Election 2014

Midterms: The Very Best (and Worst!) Outcomes

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Here are the best—and worst—outcomes of the midterm elections.

The Best!

1. We threw the bums out

Even the Republican stalwarts at Fox News agree the GOP takeover of the Senate was a protest vote against President Obama and his failed policies, not an endorsement of Mitch McConnell and his party-mates. It's always good to see politicians held accountable at the ballot box.

2. Pot legalization

Voters in Alaska, Oregon, and Washigton, DC legalized recreational marijuana, dealing another body blow to the war on drugs. A majority in Florida backed medical marijuana, but the total fell short of the 60 percent necessary for approval there.

3. Public-Sector Unions Lost Big.

Democrat Gina Raimondo became governor of Rhode Island despite being opposed by public sector unions for her central role in reining in out of control pension plans. Republican Govs. Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Rick Snyder in Michigan were re-elected despite taking on public-sector unions, too.

 

The Worst!

1. Minimum Wage Hikes

Voters in four states approved hikes in the minimum wage. Whatever the intentions might be, making workers more expensive by legislative fiat will make it that much harder for the least-skilled people to find jobs.

2. Berkeley, California Passes Sin Tax on Soda

The People's Republic of Berkeley overwhelmingly passed the country's "first real sin tax on soda in the United States." The tax will increase the cost of a 20 ounce soda by 10 percent.

3. The GOP Senate is ready to spend

The bipartisan budget agreement reached late last year increased spending beyond the levels set by sequestration. And while many of the new Republican senators have been vague on what programs they would cut, they all have pledged to support defense spending and to "protect" and "preserve" Social Security and Medicare. That almost certainly means spending hikes over the next two years.

About 2 minutes. Produced by Meredith Bragg. Written by Nick Gillespie.

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