Scott Rasmussen from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sun, 25 Sep 2016 23:56:03 -0700 Scott Rasmussen from Creators Syndicate cd41ff4f5bb6f10c249b6627d0bdb7d9 The People Who Will Select the Next President Loathe Both Options for 09/22/2016 Thu, 22 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>There are many ways to analyze Election 2016 and project how things might turn out.</p> <p>A conventional analysis on the Electoral College, for example, might note that Donald Trump currently has only a very narrow path to winning the needed 270 Electoral Votes. With little margin for error, he must win all the states won in 2012 by Mitt Romney and then add Florida and Ohio to the total. That would get the GOP nominee to 253 Electoral Votes. From there, he has a handful of more challenging options to pick up the final votes he needs.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 22, 2016</p> d92f502c552dcdaabfe87d61bcdc099e Freedom, Not Democracy, Gives Power to the People for 09/15/2016 Thu, 15 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>A recent headline at claimed a new study proved federalism is a total joke.</p> <p>The study, by Professor Steven Rogers of Saint Louis University, showed that voters base their decisions on the popularity of the president. So, over the past several election cycles, when President Obama's approval ratings have been low, Republicans have made tremendous gains and now control most state legislatures around the country.</p> <p>Rogers showed that "State legislators have relatively little control over their own elections." That's not surprising, but Vox reporter Jeff Stein considers it a "rather grim conclusion."<p>Updated: Thu Sep 15, 2016</p> b14888a3976063f2fa349cd3df5bd2ff Poverty, Inequality, and Opportunity for 09/08/2016 Thu, 08 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Last week, I wrote about how our standard of living has grown much faster in recent decades than most people realize.</p> <p>Official statistics show that average income has doubled since the 1970s and research by economist William Nordhaus shows that the reality is even more positive. Our living standards today may be four to eight times higher than they were in the 1970s.</p> <p>So what? Why does any of this matter?<p>Updated: Thu Sep 08, 2016</p> 3eb6388a1df91b081da3e211da76cf14 America is Still the Land of Opportunity for 09/01/2016 Thu, 01 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>America has long been known as the land of opportunity. "When one starts poor," Abraham Lincoln observed, a "free society is such that he knows he can better his condition."</p> <p>It's a theme constantly celebrated in popular culture. In the 19th century, countless Horatio Alger tales told of poor boys working hard and reaching middle class respectability. Today, the biggest hit on Broadway tells how an orphaned immigrant with no money and no name rose to become a key leader in the American Revolution and our nation's first Treasury Secretary.</p> <p>In 21st century politics, however, the main storyline is that economic progress has stalled since the 1970s. Many question whether opportunities still exist and some even consider the phrase "land of opportunity" to be politically incorrect.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 01, 2016</p> 2c20d18cc6a7829ea44db64b2581482f Is There Enough Time for Clinton to Lose? for 08/25/2016 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>In baseball, a team entering the ninth inning with a two-run lead will bring in their closer to secure the victory. However, if the team has to rely upon a less-skilled reliever, there is always a chance they will blow the lead. A single bad pitch could wipe out the advantage they built over the first eight innings.</p> <p>As we head into the late innings of election 2016, the Democrats have a modest lead. If they had a top-tier campaigner like Barack Obama or Bill Clinton, the race would be over. But, they have a less skilled campaigner at the top of the ticket, which gives the GOP an outside chance for a comeback.</p> <p>To be clear, Hillary Clinton is the favorite to win in November. The Rasmussen Electoral College Projection shows that she is currently leading in states with 347 Electoral College votes. Trump has the advantage in states with only 191 votes. But the lead isn't quite as safe as those numbers imply. Six states and one Congressional District in Maine are just leaning in Clinton's direction. If Trump were to take all of those leaners, he would win the Electoral College by the narrowest of margins, 270-268.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 25, 2016</p> 8ccb7fc738c0cfd27092d8ab364300f6 Battle to Legalize Marijuana Shows Value of State-Based Regulations for 08/18/2016 Thu, 18 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>For people who believe in freedom and self-governance, it's always better to have regulations established by state governments rather than the federal government. That's because states are subject to competition while the federal government is not. If a state passes stupid laws and regulations that harm the quality of life, people have the power to walk away and move somewhere else.