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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Lindsey Graham Desperately Tries to Become Cool with Global Warming Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, October 15 2009
Other than reducing American households’ well-being, income, labor and capital productivity, investment, capital inflows, supply of labor and tax fairness, though, climate change legislation is a fantastic idea.

Do you ever get the sense that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was the last person to buy bell-bottoms and a Rubik’s Cube in 1983 because he thought it might make him cool? 

It’s sad enough that Senator Graham desperately and perpetually seeks acceptance from the effete media class, using transparent “bipartisan” policy positions as his tool.  But his clumsy sense of timing makes it all the more pathetic. 

Just this past Friday, even the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) discredited climate-change alarmism with an article entitled What Happened to Global Warming?.  And here in Washington, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf warned that carbon-tax legislation will impose “significant” costs upon the already weakened American economy. 

But once again displaying his poor sense of timing and philosophical unseriousness, Senator Graham chose this week to jump head-first onto the wobbling global warming bandwagon.  In a New York Times commentary that he chose to co-author with Senator John Kerry (D-MA), he called for…  costly global warming legislation.  Even more shamefully, he exposed his man-crush on Barack Obama by entitling his piece, Yes We Can (Pass Climate Change Legislation)

Meanwhile, everybody else seems to be catching on to the fraud that is climate-change alarmism. 

Just two days prior to Senator Graham’s New York Times commentary, the BBC asked “what happened to global warming?”  In a moment of unintentional humor, reporter Paul Hudson described what he considered “a bit of a surprise”: 

“What happened to global warming?  This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might the fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998.  But it is true.  For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.  And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise.  So what on Earth is going on?” 

In other words, the past ten years has witnessed an unprecedented period of carbon emission and economic growth while China and India industrialized, yet global temperatures have actually declined. 

The article wisely notes the thirty-year global cooling period from 1945 to 1977, which coincided with the now-discredited 1970s “global cooling” alarmism.  Which, of course, preceded “global warming” alarmism just a few short years later. 

One would think that Senators Graham and Kerry would possess a better sense of recent history and fundamental climate data before making fools of themselves on the pages of The New York Times.  But alas, scientific fact and lessons of history are mere speedbumps in Senator Graham’s desperate campaign for Beltway popularity. 

Even more inconveniently for Senators Graham and Kerry, the CBO this week exposed some of the inevitable costs of the legislation that they advocate. 

In their commentary, Senators Graham and Kerry arrogantly assure us that their carbon-tax proposal “will revitalize our economy, protect current jobs and create new ones.” 

Not true, says the CBO. 

In its trademark understated manner, the CBO analysis reports that climate change legislation will “reduce economic activity through a number of different channels.”  Quoting the report, it states that a cap-and-tax bill will: 

- Reduce the productivity of existing capital and labor, which are currently geared to relatively inexpensive energy; 
- Reduce domestic households’ income, thus tending to reduce domestic saving;
- Discourage investment by increasing the costs of producing capital goods, which is a relatively energy-intensive process; 
- Reduce net inflows of capital from abroad (because lower productivity and higher production costs for capital goods in the United States would make it more attractive for investors to invest in other countries); 
- Reduce the total supply of labor by raising the prices of consumer goods, thus reducing workers’ real wages;  and 
- Interact with the distortions of economic behavior imposed by the existing tax system. 

“Taken together,” Mr. Elmendorf says, “those changes would affect the levels and composition of gross domestic product and employment and would thus influence households’ economic well-being.” 

Other than reducing American households’ well-being, income, labor and capital productivity, investment, capital inflows, supply of labor and tax fairness, though, climate change legislation is a fantastic idea. 

But look at the positive side.  At least Senator Graham has renewed his popularity within the elitist cocktail circuit. 


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   
 
"In nominating Barrett to the Supreme Court, [President Trump] kept his promise by choosing an undaunted originalist -- someone who interprets the Constitution based on the understanding held by its ratifiers.Trump's most profound effect on the Constitution will come when she and the other Trump Justices apply that originalism to the questions of liberty and equality."Read entire article here.…[more]
 
 
—John C. Yoo, Heller Professor Law at U.C. Berkeley School of Law
— John C. Yoo, Heller Professor Law at U.C. Berkeley School of Law
 
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Do you believe Republicans will continue to hold a majority in the U.S. Senate following the 2020 election?