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Newt Gingrich on Technology

Former Republican Representative (GA-6) and Speaker of the House


Statistical adjustment of census begets political adjustment

The Constitution requires the census for apportioning House seats and other offices. And population patterns figure in the formulas for distributing federal money. The Founding Fathers intended that the census should be an actual count of people. The expression in the Constitution is “actual enumeration.”

It is almost certainly those in poor neighborhoods who get undercounted. The liberal Democrats have been proposing that we eliminate the present system altogether and substitute for it something they call “statistical adjustment.” Under this system, the census would count only 90% of the people. Then a statistical adjustment would be made to get to 100%. Republicans are committed to what the Constitution says. A statistical adjustment would be unconstitutional. In addition, we are convinced that “statistical” adjustment will inevitably lead to “political” adjustment. The incentive to corrupt the census adjustment process would be virtually beyond limit.

Source: Lessons Learned the Hard Way, by Newt Gingrich, p.136-38 Jul 2, 1998

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