Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Last week, in a seemingly little-noticed vote, the House passed an appropriations bill that would prevent the completion of the 2010 Census and end the inter-decade American Community Survey.As it turns out though, many did notice — those who would be directly affected by the loss of data, namely economists, finance experts and even businesses themselves.
Mesirow’s Diane Swonk called it a “shocking drive-by” on the Census.
Decisions being made today are still anchored to data gathered in 2007, prior to the recession and financial crisis. We have obviously seen tectonic shifts since then, so decisions made without updating that data will distort any view of our economy and threaten the foundations of capitalism: transparency and access to information.
Our closing thought is simply that federal statistics cannot be executed by the private sector with integrity.
Calculated Risk’s Bill McBride has unquestionably the best run-down, finding condemnations of the vote from seven different news organisations across the political spectrum. He folded in his own commentary:
The Depression led to an effort to enhance and expand data collection on employment and I was hoping the housing bubble and bust would lead to a similar effort to collect better housing related data.
Pretty sad. The only good news is this vote was condemned across the political spectrum.
Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest business lobbying group in the country, has come out against the measure.
The budget cut is being led by Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) gained his seat as part of the 2010 Tea Party revolution that won Republicans control of the House, according to Businessweek.
It now awaits Senate approval.