"It is ironic that an agency in existence to do simple arithmetic would try to peddle such incomplete and deceptive figures to cover up for its waste of an estimated $3 billion of taxpayers’ money," he said. "Only in Washington could someone try to spin such an embarrassing budget-buster into a triumph of thrift."
Issa argued that the cost of the Census ballooned from $11.3 billion to more than $16 billion, "allowing the Obama administration to falsely claim the estimated $14.4 billion final cost of the Census 'saved' taxpayers money."
In 2008, the Census's budget grew by $3 billion after various IT problems cropped up.
About $800 million of the savings was set aside for contingencies such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, Locke said today on his blog.
Another $150 million was saved from other operations, such as a special count of American Indian reservations.
Locke said the cost of the Census could have increased by hundreds of millions if more workers had been needed to follow up door-to-door with those who didn't respond.