Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Walter E. Williams and the Census

Walter E. Williams' latest article concerns the Census; he essentially argues that the census should consist of one question, specifically how many people live in that house.
Unless a census taker can show me a constitutional requirement, the only information I plan to give are the number and names of the people in my household. The census taker might say, "It's the law." Thomas Jefferson said, "Whensoever the General Government (Washington) assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force."
For those of you wondering, I doubt that Williams would accept the General Welfare clause as applying in this case. He kind of hates that clause anyway. But this would seem an ideal place to apply it. Gathering that information is useful for administering government programs and for research purposes.

But then again Williams opposes most of those government programs as well, if not all of them.

1 comment:

Conrad said...

1. The "general welfare clause is part of Article 1 section 8, the tax and spend power. It certainly doesn't let Congress force you to answer questions. It only lets
Congress spend money for the general welfare.

2. A broad census would not have to be Constitutionally required; merely constitutionally permissible.

3. The "necessary and proper" clause permits the Census to be broad. It is unquestionably necessary and proper to have demographic information available in order to properly levy taxes, to regulate interstate commerce, to regulate the military, and exercise its other enumerated powers in a proper fashion.