"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

Idaho: Food stamp central

Something counterintuitive: Idaho is something of a food stamp central state. Food stamp recipient rolls have expanded across the country, but more than anywhere else in Idaho, and not by a close margin – about 40%, higher than runnerup Nevada, which is below 30%.

The story in Salon offers a complex of reasons for this. One is the larger than normal drop from fast-expanding to suddenly-slowing economy.

But there are other reasons too, including unexpectedly amenable attitudes in Idaho toward food stamps. A sample:

“But over the course of the recession, Idaho has made it easier for potential recipients to apply. Approval interviews for prospective recipients now take place quickly after applications come in. Wait time has fallen dramatically. And Republican Gov. Butch Otter supported making the program more accessible over the objections of his Republican-dominated legislature. In 2009 the state suspended the “asset test,” wherein applicants to SNAP need to show that they have less than $2,000 in certain assets in order to qualify.”

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