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The Trump card for another Census roundup: Column


The Census Bureau is sending its hefty American Community Survey to more than 3 million households a year. That's good news for a would-be president Donald Trump, who will find just the information he needs for some of his kookier ideas.

I recently received this 28-page tsunami of questions about everything from my plumbing to my profession to my ethnicity and income. But as a former Census-taker who has written about Census controversies for more than 25 years, Trump's words today and the bureau's actions in the past make me wary of this blunderbuss.

The survey asks whether any resident has "difficulty remembering, concentrating or making decisions." But the Census relies on profound memory lapses to achieve compliance with its demands, in addition to a threatened fine of as much as $5,000.

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