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Elizabeth Rigby
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Entries by Elizabeth Rigby

Why We Don't Need a Second 'War on Poverty' (At Least Not Now)

(617) Comments | Posted January 15, 2013 | 11:23 AM

There are a lot of people suffering right now. Poverty in the U.S. is at a 20-year high, with 46.2 million Americans living below the poverty line (earning less than $11,170 for an individual, or below $23,050 for a family of four). Conditions are even worse among African-American...

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Note to the Rich: Very Large Taxes = Very Large Benefits

(2) Comments | Posted February 2, 2011 | 10:00 AM

In an op-ed in Saturday's Wall Street Journal, Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert Cartoon series, provides his thoughts on "How to Tax the Rich." Acknowledging the likely need for substantial tax increases in coming years, he undertakes a thought experiment for out-of-the box ideas designed to convince...

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"Redistribute My Work Ethic": Does the Tea Party Oppose All Spending or Just Redistribution?

(1) Comments | Posted September 21, 2010 | 1:27 PM

Despite the outcry among Tea Party activists for reigning in the national debt, the recent Project Vote poll shows a general trend of less support for spending cuts or other defecit-reduction strategies among this group of voters.

The toplines from this survey of...

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Childhood Obesity & Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2010 | 8:23 AM

Op-ed cross-posted
Houston Chronicle
Rachel Kimbro & Elizabeth Rigby
March 5, 2010

In a series of high-profile events over the past few weeks, first lady Michelle Obama highlighted the problem of childhood obesity in the United States and called on families, schools, communities...

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Why Majority Support Does Not Guarantee Health Reform (and Why This Isn't All Bad)

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2009 | 12:11 AM

Proponents of the public option are fighting back. After some pretty bad press during the August recess, the public option remains on the negotiating table. But its position is quite precarious, with many policymakers backing away from the public option -- citing opposition among the American public. Yet, public opinion...

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Did Obama's Address Remind Anyone Else of the the Season Opener of Glee?

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2009 | 3:31 PM

Last night, as I watched President Obama address a joint-session of Congress, I couldn't help but think back twenty years ago to another joint-session that I was lucky enough to attend -- standing against the back wall with my fellow U.S. Congressional pages. That night, union leader Lech...

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Mark Sanford is the Luckiest Politician on the Planet

(2) Comments | Posted July 5, 2009 | 5:52 PM

It has been merely twelve days since Mark Sanford's disastrously-rambling press conference in which he admits to an on-going affair, not to mention leaving the country secretly without letting others know where he was going. Now 69 percent of South Carolina's citizens want him to resign. And more...

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How "Harry and Louise" Could Still Take Down Health Care Reform

(12) Comments | Posted June 22, 2009 | 10:26 PM

After more than a decade of academic, media, and popular analysis, the failure of the Clintons' 1993 health care proposal is still best captured by this old Harry and Louise ad in which a white middle-class couple sit down at their kitchen table "sometime in the future" and lament the...

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Electronic Medical Records: A Patient's User Review

(2) Comments | Posted March 31, 2009 | 12:18 PM

Like anyone following the President's policy proposals, I have heard touted the benefits of electronic medical records and am aware that stimulus funds are dedicated to getting these systems in place. Yet, I was still a bit surprised this week when I visited my doctor's office and learned that they...

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10 Good Bets that I Wouldn't Have Taken a Year Ago

(6) Comments | Posted March 4, 2009 | 12:25 AM

A year ago today, along with other Texas Democrats, I participated in our unique primacaucus process. After voting in the primary that morning, I gathered with many of my neighbors in our church-based voting location to caucus for one of the two leading candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination....

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Progressive Agenda Tip #1: Pay Your Taxes

(6) Comments | Posted February 3, 2009 | 11:23 AM

With another report of a senior administration official charged with failure to properly pay taxes, I feel the need to state the following very obvious point. The hopes and promises of a progressive agenda rest on American's collective willingness to pay taxes to support the enactment of the proposed...

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Rejecting Cynicism this MLK Day

(0) Comments | Posted January 19, 2009 | 9:58 AM

Before rushing off to the orientation for ACORN's Day of Service in Houston Neighborhoods, I wanted to post this article from this morning's Houston Chronicle [print edition only], in which I explain why I am giving up my general cynical take on small symbolic actions and embracing this...

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Change You Can Dance To: Obama Music Videos

(1) Comments | Posted January 18, 2009 | 11:14 AM

Like cities across the country, Houston is abuzz over the inauguration of our new president. The race was close here: Obama beat out McCain by 19,000 votes out of more than million cast in Harris County. But, this weekend, I am hearing much more talk of inauguration parties than complaints...

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Tax Credits vs. Spending: Why Progressives Should Care How the Stimulus is Delivered

(6) Comments | Posted January 5, 2009 | 3:59 PM

As Obama gets to work brokering a deal for his stimulus package, bipartisan agreement actually seems possible. This optimism stems from Obama's recent indication that his proposal will include a greater reliance on the tax system as a means of delivering needed aid.

Described as a move to...

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"Poverty Off the Political Radar": Is it True?

(38) Comments | Posted December 14, 2008 | 11:23 AM

This morning's Washington Times published an article by Christina Bellatoni entitled, Poverty off Political Radar, in which she argues that the issue of poverty has lost ground on the national agenda as a result of Edward's highly-publicized affair. Although the article focuses on Edwards himself and calls for...

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Obama-Biden-Daschle Want You! (To Talk about Health Care)

(1) Comments | Posted December 7, 2008 | 1:46 PM

Pushing forward their Of the People, By the People approach to governing (or at least transitioning), the Obama team is now providing another venue for public involvement in their plans for health care reform. As stated on their website, "Health care is a top priority for President-elect Obama, and...

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Obama: 1 (month), Poverty: 0 (mentions)

(14) Comments | Posted December 5, 2008 | 1:20 PM

In his first month as President-elect, Barack Obama has remained silent on the issue of poverty. Across more than 30 public statements since election night, Obama has made no direct references to the plight of the poor (defined as use of the term: poor, poverty, or low-income).

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In Thanksgiving for our (Very Big) Government

(27) Comments | Posted November 27, 2008 | 11:21 AM

This year as we go around the table expressing thanks for friends, family, health, and home, I anticipate smirks (if not boos) when I add: "But, mostly I'm thankful for big government."

Yes, big government is usually just the bad guy who takes our money, constrains our options, and basically...

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Bipartisanship Gone Wrong: A Cautionary Tale for the Next Administration

(1) Comments | Posted November 11, 2008 | 4:00 PM

Despite the recent electoral results instituting a new era of unified party control in Washington, bipartisanship is in the air. On Sunday's Meet the Press, Valerie Jarrett a long-time advisor to President-elect Obama and co-chair of his transition team reminded us that "throughout the campaign, President-elect Obama has talked about...

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