The farm bill proposes a $1 billion cut to food stamps, which would affect nearly 850,000 struggling families who already depend on food banks like the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Calif. Antonio Mena/Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank hide caption

itoggle caption Antonio Mena/Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank

What happens when the average person on the street tries to explain a public policy issue? It tends to make them rethink their position. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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On Tuesday, President Obama urged congressional action to prevent automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin on March 1. Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Landov

About a third of U.S. hospitals have an observation unit, and most hospitals will eventually have one, the industry predicts. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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MIT health economist Jonathan Gruber, who explained the ins and outs of health overhaul in a comic book, says that excluding the value of health insurance from federal taxes is a terrible idea, at least from an economist's point of view. Macmillan hide caption

itoggle caption Macmillan

The largest tax break in the federal code doesn't appear on the forms the average person fills out each year. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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President Obama holds a copy of "The New Economic Patriotism: A Plan for Jobs & Middle-Class Security," which outlines some of his agenda for a second term, during a rally in Richmond, Va., on Thursday. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act in the East Room of the White House on March 23, 2010. Data suggest that racial attitudes of ordinary Americans shape both how they feel about the health care overhaul and how intense those feelings are. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Washington State Fruit Commission received $100,000 in federal money to promote cherries in Indonesia, but Sen. Tom Coburn says this is a waste of taxpayer money. Jeff Goulden/iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption Jeff Goulden/iStockphoto.com

Workers look out from shattered windows on an upper floor of the St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo., in late May, after a tornado severely damaged the hospital. Mark Schiefelbein/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Schiefelbein/AP