Scott Walker, the Republican Governor of Wisconsin, won a recall election yesterday which was an attempt to repudiate his policies of fiscal discipline and remove him from office. Walker was only the third state governor in American history to face a recall vote and the first one to win. His opponent was a Democrat who he defeated in the previous election who ran on a platform of overturning Walker’s disciplinary measures and returning Wisconsin to its free spending ways. Voter turnout was extremely heavy throughout the state and Walker won by over seven percentage points, a very large plurality indeed.
The recall election in Wisconsin was really a referendum on fiscal discipline versus fiscal profligacy, on whether Wisconsin’s voters wanted to be burdened with huge, ongoing, unsustainable budget deficits and debts or whether they wanted to take serious measures to bring their finances under control and get their financial house in order.
Walker was originally elected in 2010 on a promise of plugging a 3.8 billion dollar gap in the state budget. In order to close the gap he limited public sector bargaining rights and insisted that government employees had to pay more for their pensions and health care and it was these moves that led to the recall election because public sector unions and their Democratic friends vehemently opposed them.
Two years later his efforts have borne fruit with healthy job creation numbers, millions of dollars in savings and much more to come and a return to fiscal sanity, none of which has resulted in government services suffering or being diminished…the state is even projecting a budget surplus by June 2013. Walker’s efforts to turn Wisconsin’s economy around have been responsible and successful and the electorate rewarded him by reaffirming his policies, by telling him to do more of the same, by keeping him in office and by rejecting his Democratic opponent’s unlimited spending platform.
Fiscal discipline leading to an economic turnaround and economic success versus fiscal profligacy leading to a mountain of debt and economic catastrophe was what the recall election was all about, nothing more.
Fiscal discipline won.
This victory has profound implications for the Presidential election in November and President Obama and the Democratic Party cannot be pleased with the results, have to be very worried about the results.
Wisconsin voters have backed the Democrats in every Presidential election since 1988 and Obama won the state by 14 percentage points in the last election. The Democrats losing like they did in this recall election bodes ill for them and if the results are replicated on a national scale they are in big, big trouble.
November’s Presidential election will largely be decided on Obama’s handling of the national economy, on whether or not voters accept his policies, platform and performance or whether or not they reject them. Since his handling of the economy has been disastrous for America and Americans, since America and Americans have suffered mightily because of his policies, platform and performance, since all he can offer is bigger deficits, more debt and more suffering, since no one really believes that his policies and platform will lead to an economic turnaround and recovery and since his economic policies and platform were essentially what the Democrats ran on and lost in Wisconsin, the implications are obvious. Wisconsin voters firmly rejected Obama and the Democrats economic policies, platform and performance and Obama and the Democratic ‘brain’ trust have to be worried that voters in the Presidential election will do the same and that he will become a one term President as a result.
Is Walker’s win in Wisconsin a portent of things to come? Will Americans reject Obama and the Democrats handling of the economy, vote him out of office and turn him into a one term President.
Lets hope so. Fervently. Our future depends on it.