Scott Rasmussen from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Mon, 27 Feb 2017 21:06:54 -0800 Scott Rasmussen from Creators Syndicate 6229c8950a89834489d855c14d32576f How Did America Get Stuck With a Regulatory State? for 02/23/2017 Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump have proven the ability to disrupt millions of lives with the stroke of a pen. Last week, I wrote of how the EPA arbitrarily changed the rules simply because it didn't like the results of Election 2016. The week before I noted that by placing its faith in unaccountable bureaucrats to pick winners and losers, the Regulatory State is a rejection of the core American values of freedom, equality and self-governance.</p> <p>How did this hostile takeover of America's government come about? There have always been people who preferred rule by elites, even in the earliest days of our nation's history. For example, at the Constitutional Convention, Alexander Hamilton proposed that we elect a monarch for life and give him extensive powers.</p> <p>A century later, a young scholar who later became president described voters as "selfish, ignorant, timid, stubborn, or foolish." Woodrow Wilson dreamed of a nation led by "a corps of civil servants prepared by a special schooling and drilled, after appointment, into a perfected organization, with appropriate hierarchy and characteristic discipline."<p>Updated: Thu Feb 23, 2017</p> 0f3fb3aeccd81c7fe23efc90c54c1fd8 Abuse of the Regulatory Process Is a Threat to America's Founding Ideals for 02/16/2017 Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>America's founding ideals are threatened by a regulatory regime that often operates outside the Constitutional system of checks and balances. Recently, for example, the EPA ignored proper procedures to issue an arbitrary ruling just before President Obama left office.</p> <p>The ruling had its roots in the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973, which sent the price of gas skyrocketing. Suddenly, everyone was concerned about conserving energy and Congress passed a law in 1975 requiring improved fuel efficiency over time. The law was implemented under the guidance of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.</p> <p>Since then, the auto industry and NHTSA have periodically squabbled about just what the right requirements should be, but the results have been pretty dramatic. The average miles per gallon for all cars sold in America has nearly doubled.<p>Updated: Thu Feb 16, 2017</p> c83cdb44189f3c72098c8c0c3c49b720 Do We Have a Legitimate Government? for 02/09/2017 Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Prior to last year's election, supporters of Hillary Clinton worried that Donald Trump and his supporters might not accept Hillary Clinton's victory as legitimate. It never occurred to them that the shoe might soon be on the other foot. Shortly after it became apparent that there would be no Clinton victory party, many of her supporters instantly switched gears and began to question the legitimacy of Trump's victory.</p> <p>No matter how much it angers some people, though, Donald Trump is the duly elected President of the United States. Still, there is a much more fundamental question about the legitimacy of the government he leads. It's has nothing to do with who won the election.<p>Updated: Thu Feb 09, 2017</p> 6e7e4484b51c5e0746f9bfa906dd5ff1 Beginning of the End for the Regulatory State? for 02/02/2017 Thu, 02 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>The shorthand description of Neil Gorsuch is that he's a younger version of the man he's likely to replace on the Supreme Court &#8212; Justice Antonin Scalia. Therefore, his nomination is seen by many as merely restoring the balance that existed on the Court for most of the past decade &#8212; 4 conservative justices, 4 liberal justices, and Justice Kennedy as a key swing vote.</p> <p>The idea that Gorsuch is a young Scalia is as accurate as such shorthand comments can be, but SCOTUS blog reports that there is one significant exception. Last year, "Gorsuch criticized a doctrine of administrative law (called Chevron deference) that Scalia had long defended." That won't make headlines the way that other hot button issues do, but it's a difference that could bring about a huge and positive change to the way the federal government works.</p> <p>To understand why, a little background is required.<p>Updated: Thu Feb 02, 2017</p> c7127d097649e17afa787919d675c083 Trump, Mexico and Jobs for 01/26/2017 Thu, 26 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>President Trump's commitment to fight for American workers is a big reason he's president. To deliver on that commitment, he should consider a lesson from the Gemini space program.</p> <p>Back in the 1960s, NASA engineers were learning how spaceships could rendezvous and dock. It looks easy in the movies, but reality is much more complex. For example, if one of the spacecraft is far behind the other, how does it catch up? The obvious answer would be to step on the gas. But that answer would be wrong.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 26, 2017</p> 30469cdaa91ef2ec4e6438b2c51edb60 Martin Luther King, Jr: A Great American for 01/19/2017 Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Abraham Lincoln is generally regarded today as one of America's greatest presidents. But, that wasn't always the case. It took more than half a century after his death before the memorial erected in his honor could be built. The bitterness of the Civil War he waged to preserve the Union lingered long after an assassin's bullet ended Lincoln's life.</p> <p>It took time to bring the perspective needed for Lincoln's greatness to shine. We are now experiencing the same process in the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.</p> <p>The legacies of Lincoln and King were publicly intertwined when King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech from the Lincoln Memorial. That speech ranks alongside Lincoln's Gettysburg Address as among the best expressions of America's highest ideals.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 19, 2017</p> 2537709cf72fd67f30940a166d7507f8 Trump's Transition from Rhetoric to Policy for 01/05/2017 Thu, 05 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Eight years ago, as Barack Obama prepared to move into the White House, he continued to offer the rhetoric of hope and change. Though many Republicans mocked it, that message was exactly what the American people were looking to hear.