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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Obama’s 2015 Budget Rejects Compromise, Cements Disastrous Legacy Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Wednesday, March 05 2014
[A]mazing as this may sound, Obama actually proposes to spend nearly $1 trillion more in 2015 than we did in 2008.

While his foreign policy disasters accumulate, Barack Obama should be eager to seek domestic compromise to salvage his disastrous presidency. 

Recall that Bill Clinton strived to rescue his presidency, which was otherwise distinguished by early incompetence and the fact that he’s one of only two presidents to be impeached, via compromise with his political opponents.  As a result, the nation witnessed a balanced budget, welfare reform, rising prosperity and the dawn of the Internet Age. 

Obama, however, continues to pursue an opposite path, one that promises to doom his legacy should it continue during what little time he has.  The 2015 budget proposal he unveiled this week only accelerates his collision course with presidential failure. 

Think of it this way.  Was the federal government spending too little in 2008, or too much?  Was government doing too little for us, or too much?  It would be difficult to locate anyone outside the fevered swamp of Paul Krugman’s blog following who asserts that government was too small, or spent too little, in 2008. 

Well, amazing as this may sound, Obama actually proposes to spend nearly $1 trillion more in 2015 than we did in 2008. 

In fact, he wants to spend almost $450 billion more than 2013, with its $680 billion deficit. 

To provide further perspective, incoming federal revenues reached an all-time high of $2.8 trillion in 2013, yet we still witnessed a deficit larger than any that preceded Obama’s presidency.  Accordingly, our problem isn’t insufficient taxation.  It’s excessive wasteful spending.  Yet Obama wants even more. 

As for where Obama seeks to spend those amounts, there are more “shovel-ready” projects for his union supporters, handouts to our failing education bureaucracy and even $1 billion to fight global warming.  In the meantime, Obama’s budget reduces military spending from 3.4% of our economy to 2.3% by 2023, its lowest level since the 1.7% mark of 1940.  Perhaps that was the sort of “flexibility” Obama embarrassingly promised Vladimir Putin’s understudy Dmitri Medvedev into an open microphone. 

In just five years, Obama has already increased U.S. debt more than any other president in history, with three years left to add to that total. 

Let’s imagine our crisis in everyday numbers.  The median U.S. family income is $51,000 annually.  If that typical family spent like the federal government, it would spend $60,500 per year, meaning $9,500 more on the credit card each year.  Meanwhile, its accumulated debt would already be $300,000. 

Yet Obama’s budget proposes more of what brought us to this dangerous state of affairs. 

Moreover, the White House relies on overly optimistic economic growth projections.  Obama’s proposal projects 3.3% economic growth for the coming year, which would be the strongest performance in nearly a decade.  Unfortunately, we haven’t grown 3% annually since 2005, and the economy has only averaged 2% growth during the worst post-recession recovery in recorded history under Obama. 

Making matters worse, Obama proposes even more tax increases, which will only make his growth projections even more difficult to achieve.  For example, he proposes nearly $100 billion in new taxes on American oil and natural gas producers, an industry that supports nearly 10 million jobs that pay seven times the minimum wage.  So while Obama calls for more manufacturing jobs and claims false credit for our domestic energy boom, his budget proposal seeks to undermine one of the few bright spots in our economy. 

For a man who claims fidelity to “settled science,” he seems curiously oblivious to the truism that when you tax something more, you get less of it. 

In terms of Obama’s willingness to compromise, the proposal removed one of the few items on which he had reached consensus with Congressional Republicans – the agreement in last year’s budget to help save Social Security by moderating the growth of cost-of-living increases. 

Obama is quickly running out of time and opportunities to salvage his disastrous presidency.  His 2015 budget proposal only makes that even more unlikely. 

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following was the first 20th century presidential candidate to call for a Presidential Debate?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Wait until Scranton hears about this.One of Joe Biden's ways of contrasting himself with President Trump has been to declare the election a battle of Park Avenue values vs. Scranton, Pa., values.Now we learn that Biden has secretly been playing footsie with China.The statement Wednesday night asserting that the former vice president was a willing and eager participant in a family scheme to make millions…[more]
 
 
—Michael Goodwin, New York Post
— Michael Goodwin, New York Post
 
Liberty Poll   

Do you believe you will be better off over the next four years with Joe Biden as president or with Donald Trump as president?