This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight…
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Happy 40th to the Staggers Rail Act, Which Deregulated and Saved the U.S. Rail Industry

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…[more]

October 13, 2020 • 11:09 PM

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Help Wanted: How You, Too, Can Profit from Pork and Earmarks Print
By CFIF Staff
Tuesday, April 28 2009
You missed the banking, auto maker and insurance bailouts. You couldn’t get to Miami fast enough to be the thousandth person in line for the 30 firefighter jobs. You can’t wait several years for the jobs promised by the so-called “economic stimulus” package; you’re not sure what a “green job” is...

So you don’t have a job. Or maybe you do and just want a change.

You missed the banking, auto maker and insurance bailouts. You couldn’t get to Miami fast enough to be the thousandth person in line for the 30 firefighter jobs. You can’t wait several years for the jobs promised by the so-called “economic stimulus” package; you’re not sure what a “green job” is, and the last time you attempted to develop an “alternative energy resource” you had a firecracker mishap or were doing a Ben Franklin with lightning.

You undoubtedly regret not being elected to Congress. If you had just not paid your taxes, you’d still have a few dollars left and also be eligible for a cabinet position in the Obama administration.

Not to worry, though. The aforementioned Congress and Obama administration have jobs galore on the way. They’re just hidden and/or mislabeled in a $410 billion omnibus appropriations bill that could be voted on at any minute. That’s real money and it’s going to be spent right now, this year.

The reason you don’t know so much about the jobs potential in the bill is that the nubbins who are trying to ram it through don’t want you to know and those conservatives who are trying to stop it have been only calling it “pork,” riddled with “earmarks.” Well, it is pork and it does have 8,570 earmarks in it, and it does represent, according to an analysis by Senator Tom Coburn, “the largest increase in annual discretionary spending since the Carter Administration.”

But the bill is ever so much more than that. It is chockablock full of jobs that represent the sweep, swoop and economic diversity of this great innovative country, or, at least, the demented innovative chicanery of your duly-elected federal officials.

Why, there’s $1.6 million to the Washington State Department of Ecology for “citizen-driven environmental protection.” Don’t you want to be Director of that? Never mind that the federal government is paying for something that Washington State should pay for, if its citizens want it, or why it should cost taxpayer money for a “citizen-driven” project.

By now, too many people have probably learned of the $1.79 million project for Swine Odor and Manure Management for jobs to be still available there. Or, all things considered, maybe not. Try it anyway.

If you love the great outdoors, you’d better hurry, because there’s only $254,000 for the Montana Sheep Institute and $475,000 for the Bald Eagle Observatory in Alaska.

You could do termite research in Louisiana ($6.623 million), rodent control in Hawaii ($162,000) or weed management in Nevada ($235,000) or grape genetics in New York ($2.192 million) or dietary supplements research in Mississippi ($1.6 million).

Recognizing how much Americans love to fish, there are more grants for virtually every kind of fish, shellfish and other creatures that live under water than you can imagine. You could do Bluefin Tuna Tagging in California ($250,000), or fish management in Mobile, Alabama ($900,000) or Hawaiian sea turtle conservation ($7.1 million) and all that’s before you get to oysters, blue crabs, lobsters and the magnificent Lahontan cutthroat trout.

Obviously, when dealing with 8,570 earmarks in one bill alone, we cannot possibly cover all of the job opportunities hidden deeply within; you’re going to have to do something for yourselves.

We also must caution job seekers that the primary purpose of pork and earmarks is to reward supporters and special pleaders, so most of the jobs, whether they be in “Future Foods” or the “Iowa Vitality Center” or the “National Council of La Raza” are undoubtedly already committed. In addition, in the world of political patronage, it is not unknown for job holders to find it necessary to make certain “tributes.”

In the criminal world, such arrangements would be called “kickbacks.” But in the world of doing ever so much good for your country, you might think of them as an extension of your “patriotism.” Surely it cannot be patriotic to oppose a bill for which so many have labored so hard to think up such creative ways to spend taxpayer money. Can it?

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following individuals laid the ‘Golden Spike’ joining the Eastern and Western U.S. railroad lines to create the Transcontinental Railway?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"President Trump's recent executive order laying out his 'America-First Healthcare Plan' makes clear his continued commitment to the long-standing, bipartisan consensus that we should protect people with preexisting conditions. Unfortunately, the previous administration's attempt to make good on that consensus -- Obamacare -- has failed to deliver on its promises.Contrary to the prevailing media narrative…[more]
 
 
—Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator
— Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator
 
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Do you believe you will be better off over the next four years with Joe Biden as president or with Donald Trump as president?