Cal  Thomas

If the polls are right, the vote next Tuesday in Wisconsin on whether to recall Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican state senators could amount to a redial of their original victory. Voters who first elected the conservative Walker on a promise to fix the state's dismal economy and crushing debt appear ready to reaffirm their judgment.

They would be making the right decision given the results Gov. Walker appears to have produced.

When Walker ran for governor, he promised to eliminate the state's $3.6 billion budget deficit without raising taxes. He says he has done this. In fact, the Walker administration projects a surplus of $154.5 million by the end of the 2013 fiscal year. In this Walker mirrors Virginia Republican Governor Bob McDonnell, who also turned a deficit into a surplus in his first months in office without raising taxes.

Walker promised to create a "Waste, Fraud and Abuse Commission" and identify $300 million in savings to taxpayers. The commission identified $450 million in savings. According to Wisconsin's Dept. of Workforce Development, unemployment in Wisconsin dropped from 7.5 percent in 2011 to 6.7 percent in 2012. A survey conducted by the Manpower Group shows state employers expect to increase their hires in the second quarter this year. And according to the Chief Executive Group,, Wisconsin jumped from a ranking of 41 on a list of the best/worst states for business under former Democratic Governor Jim Doyle, to 20th under Walker.

Republicans, who too often flee the political kitchen unable to stand the heat, will see that political fire can often strengthen backbones. Walker has stood against the heat of labor unions, not only in his state but from others as well, that descended on Wisconsin, occupying the state capitol for weeks last winter. He has also withstood the media onslaught, which, with few exceptions, has favored unions and Democrats in their pursuit of unaffordable benefits and unlimited spending.

If Walker survives the recall, he will send a message to President Obama and Mitt Romney that taxpayers are ready to consider a reduction in the size and cost of government, along with possibly returning it to its constitutional boundaries. Wisconsin went for President Obama in 2008. This year it's considered a swing state.

Cal Thomas

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Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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