When it comes to the census, forget about the cheap politics involved. (As you may recall, one of the first things Obama did when he took office was to snatch the power of the U.S. Census from the Commerce Department and pull it directly into the White House… To control the Census is to control how state populations are counted and therefore how representation is doled out.)
But just forget about that. That’s the kind of crap we’ve come to expect from D.C…
Here’s the math that drives me crazy…
In 1970 it cost $1.22 per person to count every person in the United States – all 203.3 million of us.
In 2010, it’s projected to cost $45.31 per person to make the count.
Why such a vast difference? Well, there are two main factors: inflation and population growth. Fair enough. In today’s economy, a 1970’s dollar doesn’t buy much. In fact, due to inflation, it would take $5.58 to equal that old single-buck buying power.
Add to that the fact that our population has grown by a factor of 1.5, and you should start to see a Census cost per person count (in today’s dollars) of $10.25 [$1.22 *5.58*1.5]. Heck, let’s completely ignore the phenomenal efficiency of 40 years of technological revolution and call it an even $15 per person. This nets out to $5 billion for the entire Census count (and that’s an extremely generous estimate).
Instead, the actual projected amount for the 2010 Census is actually about $14.3 billion.
And why do you suppose it will cost $45.31 per person (just toss in a sleaze factor of three) in 2010 for a system that will no doubt be crooked as hell? You do the math.
Yeah, I’m ticked. You should be, too.