</p> <p>Candidate Obama promised to change the way Washington worked and talked of bi-partisan cooperation. But, within weeks of taking office, President Obama rammed a so-called "economic stimulus" package through Congress that was so partisan it failed to win a single vote from House Republicans. He took the same polarizing approach to pass Obamacare.</p> <p>The disconnect between the promises of candidate Obama and the policies of President Obama decimated the Democratic Party. Republican have more state and federal political power today than at any point since the 1920s.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 05, 2017</p> fa770b56a262cafe8af2dcc42d7ae52c Thomas Sowell, American Hero for 12/29/2016 Thu, 29 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Thomas Sowell's weekly opinion column has consistently been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise depressing political dialogue. He has just retired and his voice will be missed.</p> <p>A black man born in the segregated South during the Depression, Sowell's hard work, discipline and intelligence led him to tremendous success. He graduated from Harvard, earned a Master's from Columbia and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. Sowell taught at prestigious colleges and wrote tremendously influential books.<span class="column--highlighted-text"> In many ways, his life was the embodiment of the American Dream.</span><p>Updated: Thu Dec 29, 2016</p> 4070bee2227a6421f8ffb5a13a96d410 A Remarkable Woman Who Changed the World By Serving Others for 12/22/2016 Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, encouraged his followers to "Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can... As long as ever you can."</p> <p>When we serve others, amazing things happen. Consider, for example, the story of a Seattle woman born in 1929 just as the Depression was getting started. In the 1950s, Mary spent a few years teaching junior high school before becoming a full-time mom.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 22, 2016</p> e346b981bc5ec87b5fef6fddbdbf0f71 Voters Understood the Election Better than the Elites for 12/15/2016 Thu, 15 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>It's comforting for any losing campaign to console itself in the belief that voters didn't really understand the choice before them. But, it wasn't "fake news" or messaging problems that led voters to elect Donald Trump as our next president. Whether or not you agree with their decision, it seems that they knew exactly what they were doing.</p> <p>For example, evangelical voters were told by political elites they should be skeptical of candidate Trump. His lifestyle and values weren't in line with traditional Christian virtues. That's absolutely true. But evangelical voters recognized that they weren't voting for a saint or parish priest. They also recognized the other candidate didn't share their views. Most importantly, perhaps, they recognized that Judeo-Christian history is littered with examples of people who don't share their faith advancing the cause of their faith.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 15, 2016</p> ae2959d21ba7e119a9f764b9ac703d28 GOP Hangs On to Historic Gains in State Legislatures for 12/08/2016 Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>While official Washington analyzes every tweet and meeting of President-elect Donald Trump, little attention is paid to the political dynamics of state government. This is unfortunate, since state and local governments often have a more direct impact on the lives of their citizens.</p> <p>Fortunately, covers what so many political observers ignore and has become an invaluable resource. Their data provides an interesting perspective on Election 2016 that is lost in the obsession over how the Clinton campaign managed to lose Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 08, 2016</p> 9ccc4da1d5d572d6a1c670ba6409bba0 Time to Cut Back on Government by Executive Order for 11/24/2016 Thu, 24 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Most Americans are uncomfortable with the idea that a president can simply change the law by issuing an Executive Order. Such orders cut Congress out of the loop and threaten the vital system of checks and balances built into our Constitution.</p> <p>Public frustration with many of President Obama's Executive Orders played an important role in helping Donald Trump win the election. His supporters naturally want many of these orders overturned and the president-elect has promised to deliver on day one.</p> <p>Politically, that makes complete sense, and it's the right thing to do. But, how the new president goes about it could be more important than the specific actions he takes. Done properly, the day one orders could be a great step forward towards a healthier governing process. Done poorly, they could make a bad situation worse.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 24, 2016</p> 3b8c972181a0218285fdb6668859a381 America Reveals Strong and Growing Republican Party for 11/17/2016 Thu, 17 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Political journalists totally dismissed the possibility of a victory by Donald Trump because they were looking in the wrong direction. Too many of them look to Washington, DC to explain what's happening in America. They've got it backwards. We should all look to America to explain what's happening in official Washington.</p> <p>From that perspective, the only real question is why President-elect Trump didn't win by a bigger margin.</p> <p>For example, there are 99 state legislative bodies in America (every state but Nebraska has two &#8212; a House and a Senate). Data from shows that, during the Obama Administration, there was an amazing transformation among those legislatures. An astounding 85 out of the 99 are more Republican today than they were when President Obama took office."