</p> <p>The truth of this perspective is highlighted in the fight over the legalization of marijuana. The drug is legal at some level in 25 states today and 10 more may be added to the list soon. Most Americans think it should be legalized and regulated like alcohol. Half have actually smoked pot at some point along life's journey.</p> <p>But, for some reason, the federal government can't let go of its war on pot. As recently as last week, the Drug Enforcement Administration confirmed that federal law will continue to consider the popular recreational drug illegal under all circumstances. The head of the DEA said his decision was based upon a determination by another federal agency that there is "no currently accepted medical use" for marijuana. So what? Is there any currently accepted medical use for beer? Or wine? Or Jack Daniels?<p>Updated: Thu Aug 18, 2016</p> 095dc263e227b84f6283743fbc7c3bdb Could Donald Trump Come in Third? for 08/11/2016 Thu, 11 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>In 1992, a colorful billionaire with no political experience ran for president of the United States. Ross Perot played by his own rules, largely funded his own campaign, and, at one point, was leading the race ahead of both President George H. W. Bush and then-Governor Bill Clinton. But his lack of message discipline and other actions discouraged his campaign staff and cost him support. When all the votes were counted, the businessman finished in third place with 19 percent of the vote.</p> <p>In recent weeks, Donald Trump's campaign has stumbled badly. Could the 2016 outsider end up like Ross Perot? The odds are against it, but the odds are also against Trump moving into the White House.</p> <p>To be clear, there are significant differences between the Perot effort and Trump's campaign. Most importantly, Trump has the Republican nomination while Perot ran as an independent. Also, while Trump has had many self-destructive moments in the campaign, Perot got so fed up that he actually quit for a couple of months in the middle of the campaign.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 11, 2016</p> e96b921572dba09fa03d0485b713827f Trump Does Want to Win, But Only on His Terms for 08/04/2016 Thu, 04 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Just about every Republican official and consultant has at some point wrestled with the question of whether or not Donald Trump really wants to be President of the United States. Many think that he wants to win the election, but doesn't want the job that comes with it. Others think he began the campaign as a publicity stunt and was shocked to find himself as the frontrunner and then the nominee.</p> <p>The question of Trump's interest in the White House is being asked more and more frequently &#8212; and by more people&#8212;following Trump's disastrous comments about the parents of a Muslim soldier killed in Iraq. Why on earth would any candidate pick such a public fight with a family whose son made the ultimate sacrifice? Adding to the confusion, why on earth would he pick a new fight with Paul Ryan and John McCain when he's supposedly trying to unify the party? Is the Republican nominee sabotaging his own campaign?</p> <p>I believe that this analysis misses the point.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 04, 2016</p> 18e31f4688952b0cd20462360036bcdc The Complicated Reality of American Greatness for 07/28/2016 Thu, 28 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The Complicated Reality of American Greatness</p> <p>Donald Trump says he is campaigning to Make America Great again. Democrats like former Attorney General Eric Holder say that we are an "already-great nation." In politics, of course, both sides think it's great when their team is in charge but not so great when the other team holds power.</p> <p>The reality of American greatness is far more complicated. In the summer of 1619, two contradictory strands of our nation's history began in Jamestown, Virginia. One strand was noble, the other was shameful.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 28, 2016</p> 7035a2aa49100165f429e64e6c2dba1e Neither Trump Nor Clinton Will Lead Nation On the First Wednesday in November for 07/21/2016 Thu, 21 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>With political conventions in full swing, news organizations are in overdrive analyzing the implications for the first Tuesday in November. The nation is in uncharted waters since most Americans have an unfavorable opinion of both major party candidates.</p> <p>That would be downright depressing if America's politicians really did lead the nation. But, they don't. On the first Wednesday in November, regardless of who is elected president, the culture will still be leading and the politicians lagging behind.</p> <p>Consider, for example, our broken health care system. Obamacare didn't fix the problem and neither will Republican alternatives. Harvard's Michael Porter says "Health care delivery is simply too complex, too subtle, too individualized, and too rapidly evolving to be manageable by top-down micromanagement."<p>Updated: Thu Jul 21, 2016</p> ce7382a95f998166d8c2f51e53351a84 Clinton v. Trump for 07/14/2016 Thu, 14 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Over the past generation, there has been growing evidence that our dysfunctional political system is badly broken. For the past 30 years, neither party has been able to hold a sustainable governing majority in both Congress and the White House. In fact, control has been divided between the parties for 22 of those 30 years.