On his radio show today, Glenn Beck suggested that he hadn't answered all the questions on his census form. After one of his co-hosts said, "You've said that there are questions that you're not going to answer on your census," Beck said, "I've answered all the questions that I'm bound to answer constitutionally and I sent them in." He then said, "How many people are living there at your house? I answered it."
Beck has previously said: "Do not answer the race question. How dare you? How dare you?" He joins other conservatives who have advocated for not completing the 2010 census.
However, The Plum Line's Greg Sargent reports today that if Beck and his listeners don't completely fill out the census, it could end up costing U.S. taxpayers a whole lot more money because census workers will have to be dispatched to find out the answers.
I just got off the phone with a spokesman for the U.S. Census Bureau about the news that Glenn Beck and GOP Rep Paul Broun are refusing to fully fill out their Census forms.
And get this: The spokesman told me that their antics will actually end up costing the taxpayers significantly more money than if they'd completed them. The U.S. Census bureau is required by law to send census workers to the doors of those who send in an incomplete form - and those workers have to be paid, the spokesman confirms.
GOP Rep Broun of Georgia has now declared that he only answered that one question, refusing to answer queries about co-inhabitants' gender and age and about ancestry. And Glenn Beck suggested the same on his radio show today, declaring: "I answered the questions I'm bound to answer constitutionally and I sent them in: How many people are living there at your house?"
I asked Stephen Buckner, a spokesman for the Census Bureau, what happens next. "If a form is not filled out completely, we're required by law to follow up by sending a census taker to that house to collect that information," he told me.
"This is at a much greater cost to taxpayers than simply filling out the 10 questions," Buckner continued. "It costs about $60 per house for a census taker to go door to door."
Asked if this would include Beck and Broun, Buckner said: "From your next-door neighbor to an elected official to a Hollywood celebrity to a talk-show host, it would require the Census Bureau to spend additional taxpaper money to send someone to their door."
Which does Beck care more about - taking a political shot at the Obama administration or saving the U.S. taxpayers money?
(Is there really any doubt?)