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Why I voted for Barack Obama

Published: Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 12:27 p.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 12:39 p.m. CST

As an active UAW member, I am proud to support President Barack Obama for re-election. He brought our economy back from the brink of collapse, expanded our renewable energy and manufacturing sectors, brought our heroes back from war and our enemies to justice.

In Newton, we have been lucky to see the president up close and personal, both before he became president and after. He took a personal interest in our town, knowing just how devastating the Maytag shutdown and outsourcing trend was. He visited TPI Composites and Trinity Structural Towers to support our new manufacturers that are helping Iowa become a national leader in wind energy. The Recovery Act helped expand Iowa’s wind industry by extending the wind production tax credit and creating new manufacturing tax credits. Now, with layoffs looming, all our progress we have made is at stake in this election.

Mitt Romney made it very clear he wants the tax credit eliminated, even though he supports big oil subsidies.

This election is about which candidate understands the challenges we face. It’s about who we can trust to stand up for us and for the middle class. It’s about which candidate believes hard work should pay off and that everyone should do their fair share, get a fair shot and play by the same rules.

President Obama has led with those values from day one. The Recovery Act helped Iowa’s working families receive an average of $3,600 in tax cuts. Iowa’s farmers have seen record incomes. Because of Obamacare, thousands of families don’t have to worry about being denied health insurance and more seniors are getting help with their prescription drug costs. Unemployment is now at its lowest point since the president took office. 

Unlike Romney, the president has been consistent and clear about his values. His plan is focused on the right way to grow the economy — from the middle out, not the top down.

First, he’ll help create a million new manufacturing jobs and double our exports so manufacturers can stamp “Made in America” on more products and sell them around the world.

Second, he’ll cut our oil imports in half, produce more American-made energy and double the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks.

Third, we have to train the best workforce in the world to compete in the global economy. We’ll recruit and prepare 100,000 math and science teachers so Americans can compete for the jobs of the future, train 2 million Americans at our community colleges, cut tuition growth in half over the next decade and expand student aid so more students can afford college.

Fourth, we must reduce our deficit in a balanced way. The president put forth a plan to cut the deficit by more than $4 trillion in the next decade. On top of the $1 trillion in spending we’ve already cut, we’ll ask the wealthy to pay a little more and cut spending we don’t need.

Fifth, the president believes that after a decade of war, it’s time for nation-building at home. We’ll use half the savings from ending the war in Afghanistan to pay down our debt and invest the rest in our roads, runways, bridges and schools. 

This election offers a clear choice. President Obama is fighting for all of us, not just some of us, and will move us forward with a new economic patriotism. Romney promises to take us back to the same top down ideas that have never worked, crashed the economy and crushed the middle class. We can’t afford to go back — and we can’t afford to stay home on Election Day.

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