Getting Personal: American Community Survey

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," June 12, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: Let me ask you this question: Do you have a toilet that flushes? What time do you leave for work — I mean, down to the hour and minute? Do you have difficulty running errands alone, such as visiting your doctor's office?

Believe it or not, these are kinds of intrusive questions that they're asking on this thing. This is — well, they didn't send it — the American Community Survey. It's fantastic. Three million Americans got one, including my next guest: New York Post columnist Meghan Clyne.

Hello, Meghan. How are you?

MEGHAN CLYNE, NEW YORK POST COLUMNIST: Hi, Glenn, how are you doing?

BECK: I'm — you know. Do you have a toilet?

CLYNE: You're angry.

BECK: No. I'm not.

CLYNE: I do.

BECK: Are you saying I'm an angry white man, is that what it is? And the evil conservative?

CLYNE: No, no.

Video: Watch Beck's interview


CLYNE: No, not at all.

BECK: And so, you do have a toilet that flushes?

CLYNE: Yes, I do. And I'm very proud to see that I do.

BECK: What time do you leave the house, hour and minute?

CLYNE: You know, it's none of your business what time I leave the house.

BECK: Thank you for saying that. Why is it the government's business?

CLYNE: Well, if you ask the government, they'll tell you they need to know this so that they can determine whether there is too much traffic in your neighborhood and therefore whether they need to build roads.

BECK: Wait. How about just getting on the street, having one of those ACORN people driving down the street, if they can't get to your house during rush hour, they don't.

CLYNE: Right.

BECK: I mean, wouldn't that be — wouldn't that be a more wise way? Here's an idea — how about the city does their job and lets the state know, and the state lets the feds know? This is — you know, in the Constitution, doesn't it say that they have to every 10 years go and count everybody? This isn't counting everybody.

CLYNE: Right. No, it's not. This is not part of the 10-year counting that's authorized in Article I Section II for the portion of political representation. This is an annual supplement that is a basically a vast data mining operation.

BECK: For whom?

CLYNE: And all of the — well, for the government. So, the government says that it needs to, you know, know what time you leave so they can manage traffic. It says it needs to know whether you have flush toilets or running water so they can manage your quality of life. It needs to know every source of income you have to know if you are sufficiently economically well-off. And if you see where all of this is leading, it's basically justifying ways to spend everybody's federal tax dollars.

BECK: How many — I mean, it wants to know want kind of fuel that you use in the house. Gee, I wonder what that's about.

CLYNE: Well, right.

BECK: Yes. This is, I mean, can — will this be — well, of course, it will be. It will be public knowledge. So, it would be used by the private sector as well. It will be used, you know, by big companies and people who are making giant windmills and everything else, right?

CLYNE: Right. I mean, a lot of this information is use by businesses. For example, one of the questions is, you know — what level of education do you have, and what was your college major? I mean, who needs to know what my college major was? Well, they'll make the case that prospective employers, private sector businesses might want to know whether, you know, they have enough chemistry majors to open a new laboratory. But there's no reason the private sector can...

BECK: Why can't they do their own research?

CLYNE: Right, exactly.

BECK: Why — you called them, right? And you said, "I'm not filling this out." What did they tell you?

CLYNE: Yes. Well, they gave me a few different options. I called the number that was listed on my survey. And I said I don't want the government having this information. And the woman recommended that I just send it back with "lady of the house." The problem with that is that has a unique...

BECK: They sent it to you.

CLYNE: They sent it to me, and the survey has a unique barcode on it. So, even if I put "lady of the house" or, you know, if I put Mickey Mouse on it...

BECK: Right.

CLYNE: They'd still know that it was my survey.

BECK: Right.

CLYNE: And the other option they gave me was to do it over the phone. Again, same problem, the first question they ask when you call in is for the bar code and the number. So, it's traceable to you.

BECK: OK. So, if you don't want to fill this out, what happens to you? Do you rot in jail forever and ever?

CLYNE: Well, no, you don't rot in jail forever and ever. The — extensively, the fine could go up to $5,000. But when I called, the woman also said, we would never go after you because it is just a waste of time and money. So, it's up to you whether you want to play roulette with the Census Bureau and risk not turning it in.

BECK: I mean, I'll tell you, how many people live in my house. I don't think I need to tell you this. This is unconstitutional. I don't think I need to tell you all of this.

Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Content and Programming Copyright 2009 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2009 CQ Transcriptions, LLC, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and CQ Transcriptions, LLC's copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.