It’s not as if we didn’t see this coming. Census problems are now starting to creep into the news, despite the government telling us there were no worries. Everything from ID theft to a conservative boycott has led to a $15 billion dollar head count debacle. But look on the bright side; government that can’t efficiently count the population is now in charge of the people’s healthcare.

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By now you’ve all received your census forms in the mail. If you’re like me (a fine upstanding citizen) you filled out the ten questions and sent it back in. Okay, my wife did it, but you get the picture. No problems right? Not so fast.

The government is worried about possible census problems as the mailings begin to cease and the foot soldiers are released in May. Right now the government says its participation rate is only 63%. Back in 2000 it was a whopping 72%. Say what you will, but it doesn’t seem like this is the first year that the citizenry hasn’t participated to the max in the census.

So what are the possible census problems that may or already have occurred? Let’s start with the obvious. A possible conservative boycott of the process; the media and the democrats have made much hay about conservatives who were fired up about sticking it to “the man” and not filling out their census forms. To be honest, a lot of that rhetoric has died down since the cause for the outcry (ACORN’s involvement) has been taken care of.

The truth is most people who will not send in their forms aren’t conservative activists at all. They’re simply the same folks who won’t bother to vote either. They don’t see it as their civic duty. The census form comes in the mail, and goes directly into the garbage.

Most of the real census problems will be in the form of government inefficiency and inability to protect private information. Let’s face it, government stinks when it comes to efficiency. Even small missteps like census workers losing laptops (as has happened before) could lead to potential problems.

Of course the government has stated another potential census problem; the refusal of immigrants to participate. This in my opinion is a problem they created themselves. My simple question is who cares? If they aren’t citizens they shouldn’t be counted. One story says census workers will go back to a house at least half a dozen times to get a response (of course all at taxpayer expense). That is until they finally figure out that the occupants of the house are illegal aliens and have no reason to comply with the census mandate. Then they’ll probably count them anyway, especially if they live in a democratic district.

Another potential census problem is the massive workforce the census bureau must maintain. Kinks in the system may delay the census from moving forward. Most census workers won’t work if they’re not getting paid.

Bottom line, if government is involved there will be problems. The census is no exception. Census problems or the $15 billion dollar head count debacle, however you want to describe it gives us a glimpse every ten years into the amazing inability of government to do exactly what they say they’re going to do. Even when they have 10 years to work out the bugs.