Obama deserves the vote of Oklahomans

The difference between the two candidates couldn’t be more evident. On one side, there is President Obama’s track record of strong, stable leadership, delivering transformational policy. Then there’s Mitt Romney’s opaque platform on the other side, featuring vague policies and positions that shift like a weather vane in the Oklahoma wind.

When Obama took office, America was facing a second great depression, with the specters of unemployment, shuttered businesses and debilitating cuts to basic state and local services.

Instead, thanks to Obama’s leadership and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, depression was averted. In Oklahoma, major roads and bridge projects were completed; airports were expanded; many teachers, firefighters and police officers retained their jobs; and, most important, stability returned to our state and national economy.

All told, the president’s stimulus package netted Oklahoma nearly $3 billion in reinvestment funding and generated more than 50,000 jobs.

On the energy front, President Obama’s “all of the above” energy policy fueled the highest level of domestic oil and natural gas production in U.S. history. This has provided a huge boost to our city and state economy.

Additionally, the administration’s expansion of wind power credits and tax breaks enabled a fledgling industry to find its wings. Under Obama, output of this clean energy source nearly doubled in four years, providing another boon to Oklahoma’s economy.

By contrast, Romney has stated he will end tax credits for wind power. A Romney presidency would endanger many high-paying Oklahoma jobs.

The most compelling reason for Oklahomans to reelect President Obama is to ensure that the Affordable Care Act takes full effect. Nearly 20 percent of non-elderly Oklahomans remain uninsured.

Many use hospital emergency rooms to resolve health issues that otherwise could be averted by regular preventive care. These visits drive up costs for everyone.

The ACA will provide coverage to the uninsured, and it will help those who already have insurance. Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, nor will they be able to drop policyholders when they need coverage the most.

Romney has promised to end Obamacare on “day one.” That would be a huge step backward for our state and nation.

Obama holds the edge on a number of other issues, but chief among these is women’s rights. An Obama second term would ensure an administration committed to protecting women’s equality in the workplace, pay fairness and reproductive rights.

Obama’s strong domestic record has been matched by sound foreign policy. He refocused American military intervention on the terrorists who attacked us, killing Osama Bin Laden. By ending the war in Iraq, and planning our exit from Afghanistan, Obama is transitioning our nation from war to peace. For economic security, energy policy, health care, women’s rights, and foreign policy, President Obama deserves Oklahomans’ vote for a second term.

Bezdek, president of Bezdek + Associates in OKC, worked for the 2008 Obama campaign in Iowa, California and Oklahoma.

Jeff Bezdek

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