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Archive for October, 2020
October 13th, 2020 at 3:18 pm
Happy 40th to the Staggers Rail Act, Which Deregulated and Saved the U.S. Rail Industry
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This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight rail and saved it from looming oblivion.

At the time of passage, the U.S. economy muddled along amid ongoing malaise, and our rail industry teetered due to decades of overly bureaucratic sclerosis.  Many other domestic U.S. industries had disappeared, and our railroads faced the same fate.  But by passing the Staggers Rail Act, Congress restored a deregulatory approach that in the 1980s allowed other U.S. industries to thrive.  No longer would government determine what services railroads could offer, their rates or their routes, instead restoring greater authority to the railroads themselves based upon cost-efficiency.

Today, U.S. rail flourishes even amid the coronavirus pandemic, accounting for 42% of total U.S. freight, while the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) anticipates another 30% growth in rail volume over the next two decades.  In terms of cost-efficiency, today’s railroads transport nearly twice the freight for the same price of 40 years ago when the Staggers Act passed.  Rail now transports fully one-third of all U.S. exports, its accident rate has fallen 10% in the past ten years alone and it moves one ton of goods over 470 miles on a single gallon of fuel – far surpassing the fuel efficiency of ground trucks.  Rail also supports approximately 1.5 million jobs, industry employees earn 60% more than average U.S. workers and railroads have poured over $700 billion into domestic infrastructure improvements since 1980.

And importantly, in contrast to industries like trucking, shipping or airline freight, rail travels almost entirely upon infrastructure that it built and maintains with its own dollars.   Rail also hasn’t needed federal bailouts, as opposed to other industries.

Americans should all recognize rail’s success story, and thank the Staggers Rail Act and the deregulation that it restored for that success.  Happy 40th!

October 13th, 2020 at 11:16 am
Sen. Feinstein: ‘The Constitution Lives Loudly Within This One’
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez…

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

October 2nd, 2020 at 11:40 am
A Note from CFIF on President Trump’s Positive Coronavirus Test
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Amid an excessively acrimonious partisan landscape, we simply wish to extend the CFIF family’s best wishes of luck and health to President Trump following his positive test for coronavirus, as we wish to anyone and everyone who has tested positive, as well as those loved ones affected by it.  In similar spirit, we express gratitude that Joe Biden and his wife have reportedly tested negative.