<p>Updated: Thu Nov 17, 2016</p> 047267f5e85e92647c69de7191548aad Trump Victory A Rejection of Bureaucrats Know Best Government for 11/10/2016 Thu, 10 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States has been described with words like stunning, historic and unprecedented. Some view it with exhilaration and others with terror. </p> <p>The Republican Party is now Trump's party and it will take some time to sort out what that means. But the GOP will sort it out from a position of strength. The Trump victory has given his party more control over the federal government than it has enjoyed at any time since the 1920s. On the other side of the aisle, the Democrats are in shock and disarray. <p>Updated: Thu Nov 10, 2016</p> 876c9104eb48511d5b6f8376747b7319 Last Scandal Loses? for 11/03/2016 Thu, 03 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>As I write this, the election is six days away. Real Clear Politics shows Hillary Clinton with an Electoral College advantage, leading 246 to 164. The former Secretary of State cannot rest easy, however. That's partly because she needs 270 Electoral College votes to win and partly because recent trends have been going against her.</p> <p>The potential for an upset by Donald Trump can be found in the fact that the Real Clear projections show 10 states in the Toss-Up column, along with a single Electoral Vote from Maine's 2nd Congressional District. On top of that, team Trump believes that a couple of other states &#8212; Michigan and Wisconsin &#8212; might also be in play.</p> <p>We've reached the point in the campaign where fans of both teams confidently predict victory is theirs. But neither team should be quite that confident. With so many toss-ups, surprises should probably be expected.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 03, 2016</p> 81a040404b4d368efd34b4f6887cbb64 Election 2016 Is My Favorite Presidential Election Ever! for 10/27/2016 Thu, 27 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Amidst all the grumbling of how horrible and unpleasant the 2016 presidential campaign has been, I must confess that it's my favorite presidential campaign of all time. That may seem strange given the ugly tone of the campaign and the fact that both major parties have nominated candidates that most Americans dislike. But my joy has nothing to do with the candidates, the issues, or the election itself.</p> <p>I'm loving this election because this is my first campaign as an ex-pollster.</p> <p>After decades of running polls and writing analysis every night and day, I can now look back and appreciate just how much of a grind it had been. Even more important, I realize more fully how being caught up in the daily grind of the political world makes it harder to recognize what's going on in the real world.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 27, 2016</p> 7b828c15ee8fd87169ae0ffd7c70cf86 If You Want to Change the World, Look Outside of Politics for 10/20/2016 Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>One of the most important lessons anyone can learn about America is forgotten every election season. The lesson is simple: politicians don't lead the nation, they lag behind. Change always comes from outside the political process, often from surprising places.</p> <p>On April 19, 1960, that truth was dramatically demonstrated at city hall in Nashville, Tennessee. A 21-year old African-American female student led the city forward by asking the city's 49-year old white mayor the right question at the right time.</p> <p>In political terms, the mayor had all the power and prestige. He had been an elected politician for more than a decade. The young woman had no political status. In fact, at the time of their encounter, she was not even allowed to drink at the same water fountain as white women.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 20, 2016</p> efdfa86f90f57f7402fa85ac1d9d5b5e America is Better than Sunday's Un-Presidential Debate for 10/13/2016 Thu, 13 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Whatever else it may have been, Sunday's debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump wasn't very presidential. Taunts of how she should be in jail and he's unqualified may thrill the partisan bases, but they do nothing to help the nation move forward.</p> <p>The mutual disgust and enmity was so strong that both candidates struggled when asked to name one positive thing about the other. Clinton couldn't say anything nice about Trump other than being impressed by his children. Trump said he disagrees everything she fights for, but gave Clinton credit for being a fighter.</p> <p>This moment clarified just how far our public discourse has fallen. In the very first response during the very first televised presidential debate, Richard Nixon began by saying he agreed with many of the things his opponent &#8212; John Kennedy &#8212; had said. Even when he disagreed with Kennedy on a policy point, Nixon said he respected the sincerity with which it was made.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 13, 2016</p> 65dab28b8febe7159a489556655437d8 A Journey From Pessimism to Optimism for 10/06/2016 Thu, 06 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>This week, I've had the opportunity to review a couple of important milestones in my life. That's because the Sutherland Institute just released a second edition of my 2009 book, "In Search of Self-Governance." They will also be publishing my new book next year, "Politics Has Failed: America Will Not."</p> <p>Those two books highlight key moments in a long personal journey that has reshaped the way I look at the world. Together, they explain how I can be so deeply pessimistic about America's political system, yet so optimistic about America's future.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 06, 2016</p> 4be8cc5af87f177ce47190ce037b4fa0 Politics Have Failed: America Will Not for 09/29/2016 Thu, 29 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>After observing, measuring and monitoring our nation's dysfunctional political system for more than two decades, I have come to recognize that it is broken beyond repair.</p> <p>There is obviously something wrong when our two major political parties have each nominated a candidate for president who is viewed unfavorably by a majority of Americans. In 2016, the partisans will support their team or vote against the other while the remaining voters don't like either option.</p> <p>It's important to recognize, however, that this problem did not start with the nomination of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It's been growing for at least a generation. Since 1992, we've had three consecutive presidents who took office with their party in control of Congress. Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama each lost control of Congress during their time in the White House. This is a fundamental rejection of both political parties.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 29, 2016</p>