Recently, legislation has been enacted to significantly reduce the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps. Frankly, prior to this legislation I had not followed the issue too closely. But as debate flared up, rhetoric surrounding the national debate became increasingly public and, of course, was replete with standard Washington flair. “Culture of dependency,” “Wasteful,” “Bloated,” and “Excessive” were the soundbites underpinning the justification for these cuts. How bloated and excessive is this program? Looking at the data in this particular case can actually be quite an enlightening exercise, as they can tell us something about the rate of change in the cost of the program. This growth rate can better help us understand whether or not SNAPhas grown at an unusually rapid rate, which would be an indicator of excess or bloat.
The war on terror is over – the terrorists have won
And why the Bush and Obama administrations are complicit in the terrorists’ victory
As 21st century Americans, we have seen the “War on Terror” become a phrase increasingly used to invoke unbridled, unfathomable, unimaginable fear. With the 9/11 attacks, terrorists wanted to not only bring fear to our soil but to make it an endemic characteristic of our culture. This is one critical aspect by which terrorists measure their success – how afraid they make their enemy. Instead of rationally assessing the true damage that could be wreaked on the American people by terrorism (which is far less than common wisdom or the national dialogue would suggest), our government succumbed to this fear-fuelled (indeed, some may even say fear-mongering) mindset.