Home » Economy, Politics

Is The 2010 Census A Bailout For The Post Office?

31 March 2010 15 Comments

As I filled out and sent in my Census form the other day, I was thinking, why the heck isn’t this done online?  It would save paper, postage, etc.  Then I thought wow this is nice for the post office.  Especially since the Census Dep’t sent everyone mail telling them that they would be getting another piece of mail (the actual form) in a few weeks.

Assuming there’s at least 100 million households, two pieces of mail each.  That is 200 million pieces of mail paid for by the government to another branch of government.  Of course, many people are ranting about the ridiculous losses that the U.S. Postal Service is incurring but few people are talking about how much the Census costs (some are).  So, why not just fund some mail from the Census “account”?

Seriously.  Think about it.  It’s 2010.  Why isn’t this done online?  I mean you can e-file your taxes for heaven’s sake to the IRS but you can’t tell the Census Dep’t how many people live in your house?

The madness continues.


  • Ted said:

    I totally agree! I hate filling out paperwork and sending it in the mail. I always ask if there is an online form to fill out everywhere. The amount of trees wasted, postage, time, etc. Just astronomical. I am guessing buying a couple larger servers and maintaining them is pretty expensive as well- but the waste. I recognize some folks do not have the fancy internet- allow an opt-in then. Something! Thanks for the post

  • baseballumpirevideos said:

    This post has helped me to have another perspective. I am researching this topic for a paper I am writing. Your article provided me great insight of my topic.

  • RainyDaySaver said:

    The first letter 'warning' us that we're going to get a Census form was ridiculous and a waste of money. But I realize even in this day and age, not everyone has the Internet, particularly the illegal immigrants that they're trying to include in the population count.

  • 20smoney said:

    Not everyone e-files but the capability is there and i'm sure it saves money for the IRS rather than processing 100 million paper tax returns

  • Jackie said:

    We actually got a third piece: the heads up letter, the census, and a reminder to complete the census. It all appears random too, since I'd already completed and returned the census the week before getting the reminder.

  • UptownDenver said:

    I don't fully understand why people get upset about the census. It's Constitutionally Mandated! I would like to be able to go online and fill it out, and from what i'm told, that will be an option next time around.

    They have to do it, and they have to do it in a way that reaches every single household in the country. If you can think of a better way to do that then the post office, great! There are many wastes in government, but spending money on something the founding fathers designed as a way to keep you fairly represented is not a waste of $$.

  • 20smoney said:

    I'm not saying we shouldn't do a census. I'm saying we should do it at the least cost possible. The IRS has attempted to become streamlined and efficient and lower costs by doing e-filing through the internet. Obviously some people don't have internet and those people mail in their tax returns. Why can't the same exact principles be moved to the Census? Why? Because the post office needed some money of course.

  • Keith said:

    5 days late — I'll comment anyway 🙂

    While I agree that the lack of a Census "e-file" is ridiculous, I don't buy the post office conspiracy theory. The unfortunate reality is that government agencies are inefficient. They have always been slow to implement new processes and probably always will be.

    My understanding is that it's cheaper to bother people through multiple "pointless" mailings, with the goal of raising responses by a few percent, than it is to hire additional temps to gather information door to door from non-responders. But hey, maybe that's the solution to the unemployment problem.

    The point being that if it works, great – if not we can always start "the war on Census non-responders" and add an additional way to bankrupt our states. <– see what I did there?

    Citations: The Googles and interwebs

  • MFO said:

    Very good point, though like you guys already stated, not everyone has the capacity to do the census online. Even if some people had access to the internet via a public library, a lot of people still don't know how to use a computer at all- even turn it on.

  • andy23 said:

    As I filled out and sent in my Census form the other day, I was thinking, why the heck isn

  • Pandora Charm said:

    Yo. I think to write well, worth looking at, hope to continue to work, I will continue to focus on your blog.

  • randyboy said:

    Famous Footwear is a nationwide chain of retail stores in the United States dealing in branded footwear, generally at prices discounted from manufacturer's suggested prices.famous footwear men s winter boots

  • 24 hr fitness deals said:

    Wonderful post about Defcon 17 and I am so glad that I have found it. I will definitely bookmark this page and come here again in the future.