</p> <p>Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all came into office with their party in control of Congress. All three lost control during their tenure. That's never before happened in American history.</p> <p>The dysfunction has been visible in other ways. Four years ago, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Mitt Romney, and Paul Ryan represented their parties as presidential and vice presidential nominees. Despite their many differences, all four men supported the bank bailouts that saved Wall Street but ignored Main Street. Given the massive public anger over the bailouts, it's hard to comprehend why neither party felt a need to reflect that concern in their leadership ranks.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 14, 2016</p> 96e0bececffda323c59ab5ff3751bf76 What the Death of Alton Sterling Can Teach Us About Making America Great for 07/07/2016 Thu, 07 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate America's highest ideals, including our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It's an exuberant event filled with optimism about how a free and self-governing nation can create a better world.</p> <p>But this year's celebration was immediately followed by the killing of a black man &#8212; Alton Sterling &#8212; by white police officers in Baton Rouge. The circumstances of that killing serve as a bitter reminder of our nation's most troubling national sin. As I read about that tragic shooting and watched the heartbreaking video of a teenage boy missing his Daddy, I couldn't help but think of a Fourth of July speech delivered long ago by Frederick Douglass.</p> <p>Douglass was born a slave, but escaped to become a leading abolitionist, statesman, and powerful speaker. In 1852, on the nation's 76th birthday, he began his speech with rhetoric that is comfortable and familiar:<p>Updated: Thu Jul 07, 2016</p> 2c71a2a6fb7a825d6154dfc7988bf725 Brexit Shows Us The Future -- And It's Great for 06/30/2016 Thu, 30 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Journalists and historians tend to overestimate the impact of political events while underestimating the power of cultural trends.</p> <p>For example, we celebrate the Declaration of Independence as America's founding document. That magnificent document is an eloquent statement of ideals that we have spent more than two centuries trying to achieve. But it did not inspire 13 colonies to seek independence from Great Britain.</p> <p>In fact, it was written 15 months <i> after </i> the War of Independence got started. Before the politicians of that era acted, most of the British Governors had already been driven from the land. The Declaration was not important because it brought about change. It was important because it formally confirmed a change that had already taken place.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 30, 2016</p> 4341adda4279a7c72e3981a98e44ce19 Uber Infuriates Regulators But Increases Public Safety for 06/23/2016 Thu, 23 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>In the view of those who believe that bureaucrats know best, the only way to protect consumers from unscrupulous companies is to provide detailed regulations and a swarm of investigators to enforce them. They typically justify their role by claiming to champion the safety of helpless consumers.</p> <p>However, what happens when less regulation leads to improved safety? Will the regulators back off to protect consumers or keep fighting to protect their turf?</p> <p>A real world test of that question has been provided by the innovative ride-sharing service Uber. Rather than hoping to hail a taxi, consumers can simply hail a driver using their smart phone app. The service has delivered over a billion rides in just six years.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 23, 2016</p> 3009b8588b43d9cd629cf46692820142 Tech Industry, Not Politics, Shows Pathway to Bright Future for 06/16/2016 Thu, 16 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The 2016 edition of the Bloomberg Technology Conference was, as expected, a wonderfully inspiring event. It was an opportunity to see the people and hear the ideas that are shaping our global future.</p> <p>It is almost impossible to convey the can-do attitude and sense of optimism that permeated the event and drives the tech industry today.</p> <p>Monday night, the first person I saw had developed a simple and inexpensive paper water filter to dramatically improve the health of the world's poorest citizens. He's created a book out of that paper explaining the importance of filtering and how to do it. The reader can immediately put their newfound knowledge to work by ripping the pages out and using them as a filter. The book has been widely translated and is already saving lives in 40 countries.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 16, 2016</p> a645047933ed7b2eb3be5defd91e083e Clinton Starts General Election With Lead and Momentum for 06/09/2016 Thu, 09 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>As the General Election season begins, Democrat Hillary Clinton has both a lead over Republican Donald Trump and momentum.