Office of Representative Ron Paul
Press Release – 28 March 2000
March 28, 2000
Paul Introduces Bill to Limit Census
Bureau's Information Gathering is Too Intrusive
Washington, D.C. – On Friday, Congressman Ron Paul introduced a privacy bill that will prohibit the Census Bureau from collecting any information from citizens except for name, address, and the number of people per residence. The bill, HR 4085, was prompted by scores of calls to Paul’s office from constituents who felt the census form was too intrusive. Paul said this bill would protect the privacy of all Americans from the federal government.
Said Paul, "American citizens have the right to be free from the prying eyes of government bureaucrats. This legislation will give Americans the peace of mind that comes from knowing that every detail of their lives is not being filed away and viewed as potentially criminal. It restores and protects the fundamental privacy and due process rights that are the foundation of our system of government."
Many of the complaints coming into Paul’s office were from constituents who received the "long form" from the Census Bureau which asks for information such as income and religious affiliation. Paul said all that the census needs is a person’s name, address, and the number of occupants in the home.
"All of this additional information being request by the Census Bureau is a major intrusion on the privacy of American citizens," Paul said. "Some members of Congress will claim that the federal government needs the power to monitor Americans in order to allow the government to operate more efficiently. I would remind my colleagues that in a constitutional republic the people are never asked to sacrifice their liberties to make the job of government officials a little bit easier. We are here to protect the freedom of the American people, not to make privacy invasion more efficient."
"I urge all of my colleagues to join me in protecting the freedoms and liberties of all Americans by cosponsoring HR 4085," said Paul. "It’s time we take a stand against federal bureaucrats invading our privacy and recording every detail of our lives."