Was 2010 Census a success?
Happy Monday! At least 72 percent of American households returned their forms to the U.S. Census Bureau this year, matching returns for the 2000 headcount. Final numbers will be announced on Wednesday and Obama administration officials cheered the early numbers late last week as evidence of successful outreach efforts.
But a leading Republican Census critic phoned The Eye within minutes of Friday's announcement and raised an interesting point:
“This census cost more than double what the census cost in 2000," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). He finds it curious that officials would be happy to only match 2000 figures despite a 2010 budget that was more than three times what was spent ten years ago.
"They spent $300 million on advertising that a lot of us were critical of and they’re getting poor results in the places we know we have problems," he said, referring to a controversial Census Bureau Super Bowl ad panned by critics.
The agency's 2010 budget was the same as 2000 on an inflation-adjusted basis, said Census Bureau spokesman Steven Jost.
"We spent just 5 percent more in equivalent dollars this year on a population that was 10 percent bigger," he said in an e-mail. The 2000 Census was also the first conducted with a paid advertising campaign, so 2010's headcount needed an equally robust ad strategy to stay even with previous numbers, he said.
In his e-mail Jost listed other reasons for only breaking even with 2000: The country has grown in size and diversity since 2000 and the last headcount was conducted at a time of economic prosperity when Americans had a better opinion of government.
"Most observers of the census during the last several years predicted these factors would make the job tougher in 2010 but so far the public has got us off to a great start," Jost said, noting that the second part of Census operations kicks off soon when census takers start knocking on doors.
So who's right? Chaffetz or Jost?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below
Willard Wirtz Dies: The 10th labor secretary and last surviving member of John F. Kennedy's Cabinet died Saturday at age 98. "On both a personal and professional level, I owe him a debt of gratitude," Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said in a statement. "One of his most important tasks during his tenure was implementing Labor Department anti-discrimination regulatory responsibilities under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As a result of his work, almost exactly 40 years after he left office, a Latina and daughter of immigrants became the 25th U.S. secretary of labor."
• Cabinet and Staff News: If we could read Obama's e-mails, they might read something like these. How Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton got her groove with Obama. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner gets an earful on NASA and Lobstermen, among other issues, while wooing Republican senators on financial reform. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and his "team of old guys" compete in a charity basketball tournament. The self-importance of being Robert Gates. Some insider perspective on the Supreme Court nomination process, while one commentator thinks he should pick an older nominee. A conversation with Robert A. Peck, GSA's commissioner of public buildings.
• CIA turns to smaller missiles: The agency is using new, smaller missiles and advanced surveillance techniques to minimize civilian casualties in its targeted killings of suspected insurgents in Pakistan's tribal areas.
• Search ends for missing oil rig workers: The possibility of such leaks and their potentially devastating impact on local fisheries had been a major concern since the first explosion, only 50 miles from the Louisiana coast.
• FAA to mandate new inspections on some Boeing 737s: The safety directive scheduled to be issued as early as Monday requires inspections of mechanisms that help control part of the elevators on the jets.
• FAA wants no pilot distractions: Regulators are prodding airlines to take concrete steps that would ensure their pilots are not distracted by laptops, cellphones and extraneous conversations.
• 'Green' goods, red flags: Consumers and the Federal Trade Commission have begun challenging whether "green" claims live up to their billing.
• Presidential transition work must begin before elections, experts say: The transition from Bush to Obama was one of the smoothest in history, experts told a Senate hearing Thursday -- but its success doesn't guarantee smooth transitions in the future.
• Almost half of NSPS employees to be in new pay plans by June: The Pentagon had transferred 6,918 employees out of the pay for performance plan as of April 15. Most came from Defense Department agencies other than the uniformed service branches.
MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION:
• Massey defends work and pledges ‘accountability’: Federal regulators at the agency have repeatedly found violations of ventilation and training requirements at Upper Big Branch and other Massey mines.
• Change in experiment will delay Shuttle’s end: A $1.5 billion seven-ton cosmic-ray experiment scheduled to be carried aloft July 29 on Endeavour won’t be ready until August.
• NASA has escape plan for space station astronauts: The agency may send the Orion capsule to the International Space Station in three years.
• SEC's top cop oversaw Deutsche CDOs: Enforcement chief Robert Khuzami oversaw a group of lawyers at the company that was closely involved in developing collateralized debt obligations, the same product in the agency's fraud lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
• More American expatriates give up citizenship: The Federal Register, the government publication that records such decisions, shows that 502 expatriates gave up their U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status in the last quarter of 2009. That is a tiny portion of the 5.2 million Americans estimated by the State Department to be living abroad.
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| April 26, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Census, Eye Opener
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