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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Spend, Then Tax: Like Killing One’s Parents, Then Pleading for Mercy as an Orphan Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, September 30 2010
The January 2007 deficit of $161 billion increased progressively to $239 billion for 2008 and $460 billion in 2009, which then tripled to $1.4 trillion in President Obama’s first year alone. This year’s projected deficit stands at another $1.3 trillion.

Democratic leaders today resemble the proverbial murderer who slays his parents, then shamelessly seeks mercy from the court because he’s an orphan. 

After creating their Frankenstein-like federal spending monster, they now use that monster’s voracious appetite to justify higher taxes on small businesses and the American people.  It’s all a convenient pretext to preposterously claim that we “cannot afford” to let us keep more of our own earnings to reinvest and spend as we see fit, rather than how government sees fit. 

Here are the facts. 

Since assuming control of both houses of Congress in the November 2006 mid-term election, Democrats have raised spending to stratospheric levels.  From 2007 to 2008, federal spending increased 9.3%, then skyrocketed an astounding 17.9% between 2008 and 2009, and another 16.1% between 2009 and 2010.  During that same three-year period of Democratic Congressional control, government spending per American household has jumped from $24,817 to $30,543. 

Naturally, the federal deficit has in turn reflected that spending recklessness. 

When Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took command in January 2007, the deficit stood at a mere $161 billion, down from $413 billion three years earlier.  In 2007, the Congressional Budget Office projected a cumulative $379 surplus for the upcoming ten years, and Ms. Pelosi trumpeted that, “Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.” 

Not coincidentally, that came about the same time as Pelosi’s failed promise of “the most honest, most open, most ethical Congress in history.” 

So much for that.  The January 2007 deficit of $161 billion increased progressively to $239 billion for 2008 and $460 billion in 2009, which then tripled to $1.4 trillion in President Obama’s first year alone.  This year’s projected deficit stands at another $1.3 trillion. 

Thus, our deficit increased from $161 billion to $1.3 trillion during four years of Democratic control of Congress.  The Democrats’ record for the two years they’ve controlled both houses of Congress and the White House?  A deficit of $2.7 trillion.  Further, the projected $379 ten-year surplus that Pelosi and Reid inherited has quickly become a ten-year projected deficit of $7.16 trillion. 

Instead of acknowledging that spending insanity, Obama, Pelosi and Reid instead demand higher taxes to pay for their profligacy. 

In a letter to The Wall Street Journal this week, Senator Bernie Sanders captured their illogic well: 

“At a time when we have a $13 trillion national debt and the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country, I do not believe it is appropriate to lower taxes on the very richest people in the country who have become richer in recent years.  Apparently, despite the horrendous record of President George W. Bush, the Journal and your wealthy supporters continue to adhere to the flawed theory of trickle-down economics.  Been there.  Done that.  It failed miserably.” 

As noted above, however, what actually failed is the liberal model of trickle-up socialism and Sen. Sanders’s brand of class warfare. 

Moreover, it’s not just “the rich” who will be forced to pay for it all.  This week, House and Senate Democratic leaders adjourned without taking action to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax rate reductions, bringing the largest tax increase in American history on January 1 that much closer to reality.  Along with higher taxes for small businesses and individuals earning over $200,000, the lowest income tax bracket will revert from 10% to 15%.  Middle income brackets will also suffer sudden tax increases, including a decrease in the child tax credit from $1,000 to $500.  Critically, tax rates on capital gains and dividends (on which many retirees rely) are also set to rise. 

But Obama, Pelosi and Reid know how to spend that money better than you do anyway, right? 

Fortunately, there’s another option to the destructive Obama-Pelosi-Reid course.  Instead of increasing spending and using that to in turn justify higher taxes, we can reduce spending and avoid destructive tax increases. 

Two good examples exist in Virginia and New Jersey, where Governors Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie were elected last November in a rejection of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda.  In just six months, Governor McDonnell has turned a projected $1.8 billion deficit into a $220 million surplus, and Governor Christie has demonstrated such refreshing audacity in correcting his state’s fiscal disaster that some suggest him as a dream 2012 candidate for the White House. 

The choice is ours.  But nobody should be fooled by liberals who irresponsibly increase spending, then shamelessly turn around and use the spending monster they’ve created to justify toxic tax hikes that will only cause further destruction. 

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?