AMERICANS H^E always had anhealthy suspicion of governmentnsnooping. When George Washington’snadministration undertook the firstncensus in 1790, under the supervisionnof Thomas Jefferson, it only countednheads. Yet the public resisted on anmassive scale.nAt that time, Americans were widelynfamiliar with the biblical anti-censusnstory of First Samuel. King David toldnJoab: “Go through all the tribes ofnIsrael from Dan to Bersabee, andnnumber ye the people that I may knownthe number of them.” Joab cautionednagainst the King’s arrogance: “Whatnmeaneth my lord the King by this kindnof thing?” But King David pushednahead, and once eight hundred thousandnhad been counted, he was strucknby the enormity of what he had done:n”I have sinned very much in what Inhave done; But I pray thee O Lord, tontake away the iniquity of thy servant,nbecause I have done exceedingly foolishly.”nThe Lord sent a pestilence andnseventy thousand died.nThe modern census has brought andifferent type of pestilence: social engineering,naffirmative action, economicn”fine-tuning,” and subsidies and privilegesngalore.nIn colonial times, demographic recordsnwere largely kept by the elders ofnthe church; no government enumerationnof all the colonies was ever undertaken.nThe Constitution, however, requiredna simple head count. Section 2nof Article 1 says: “Representatives andndirect taxes shall be apportionednamong the several States . . . accordingnto their respective numbers, whichnshall be determined by adding to thenwhole number of free persons, includingnthose bound to service for a term ofnyears, and excluding Indians who paynno taxes, and three fifths of all othernpersons.” The fraction and provisosnwere, of course, superseded by thenFourteenth Amendment in 1868.nBut over time, census questions becamenincreasingly invasive. In 1810,nthe government asked about machinery,nand in 1850, it counted everynmember of the family, not just then6/CHRONICLESnCULTURAL REVOLUTIONSnhead of the household. At the turn ofnthe century, the government employednan army of census clerks, and in 1940,na sizable rebellion was incited by questionsnsuch as “do you have a toilet ornprivy?” and “how much money [inngeneral] do you make?” SenatornChades W. Tobey (R-NH) denouncednthis as intolerable, un-American, a violationnof the Bill of Rights, and lackingnlegislative authority. A group of housewivesnin New York organized an anticensusnbroom brigade. A woman fromnKenmore, New York, said she knew ofnseven hundred women ready to go tonjail rather than reveal their incomes tonthe census-taker, and merchants innWashington, D.C., launched an “Anti-SnoopingnClub.”nIn 1970, controversy broke outnagain. Inner-city residents refused tonopen their doors to census-takers, and anWisconsin assemblyman urged constituentsnonly to give their name, address,nsex, and marital status. South Caroliniannresistance was so strong that manynenumerators resigned their jobs.nThe 1990 census was more detailednand intrusive than any in history. Itnasked about ethnicity and race, thennumber of toilets, air conditioning, fuelnand rent costs, how many childrennwomen have borne, how many times anperson has been married, and more.nFive out of six households answeredn14-question forms; the rest answerednan additional 19 questions, and a fewnhad a total of 59 questions. Providingnall this information, Americans werentold, “is important to you, your community,nand the Nation.”nHomeless advocate Mitch Snydernand his band of bums refused to bencounted, undoubtedly because theirninflated estimate of three millionnhomeless would be revealed as a fraud.nRegular Americans advanced a morenlegitimate objection: if one has thenright to keep family affairs private fromnneighbors, why not from the government?nThe Census Bureau claims to keepnour answers confidential from other taxnand police agencies, but our history isnreplete with broken government prom­nnnises (for example, the 1933 confiscationnof the people’s gold). The censusnpromise could be wiped out in anninstant by executive fiat, and all resistersnlabeled unpatriotic.nThanks to the census, the governmentnnow has an up-to-date, computerizedndossier on every American citizen,nin addition to the one kept fornrevenue purposes. Even if census datanisn’t turned over to more hazardousnagencies, it will be used to govern usnmore comprehensively. The data arenused to propagandize for the “non-traditionalnfamily,” so that it can receivenlegal encouragement; for more programsnfor the underclass, already devastatednby the present welfare system;nmore public schools; favors to industry;njob retraining programs; more redistricdngnalong racial and ethnic lines;nand for generally divvying up federalnloot among pressure groups.nSome businessmen defend the censusnbecause they can use its data innmarketing research. Indeed, as the directornof the 1970 census said, it is “angold mine for business.” But corporationsnare perfecfly capable of gatheringnthe information they need voluntarilyn— as they do already.nIn April 1976, the last great censusnopponent. Congressman John Ashbrookn(R-IL), introduced an amendmentnto “remove all the penalties,nmonetary as well as prison penalties,nfor refusing to answer a census question.”nThe government is going “farnbeyond the original intentions of thencensus,” he said on the House floor.n”The Government already compelsntoo many things under penalty of law.nLet us draw the line here and now innthis one area.”nThe House agreed and voted overwhelminglyn(248-140) for the AshbrooknAmendment. But, as is often thencase, it was removed during the offthe-recordnconference stage.nToday’s penalty for not answering isn$100, although it is virtually nevernimposed. In 1980, one man was harassednfive times, but never gave in, andnwas never fined. Answering the formnfalsely, however, carries a fine of $500n