how the government doesn't have a perfect plan for getting lazy citizens to fill out their census forms how about complaining about lazy citizens who don't fill out and return their forms? U.S. citizens are largely complacent and need to read more often and realize that it is important to vote in every election as well as doing other mundane things...like mail in census forms in a timely manner.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  163. Ben Migosi

    Cant be ready? You must be kidding!!! The only thing that is ussually ready and on time on any government run program, is SPIN and SPIN on why we should accept their failures with grace and give the political class a reason to spend more of your hard earned tax dollars.
    wait untill you hear their plans to perfect it in 2020.

    Ben Migosi
    Elizabeth, NJ

    March 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  164. Bruce - Delaware

    It is symptomatic that through laws and policies we have made life too complex to function. I see it at the state level, and friends say they see it at the federal level. We saw it clearly at Katrina too. Time to abandon the idea that we need the government – we must start to ignore it and hit the restart button.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  165. Lucy, Austin, Texas

    Aren't government computer services provide from bids? Maybe it isn't big government Americans should worry about but big corporations who keep screwing up? I think Americans need to remember that American Corporations made obsene profits from the war in Iraq and Katrina, crashed Wall Street, and have destroyed U.S. health care. After the bailout, Americans should get mad about corporations raising cost while their performance has dramatically worsen, paying out billions in yearly bonuses to brain dead CEOs, and passing out obscene amounts of money to Congress. Maybe Americans might find that stopping lobby money might be the key to balancing our budget. After all every penny corporations pay to their CEO's and spend to lobby the US Congress came from the American consumer. Corporations have been robbing Peter (the American consumer) to pay Paul (our Congressmen and CEO's) for long enough.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  166. Scott Stodden

    To be honest Jack The Census Buearu had 10 yrs to be ready for this day and I think and believe in my heart that they are ready but I also know more than likely they are going to have to have people go door to door in most places because the 2010 Census has only been talked about just back in Febuary, this is an issue that should have been talked about, publicized on TV and all that all through 2009 and part of 2008 so tell me why America and the media focused all of 2008 and 2009 on the election, Nadia Suleman, the war in Iraq, and all this other stuff but nothing was said about the 2010 Census till the month of Febuary 2010? I guess that's the only time we really count when its 2mnths before the deadline right Jack? Goverment is so corrupt and everyone knows it!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    March 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  167. Daryl

    Jack, you have to ask why the government isn't ready after 10 years? Hmmm, perhaps it's because we were under Republican rule. We weren't ready for 9-11. We weren't ready for Katrina. We certainly weren't ready for a war in Iraq. Why should we be ready for the census? Maybe it's because all of Bush's tax cuts have made it impossible to hire enough competent people. Daryl, Concord

    March 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  168. Robert F. Mimm

    I think the Census is necessary, but I wonder if the cost is worth it? I received a letter saying I would get a form in the mail. Did I need this? After I completed my form and sent it in, I received another letter reminding me to send in my form if I had not already done so. Imagine the cost of sending three letters to every household in the country? This, in addition to the cost of sending personal interviewers when necessaary.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  169. Bob in Kansas City

    It means the more things change the more they stay the same....

    March 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  170. John Agatski

    Don't forget that out of the 10 years of preparation for the census, eight of those were under the leadership of President Bush. He was "The Decider," after all. Perhaps he decided preparing for the census wasn't a top priority.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  171. Pedro

    It means that it's not a big surprise. Yet another Government project that is ill prepared, costs too much, and in the end will not, get the anticipated results. Kind of like how Social Security is turning into. Except the Government can't borrow $2.5 trillion from the Census Bureau.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  172. Ernst Kastning

    I work for the Census. The public at large has little or no knowledge nor appreciation of the complexity of the task. It makes little sense to criticize a process that one knows so little about. Given the magnitude of the chore, the Census is doing remarkably well. The folks I work with at the Census are highly dedicated people. They are from all walks of life and are model governmental employees.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  173. Eugene Northern Cal

    It's just another worthless government bureaucracy Jack. And The democrats are giving health care to the same feckless government?

    March 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  174. doug

    Having the Census Bureau forget what happens in 10 years is nothing compared to the Congress forgeting that they are supposed to have a federal budget passed by October 1 of each year. In 1967 they even moved the fiscal year back three months just so thry would have time to get it passed in time. Don't think they have yet. You might forget in 10 years, but not in 1 year, each year.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  175. Michael

    How about putting the people on welfare on the job?

    They ae already getting paid, now they can get off their asses and do something.

