This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
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

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Reckless, Excessive Obama Warns Reckless and Excessive Behavior Won’t Be Tolerated Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, September 17 2009
Of course, the line separating chutzpah from brazen farce can be a fine one at times. But Obama’s speech about recklessness and excess hurdles that line with remarkable shamelessness.

In a speech setting new lows in hypocrisy this week, a sanctimonious Barack Obama admonished an audience of business leaders in New York that he will not tolerate “reckless behavior” or “unchecked excess.” 

It was all a bit like Timothy Geithner or Congressman Charlie Rangel telling an audience that they won’t tolerate tax evasion. 

Obama, in demanding yet another sweeping government overhaul of yet another private industry that he seeks to commandeer, proceeded to propose the creation of still another new bungling federal agency to bureaucratize financial services, and to grant the already-gargantuan Federal Reserve new powers to oversee the financial system and micromanage private firms. 

Apparently, in Obama’s mind, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which we noted last week overlooked multiple opportunities to stop Bernard Madoff from running the largest Ponzi scheme in American history, and which was just this week excoriated by a federal judge for its sham prosecution of Bank of America, didn’t provide a cautionary lesson about federal bureaucrats’ ability to protect consumers. 

According to the Washington Post, Obama went so far as to ominously warn industry leaders “not to stand in the way of new laws.” 

This is the very same sinister warning that he and his administration are issuing to anyone who opposes his healthcare scheme – shut up and get out of the way.  Obama’s demand ignores such trivial matters as the First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly, and serves as a barometer of his increasing desperation and insecurity. 

Of course, the line separating chutzpah from brazen farce can be a fine one at times.  But Obama’s speech about recklessness and excess hurdles that line with remarkable shamelessness. 

After all, this is the man who ran on the promise to scour the federal budget “line-by-line” and reduce the nation’s budget deficit.  He also promised that he’d terminate the federal government’s unsustainable “borrow and spend” behavior. 

Instead, Obama has produced a $1.6 trillion deficit in just his first year, shattering the previous record by over one trillion dollars. 

And this is just the beginning.  Obama’s irresponsible spending trajectory doubles the cumulative national debt in five years, and triples that amount in just ten years.  By that date, national debt as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) will rise to 68%, and continue rising indefinitely thereafter. 

Worse, even this projection is overly optimistic. 

That is because Obama’s already-terrifying projection assumes that he’ll miraculously limit spending to the rate of inflation over the next ten years, and actually reduce spending between 2009 and 20012.  This is facially absurd in light of the fact that the 2010 budget alone will increase spending by an inflation-adjusted 8%. 

This rosy projection also assumes that all of the Bush-era tax cuts will terminate, including those enjoyed by the middle class.  In other words, Obama will either have to abandon his campaign promise not to raise taxes on anyone earning less than $250,000 or face over $1 trillion more in deficit spending. 

Of course, Obama’s recklessness extends far beyond his budgetary irresponsibility. 

Should he succeed in imposing his healthcare proposal, for instance, Obama would not only compound the nation’s debt, but jeopardize Americans’ very lives and health in the process.  And his persistent habit of coddling world dictators like Hugo Chavez, Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad offer another illustration of Obama’s dangerous irresponsibility.  Making matters worse, he scrapped plans to deploy defensive missile shields in Poland and the Czech Republic just this week. 

He also triggered a potential trade war with China by capitulating to Big Labor’s demand that he impose tariffs on Chinese tires. 

Obama’s “stimulus” bill provides another example of his recklessness.  He promised Americans that passage of his bill would cap unemployment at 8%, but it has reached 9.7% a few short months later.  Meanwhile, the bill’s cost will stifle future economic incentives, growth and prosperity. 

Simply put, Obama’s record during his brief tenure establishes an unmatched record for “recklessness” and “excessive behavior.” 

The fact that he somehow considers himself entitled to level that charge against others suggests that his detachment from reality may be yet another reason for Americans to be very, very worried.


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?