An esteemed congressman from that forward-looking state, South Carolina, wants the U.S. Census Business out of the business of measuring the American economy:
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), has introduced a bill that would bar the U.S. Census Bureau from conducting nearly all surveys except for a decennial population count. Such a step would end the government's ability to provide reliable estimates of the employment rate. Indeed, the government would not be able to produce any of the major economic indices that move markets every month, said multiple statistics experts, who were aghast at the proposal.
"They simply wouldn't exist. We won't have an unemployment rate," said Ken Prewitt, the former director of the U.S. Census who is now a professor of public affairs at Columbia University - the college in NYC, not the Junior College in Columbia South Carolina.
"I don't know how the market reacts if there is suddenly no unemployment rate at the start of the month," Prewitt said. "How does the market react if we don't have a GDP [gross domestic product]?"
Republicans were quick to point out the fallacy in Prewitt's reasoning. Said the South Carolina Congressman, "Just hand things over to the statistics people at Fox or Rasmussen."