    NO more free meals, we cannot afford it as a country.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  176. steve- virginia beach

    It means that we elected a President with no executive experience and it shows. A President who didn't maintain current knowledge of Afghanastan certainly wouldn't think the census was important enough to tend to.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  177. Jan P

    It means that the Republican Party has been situated to benefit from a failed or faulty Census. Ten years between censuses includes 8 years of a Republican George Bush administration that systematically cut governement services right and left while waging 2 illegal wars. Add to that, bad software that was not created by government programmers, but by the good old private sector who Republicans try to sell as the answer to all of our problems, and you get chaos. The real question Cafferty should be asking "Who benefits from a poorly done cenus in 2010?" Easy answer! Do you really think the Republican Party wants all of those hispanics, blacks, and other minorities to be counted and affect the political process? The Party of No benefits again when stories of the census crisis hit the media and TV pundits wax enthusiastically about how incompetent the government is.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  178. Hope R. Bey

    Hey Jack,
    Maybe it means that something fishy is about to take place...given the negative downhill this Country has taken since President Obama has been voted into office, could there be some racist maneuvers that would have certain districts that are heavily populated by minorities be under counted so that they are are not included in the final count...give that some thought Jack!

    March 30, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  179. Ray, Tx

    Jack's most telling comment – that the Census is being undertaken by the same government that now wants to run healthcare for us. Who knows what the costs and associated deficits of healthcare reform will be in the end? Jack's comments regarding the Census are small potatoes compared to our huge deficit and the new ponzi scheme funding for healthcare reform. Just business as usual in DC, as noted in a post above. How can anyone believe "deficit neutral" these days????

    March 30, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  180. Sean

    I'm a New York State employee who just found out yesterday that the Census Bureau is requiring me to administer their survey April 1st & April 2nd. Best of all I'm not getting paid for it! What happened to all those millions of census takers they've been training & will be paying!?

    March 30, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  181. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If State and local government would stop cheating by redistricting to boost their political representation the census count could be done on time. But they won't until they get caught.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  182. Debra

    Instead of mocking the Census bureau is coming and we should have been ready for it. Lets think about the cuts that many agency had to eliminate positions. Like OSHA, Food and Drug Inspectors, etc.. Because of the Bush administration! We act like this just happen this year. When did Bush leave again? One year and we have seen many changes from this president who has put in competence people that are working on every issue that has serious flaws.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  183. Diane - St.Louis

    Hmmm...unless things are significantly changed, it means we'll be asking this same question in 2020...2030...2040...
    Since the Constitution only requires a "headcount" for the census, just think how much time & money could be saved (not to mention the amount of "trees") by simply doing one mass mailing with only one question listed on the census form, "How many people live at this residence?"
    Wow...what a novel idea, huh? Uh...I'm sorry, but I guess that would be too easy!

    March 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  184. john

    As a senseless oops! I mean Census employee, I see waste single day. Our computers freeze and crash three times a week, leaving an office full of people idle. Although,I am grateful to have job after being laid off for almost a year!

    March 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  185. Megan from MA

    How much did we pay for the Superbowl ad? They said that was going to make the returns increase by 20-30% . Problem solved therefore no need to hire anbody additionally.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  186. MA in Arizona

    I can't say that it is surprising that the Federal Census machine is not ready when needed but it would have been nice to forego the mail waste by letting some of us respond by email earlier THEN send out mail to those who can't use the Internet. Why is it so hard for Federal and State Governments to use their heads and save, not needlessly spend, our tax monies?

    March 30, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  187. Megan from MA

    All the retiring congressmen and women will have plenty of time on their hands and since they will be collecting pensions they can go door to door. Retiring senators to.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  188. Dodie - Newport Beach, California

    Jack

    You need to ask the Cheney/bush administration why they fell flat on their faces with this. They had 8 of the 10 years to prepare. Or were they too interested spending our trillions of dollars on two wars!!!

    March 30, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  189. David in San Diego

    It means that like so many other things written into our Constitution, the "Founding Fathers" has no comprehension of how complex life would be 200+ years later and that admittedly-imperfect document will plague us with problems indefinitely: right to bear (automatic weapons) arms, petitioning (using paid lobbyists and PACs) the government, no religious test (but atheiss need not apply) for elective office, and more.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  190. steve- virginia beach

    Look at the idiots we keep electing and re-electing. Garbage in, garbage out.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  191. Rory Murray

    Jack,
    My son-in-law appiled for the Census taker job. He was accepted, but they STILL haven't contacted him.
    That's a tough job, going to the homes of those too Stupid or Fearful to fill out and mail a FORM. But he is still willing to do it. Even temporary, a job is a job nowadays.
    Rory Murray
    San Bernardino, CA

    March 30, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  192. Andrew

    Who cares how many people there are around? There's too damn many that's all I know. Send all the census workers to be TSA screeners, they'll be a perfect fit there.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:52 pm |