I was so glad to see that the Association of Public Data users (APDU) just sent a letter in support of federal statistical agencies to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. This letter has well over 700 signatories (including FGI!) from organizations including the National Association for Business Economists and the NAACP and individuals such as Katherine Wallman and Dean Baker. This is a critical time for federal statistics with funding for ALL federal programs seemingly on the chopping blocks. Keep the pressure on your representatives by calling and/or writing to them to save — and better fund! — federal statistical programs!
We are concerned that a lack of appreciation for the critical importance of our Federal statistical and data systems may worsen, and are worried that, after years of insufficient funding, these systems face deeper funding cuts and further marginalization. Our nation, economy, businesses and citizens rely on the nonpartisan, gold-standard data provided by several agencies, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Center for Education Statistics, the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, the Energy Information Administration, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the Economic Research Service, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Internal Revenue Service Statistics of Income, the Social Security Administration Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, and the National Center for Health Statistics.
These data resources benefit individual citizens who seek information to:
- guide their career and education choices,
- gain a clearer sense of wages and benefits on offer for different careers,
- choose a community in which to live.
Our Democracy relies on Federal data for:
- Apportionment — population count determines allocation of legislative seats by
- Redistricting — state legislatures use population counts and characteristics to determine
- Voting and civil rights — Congress and the Supreme Court explicitly rely on data to ensure compliance with voting and civil rights laws.
Federal data resources help the public sector to:
- evaluate programs
- support evidence-based decision-making,
- project tax collections and craft budgets,
- guide fiscal and monetary policy,
- target limited resources,
- design policy and programs, such as in housing, health, education and training, economic development, transportation, and criminal justice,
- index many benefits and tax brackets to inflation,
- work with local businesses when making investments.