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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Trump Takes on Campus Speech Police Print
By Betsy McCaughey
Wednesday, March 06 2019
Academics forget that the entire United States of America is supposed to be a free speech zone.

Colleges and universities that limit freedom of speech are about to get clobbered big time. President Donald Trump came out swinging on Saturday against the higher-education establishment for violating our nation's most fundamental value: free expression, guaranteed in the Constitution First Amendment.

"I am proud to announce that I will be very soon signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research funds," Trump told the right-leaning American Conservative Union at its influential annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

Then, Trump brought up onstage Hayden Williams, who got punched in the eye last month for expressing his political views while visiting the University of California, Berkeley. The president said, "If they want our dollars, and we give it to them by the billions, they've got to allow people like Hayden ... to speak."

Educators lashed out immediately. "This is a solution in search of a problem," claimed Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education. He insisted that "free speech is a core value" at universities. Don't believe it.

About 90 percent of colleges and universities restrict speech, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Campuses do it by imposing speech codes, empowering bias squads to detect and punish offensive language, and allowing mobs to drive controversial speakers from campus. Some schools even marginalize unpopular groups by cordoning them off in tiny, remote "free speech zones." Academics forget that the entire United States of America is supposed to be a free speech zone.

Trump is threatening to make campus speech tyranny too costly for universities.

Congress appropriated about $38 billion in 2015 to support research at colleges and universities. That adds up to more than half their total research budget, plus a hefty chunk of their campus overhead funding. Except for the most richly endowed universities, this federal money means life or death.

Trump's critics claim he lacks authority to steer where federal research dollars go. That's nonsense. After Congress appropriates funds, federal departments that report directly to the president, such as Health and Human Services, Defense, Energy and Agriculture, decide which professors and research teams qualify for grants. These departments already have ample leeway to require applicants and their institutions to support freedom of inquiry and tolerance for diverse opinions.

In short, Trump may not need an executive order. If he decides to issue one, care needs to be taken to avoid concentrating more power in the hands of unelected Washington bureaucrats. After all, Trump won't always be their boss, calling the shots.

Of course, it would better yet to get Congress on board favoring free speech and free inquiry on campus, but with the Democrats controlling the House of Representatives, that's unlikely. Democrats are plainly unwilling to vote in support of free anything, except free stuff.

Meanwhile, free speech advocates are using the courts to battle campus oppression. Speech First nonprofit is suing the University of Texas for unleashing "bias response" squads to punish students for making so-called derogatory or offensive comments. The lawsuit alleges the bias squads are having a chilling effect on students' free speech rights.

Trump's Justice Department is weighing in on the side of campus freedom in several lawsuits, and so far it's winning. In December, the University of California, Berkeley settled, agreeing to provide protection for controversial speakers at major events. The University of Michigan, under litigation threat, agreed to halt its practice of censoring what students can post in their dorm rooms.

Lawsuits like these are slow and costly. So, Trump's threat to withhold research funds could be a powerful weapon in the fight for free speech on campus. Scientists and engineers eager for federal grant money will not want their goals undermined by campus political correctness.

The real beneficiaries of Trump's announcement are students and taxpayers. When you send your kids to college, you don't expect them to be subjected to 24/7 indoctrination in groupthink. And when you pay your taxes, you don't want the money used to silence and punish people who happen to disagree with the left-wing elite.


Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York state. 
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

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"Joe Biden's tax proposals have gone through a variety of iterations over the course of his campaign, but lately, he's settled on a pledge not to raise taxes on those earning under $400,000.This pledge is not consistent with his current proposals, but he's even less likely to be constrained if he's elected president.Even if Biden claims he would not directly raise income tax rates on those earning…[more]
 
 
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