Bob Haase’s Another Can Of Worms

The American Community Survey

Last week I received the American Community Survey in the mail.  It is being distributed by the United States Census Bureau and on the envelop it indicates that I am required by law under Title 13, Sections 141, 193, and 221 of the U. S. Code to fill it out and return it.  After reading through the survey I have some real problems with the questions they are asking. 


I personally believe that some of these questions are an invasion of my privacy and do not need to be asked.  Maybe I shouldn’t complain because our government probably knows more about me that I do.  They already keep track of every phone call that I make and every website that I visit.  They can also check on every purchase I make with my credit card and what I purchased.  They also know every investment that we have and our total net worth.  I found this out when my wife’s father died and they knew how much money her parents had in investments.


I believe that today with terrorism and homeland security issues there is a need to have certain information to help protect us, but why do they need to know some of the following questions that are on the survey such as those listed below?


– How are the people living in this residence related to each other?

– How well does the person living in this residence speak English?

– How many separate rooms are in this residence?

– How many of these rooms are bedrooms?

– Are there any computers or mobile smart phones in the home?

– Do any members of the household have access to the internet?

– Which fuel is used most often to heat the home?

– What was last month’s cost of electricity, fuel, and sewer and water?

– Do you or anyone in the home have a mortgage or second mortgage?

– Is anyone covered by health insurance?

– Does this person have difficulty dressing or bathing?

– Does anyone have a physical, mental, or emotional condition?

– Has anyone in the home given birth within the last year?

– How many times has this person been married?

– What time did this person leave to go to work last week?

– Last week was this person temporarily absent from a job?

– What was the salary, commissions, bonuses, and tips from all jobs for this person?

– What was this persons total income during the last 12 months?

– Does this home have hot and cold running water, a flush toilet, a shower, a sink with

  a faucet, a refrigerator, or a telephone?


These questions came directly from the survey.  If you received this survey what did you think about the questions?  I guess we have a choice in that we can comply and answer the questions or go to prison.  I wonder what they are going to require us to provide next?

I also wonder what this is costing taxpayers every year to conduct the survey?


Bob Haase is the host of “Outdoors Thursday” heard Thursday mornings at 9:10 a.m. on News-Talk 1450 KFIZ.