House Bill Guts the Census Bureau Budget

The Consequences of Budget Cuts
Director’s Blog (Census Bureau) | July 15, 2011

A cut of this magnitude in our periodic programs account means we cannot do all the work the Congress has asked us to do. Our ability to provide high quality and comprehensive statistical data will be severely diminished if we sustain such a large budget cut and we will be forced to cancel major programs that provide critical benchmark measures.

Census Budget: House Bill Would Gut Economic Monitoring, Endanger GDP and Other Stats
PeopleUnlikeUs | July 12, 2011

“It’s essentially turning out the lights as economic policymakers are trying to do their work,” said Andrew Reamer, a George Washington University professor who focuses on economics and U.S. competitiveness.

“It would have major, permanent impacts on the nation’s economic and demographic statistics,” the bureau said, according to Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), a member and past chair of the House Joint Economic Committee.

“There’s a misunderstanding if they think the Census has nothing to do with GDP,” said Reamer.

“That’s false, absolutely false,” echoed Haver. “The basic data that go into the national accounts are born at the Census Bureau.”

Still, the survey has fallen into disfavor and suspicion recently, especially on the right.

“I just have no clue what they are thinking,” Haver said. “If you want to run the country not based on information but just based on your ideology, this is fine — if you don’t need to know what’s going on out there.”

Census Cuts Could End Some Surveys
Carol Morello | Washington Post
July 12, 2011

“Given the huge debate we are having about the state of the economy and what we should be doing for the next 10 years to grow jobs, it makes no sense to be gutting the data collection that tells us where we have been and where we are going,” said Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.).

Kenneth Prewitt, who headed the Census bureau during the 2000 count, said the cuts would make policymaking more difficult.

“It means the people who have to make decisions are going to scurry around to find second-rate, substitute information instead of sophisticated, carefully collected statistics that the Census Bureau, and only the Census Bureau, can provide,” he said.

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