</p> <p>The Rasmussen Electoral College Projection shows Clinton winning in states with 191 Electoral College votes, while Trump has the edge in states with 170 Votes. Fourteen states with 177 Votes are at least somewhat competitive. Details available at</p> <p>However, those numbers understate Clinton's advantage. Of the 14 states in play, nine lean towards the Democrats, two are leaning Republican and three are Toss-Ups. When you include the "leaners" in the total, Clinton has a 310 to 191 advantage. A total of 270 Electoral Votes are needed to win the White House.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 09, 2016</p> bdb1b500bc6f0b20ca37b82ae7356fa9 4,704 Cases of Addiction Are Destroying Higher Education for 06/03/2016 Fri, 03 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Higher education news is often dominated by troubling statistics and anecdotes. Whether it's ever-rising costs, staggering student loan debt, sexual assaults, binge drinking, lower standards or other issues, concerns about American colleges are higher than ever before.</p> <p>These issues are just the tip of the iceberg and cannot be solved until we address an issue hidden far beneath the surface. Federal dollars have become the single largest source of funding for higher education, and schools are addicted to the revenue. There are 4,706 colleges throughout the land. Frighteningly, 4,704 of them accept federal loans to help students cover the cost of tuition. Only two schools have maintained their independence.</p> <p>All that money comes with strings attached, because every school that accepts federal funding also accepts federal regulation. The Higher Education Compliance Alliance recently reported "there is every reason to believe that compliance requirements will present formidable challenges for institutions of higher education for years to come."<p>Updated: Fri Jun 03, 2016</p> c571dd6507b3cbc98c6c8827beae7474 Race for Control of Senate is a Toss-Up for 06/02/2016 Thu, 02 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The race for the White House is drawing all the attention, but control of the Senate is also up for grabs in Election 2016. The initial Rasmussen Senate Projections show the Republicans emerging from the election with 48 seats, the Democrats with 47, and 5 in the Toss-Up category (details at</p> <p>When you add up all the seats that are likely, safe, or certain to be with one party or the other, Republicans hold a 46-44 advantage. Control will be determined by who wins 10 states in the Leaning or Toss-Up categories.</p> <p>Three of these critical states currently lean towards the Democrats &#8212; Illinois, Wisconsin, and Colorado. The first two are the only states currently projected to flip from one party to the other. Republican Senator Mark Kirk faces an uphill battle to keep his job in the generally Democratic state of Illinois. Just to the north, Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson faces a similar challenge.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 02, 2016</p> 1dd11c0a9f28f5c0c2d9985672199c16 Shaping the Supreme Court for 05/26/2016 Thu, 26 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The biggest impact any president can have on the nation is the ability to shape the Supreme Court. Conservative voters are especially concerned about this because they believe the Court has become too liberal in recent years. With the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, conservative concerns about the Court have reached panic levels. Given the age of current justices, the next president could shape the Court for a generation.</p> <p>Donald Trump releasing names of his potential nominees highlighted the importance of this issue. It was a good strategic move, giving conservatives a reason to unify behind his campaign. For most potential Republican voters, Trump's choices were far preferable to those Hillary Clinton would nominate.</p> <p>But the issue of Supreme Court nominations is just the tip of the iceberg. When you look beneath the surface, conservatives face a far greater challenge with courts and the legal system.<p>Updated: Thu May 26, 2016</p> 9c1593be2f72d524caf732aae8edd9a1 Freedom vs. the Bureaucracy for 05/19/2016 Thu, 19 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Nothing unites Americans more than the belief that each of us has the right to live our lives as we see fit so long as we don't interfere with the rights of others to do the same. Unfortunately, this is seen as a problem by many who want to rule over us. A diverse nation of 325 million people exercising their freedom is a nightmare for those who believe bureaucrats know best.</p> <p>This attitude was clearly expressed in a truly chilling book, "The Executive Unbound: After the Madisonian Republic." Eric A. Posner and Adrian Vermeule claim that we should dismiss ideas like Constitutional checks and balances as nothing more than "a historical curiosity." It's time, the Chicago and Harvard law professors say, to accept the reality "that law cannot hope to constrain the modern executive."</p> <p>Amazingly, these teachers of the law believe that unchecked and unaccountable bureaucrats are not the problem. Instead, they worry about something they call "Tyrannophobia." In their minds, America suffers because we have an irrational fear of giving too much power to political leaders &#8212; I would call that fear common sense.<p>Updated: Thu May 19, 2016</p>