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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John Boehner is Right; Obama’s Economic Policies Have Failed the American People Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, August 26 2010
As the first two years of the Obama Administration show, the only kind of certainty the president’s top economic advisors are capable of producing is the universal conviction that none of them knows how to operate a job-creating regulatory environment.

In a speech to the City Club of Cleveland, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) called on President Barack Obama to ask for and accept the resignations of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and National Economic Council chief Larry Summers.  With the private sector on life support and the job market continuing to shrivel, the only quibble with Boehner’s call for top-level resignations is that it doesn’t go high enough.  

To appreciate the people responsible for growing our economy downward, we first need some perspective.  As usual, Vice President Joe Biden is willing to help.  In response to Boehner’s criticisms, Biden sarcastically thanked the House Republican Leader for his “constructive advice” and then proceeded to repeat the tired line about how much worse the economy was under President George W. Bush. 

The problem for Vice President Biden is that the economy wasn’t this bad under Bush.  There wasn’t 9.5% unemployment like there is now.  The national debt wasn’t racing past $14 trillion like it is today.  The budget deficit, while inexcusably increased under Bush, is exploding at several times the Bush increase thanks to Obama’s new federal spending spree.  Business owners are also facing huge transactions costs to implement ObamaCare plus threats of more productivity-killing measures like cap-and-trade and the unions’ card-check system.  

Between the Obama Administration’s penchant for spending and its lust for regulation, it’s no wonder that the only thriving job market today is for contract work that offers no benefits, pension or sick leave.  (The notable exceptions are federal workers who enjoy not only these vanishing employment perks, but also an overall compensation package twice the average private sector worker.)   

And yet for all this spending and rulemaking the private sector job market is shrinking because continued government interventions create deep uncertainties about how to be productive.  As the first two years of the Obama Administration show, the only kind of certainty the president’s top economic advisors are capable of producing is the universal conviction that none of them knows how to operate a job-creating regulatory environment.   

To date, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner acts as if his job is to be the government equivalent of an overly creative financier rather than the nation’s top banker.  The role of the Treasury Secretary in today’s Great Recession should be less about hiding or repackaging our debt, and more about addressing it head on.  Even socialist-minded Europe is starting to take up the cause of government “austerity” – a policy made inevitable whenever a politician respects the hard certainty of a balance sheet.

Like his former disciple, National Economic Council chief Larry Summers can’t seem to make a common sense argument explaining how trillions of dollars in deficit spending is going to get America out of debt.   For that reason alone, his status as a top level advisor should be questioned.  Though there are reports that Summers works hard to stem the tide of even more extreme anti-growth “reforms” from other factions in the Obama White House, he is nonetheless a full-throated supporter of spending money that doesn’t exist.  Granted, the NEC doesn’t officially make policy, but they are the only economic advisors who are in daily, personal contact with the president.  Since Summers is unlikely to unlearn the disastrous dogmas of Keynesian economic policy, his presence at the NEC means Obama will continue to get advice to increase the deficit at the expense of the job market. 

And yet the person most responsible for the failures of Geithner and Summers is the man who hired them.  No servant is greater than his master, and at the end of the day both men are only implementing President Obama’s policy decisions.  Boehner is right to call for their ouster, and he correctly notes in his speech that Democratic enablers in Congress will be the first to feel the voters’ wrath this November.  After that, the next House Speaker should challenge the president to get serious about private sector job growth, or get out of office. 

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?