Worst case scenario for avoiding Uncle Sam’s questions could be a $5,000 fine, although according to the U.S. Census Bureau, no American (yet) has been fined — and only 67 percent of Americans participated in the 2000 census.
But questions such as “Does anyone at home, because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition, have serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions?” or “How many rooms are in your home?” can seem more invasive than inviting.
More than 250,000 households are sent this survey each month, which also list strict regulations on how you fill out the form, like no slashes through your number 7s. It is a federal crime not to respond, and the U.S. Census Bureau has strict rules safeguarding their data and wants to reassure doubters that the census is used to see where you distribute your dollars not to peek through your curtains. Any federal government workers revealing census stats can be fined or imprisoned.
Angry Americans have taken to some blogging sites to inform others that census workers have visited their homes when they choose to not complete the survey.
So if the federal government’s questions seem more like an interrogation than a survey, you have to decide what is worse, filling the questions out on paper or giving them to the government in person if they choose to come to you.
Date posted: July 2, 2009
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