Perspective: WIS Editorial on the 2010 Census

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - By now, you should have received your 2010 Census questionnaire in the mail. And if you haven't filled it out yet, I urge you to do it out today.

Some people question why the Census Bureau asks if you own your home, and the age and race of everyone living there.  I don't have time here to explain the reasons behind each of the ten questions on the form.  But you can go to the website, , click on "look for your census form now", and get the facts.  The Census Bureau gathers data mandated by Congress and the U.S. Constitution.  If you want to change the form for the next census, call Congress.

In the meantime, federal law requires filling out the questionnaire.  If you don't, a census employee can visit up to six times to get the answers, and you could be fined up to $5,000 if you don't cooperate.

Census data are used to help our leaders figure out where to build new schools and hospitals, and how to spend more than $400 billion a year in federal funds. The 2010 Census could also give South Carolina an extra seat in Congress.

Don't short-change your state and community. And if you want to help cut federal spending, mail the form back in early April.  It costs just 42 cents to process your questionnaire, but $57 to get the data in person.  That's my perspective.  I'd like to know what you think!