Census Survey Program to Be Cut

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Dean Baker reports that the Bush administration is proposing to cut the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Why? Presumably it’s not just because of the money—the extremely valuable data-gathering program only costs about $40 million a year, or about six hours worth of the Iraq war. Or perhaps it’s, as Baker suggests, because the White House wants “to reduce the flow of bad economic news.”

Either way, it’s a bad idea. Back in the early 1990s, conservatives used to talk about how they would subject every liberal social program out there to a rigorous evaluation, to see if actually worked or not. But it’s kind of hard to do that if there isn’t any actual data. On the other hand, it’s also a lot harder to judge the Bush administration if there isn’t any actual data to use. Which seems to fit in the general trend here.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate