Um, John Sherman and Benjamin Harrison were Republicans governing pretty much at the height of the first GOP peak in the late 19th. Hardly "liberals," if you insist on using that outdated, distracting, worthless pair of dueling vacant adjectives. It isn't really a matter of L vs. C, but in-power vs. out-of-power. When you're in power, there are immense pressures to reshape gov't to suit the needs of your associates while hopefully doing well by "the people" or at least avoiding popular ill will.
Hence my use of liberals as opposed to democrats, not to be confused with classical liberalism, which is the opposite of neo-liberalism. People who expand government power and restrict the economy to "protect" the little guys are liberals. As written, the bill isn't that bad either, as implemented it's been horrific unfortunately.
Here you're at least on historically reasonable ground for using the L-C language. I agree that there's an appearance of cognitive dissonance, but the full situation really depends on how you care to run your cost-benefit analysis. IMO, the postal monopoly and the currency monopoly both worked out well for a long while (not as sure about currency these days).
I call bullshit.
First, the postal monopoly. Craptastic failure since inception. It's inefficient, operating at a deficit that is often in the billions, delivering things late, delivering things to the wrong address, losing them entirely... Oddly enough, we have direct, irrefutable evidence of what happens when that monopoly is lifted. Before UPS and FedEx went mainstream, how long did it take for the postal carrier to ship standard packages around Christmas, a month? How long now, five days? USPS priority generally arrives in three days or less and is cheaper than the UPS and FedEx alternatives on light or small packages. The entity is obviously capable of fast delivery and competition, yet letter delivery is still horribly slow. A shining beacon of what not to do, create a government protected monopoly that doesn't need to compete and doesn't even need to survive on it's own. We didn't start with one either. Private companies did it for the first half a century, and still had involvement in intra city mail delivery for quite a while after. That they had to be killed by making it illegal shows how effective the USPS has been.
Second, currency. We originally started without a monopoly. Gotta love the idea of carrying around 20 different kinds of money eh? I'll admit, this one is probably a necessary evil. But it is an evil. Since nationalizing the currency, there has been one problem after another. The biggest were the seasonal bank runs, farmers go to withdraw their accounts from last years harvest to pay for this years planting, poof, no money in the bank. Brilliant huh?
The first national banking system lead to a collapse of government funds thanks to no power over a central currency, they dissolved the bank.
The second banking system led to a collapse of the bank. They learned from the first time and used bonds to back government debt to protect against fluctuation. Unfortunately, as debt grew, so did the money supply, massive inflation. The War of 1812 was expensive apparently. Hello panic of 1819, they dissolved the bank. Monopoly, no monopoly... not a lot of difference.
So we drop the banking monopoly, again. All hail the free banking system. If you've ever seen the inflation rates... omfg. Absolutely hilarious. Note, when creating a free banking system, either go with no rules, or reasonable rules. When you go with stupid rules, people tend to do stupid instead of sensible.
At this point, we finally get around to nationalizing the currency. This brought about the previously mentioned liquidity problems that lead to seasonal bank runs. Bloody brilliant. It did last a whopping fifty years before it fucked up enough that they were forced to replace it though. So from a duration perspective, it was better than the previous.
This of course brings us to the Federal Reserve Bank, the most recent attempt, an entity created because currency was inelastic and unresponsive to market changes and completely lacked the ability to keep liquidity in the markets. Since creation, we've suffered one Great Depression that makes all the previous panics seem like trivial nuisances. Numerous other bubbles since of course, but none quite so impressive, although the current one will make it look like a tea party if it keeps going. Then of course, there were the massive inflation rates of the 70's, wasn't that wonderful? All the flaws the previous systems suffered, all rolled into one.
Each banking system has failed in turn, and we've had half a dozen of them. The nationalized versus competetive banking systems haven't been particularly tilted in direction of nationalizing, and the nationalization of currency isn't much better. With a good board and chairman, the Federal Reserve doesn't do too badly, but with a bad one it can be catastrophic. The motivation to create debt bubbles is a serious flaw.
But when you start getting into smaller public monopolies, like the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (yes, I know they have a few minor competitors, but they are at least roughly like a "Microsoft" of shipping and water crossings in the NY area), things do indeed get messy. The Port Authority was ineed established by "liberals" (who called themselves progressives, even back then). Their idea of trying to insulate long-term infrastructure projects from the travails of corrupt politics was a good one. But like many good ideas, it turned out to have its own problems in the long run, effectively isolating the Authority from public opinion as well as public corruption.
Perfection is the only guard against corruption, the root of why government is never any good. We will never design the perfect system, thus corruption will always destroy it. It's the simplistic beauty of an actual free market. Corruption itself is simply another force for good. Not that we have one, they keep bailing the fuckers out.
When a company becomes corrupted by greed, that greed creates inefficiency and destroys it. I'm not talking about CEO's taking home billion dollar pay packages either. Unions extorting companies for absurd pay grades and preventing modernization are equally to blame in the auto industry. The other factor isn't the management pay either, it's the get everyone one philosophy behind the crappy vehicles they keep making. Management pay is a trivial problem when a corrupted company kills itself, just like how much the Senators pay themselves to fuck us over is a trivial problem with Congress.
Edit: Jonnan, you fail at life.
Comparing presidents by "objective" measures without regard for reality is just as idiotic as your mythical presentation on conservatives. Carter's effects are long lasting, we're in one of his aftershocks right now. The S&L crisis was the first one, both are blowback from his wealth redistribution via bank loans in the CRA of 1977, made catastrophic by Clinton's changes, may congress rot for letting that one through. The Carter presidency is directly responsible for both mortgage market failures by setting up the GSE's in such an assinine function. Without such idiocy, the deregulation would never have resulted in either. You can't collapse a banking system by defaulting on 20% down loans unless the entire world goes to hell for completely unrelated reasons and no one ever buys a house again. No Carter idiocy, no Reagan recessions from them.
You'll note that under Clinton, Reaganomics were followed for much of it thanks to a certain House Speaker actually living up to campaign promises and forcing votes in the House. If he'd kept his mouth in check and been less petty he'd probably still be Speaker. They even got welfare and NAFTA through, hardly a liberal administration even if Clinton did try with that godawful healthcare plan and his idiotic changes to the housing and mortgage systems. Yeah, I'm giving Clinton credit on conservative issues. Bush just put the nail in his coffin with this idiotic bailout as being left of Stupid.