Catherine Rampell has some excellent coverage of the GOP war on the ACS that does an admirable job of not pulling punches and calling nonsense out as nonsense:
It is, more or less, the country’s primary check for determining how well the government is doing — and in fact what the government will be doing. The survey’s findings help determine how over $400 billion in government funds is distributed each year.
But last week, the Republican-led House voted to eliminate the survey altogether, on the grounds that the government should not be butting its nose into Americans’ homes.
“This is a program that intrudes on people’s lives, just like the Environmental Protection Agency or the bank regulators,” said Daniel Webster, a first-term Republican congressman from Florida who sponsored the relevant legislation….
….A number of questions on the survey have been added because Congress specifically demanded their inclusion. In 2008, for example, Congress passed a law requiring the American Community Survey to add questions about computer and Internet use. Additionally, recent survey data are featured on the Web sites of many representatives who voted to kill the program — including Mr. Webster’s own home page.
This stupidity encapsulates perfectly the extremeness that is showing its face in some elements of the GOP today. Between things like this and the debt ceiling insanity it is hard not to agree with those who claim there is an asymmetrical extremeness in politics today. It is a depressing display.