Mary Fallin

Mary Fallin: Oklahoma needs conservative leadership focused on sustained prosperity

October 20, 2014
The Tulsa World
Governor Mary Fallin

I ran for governor in 2010 because our state was in trouble. We were in the depths of a deep national recession that left tens of thousands of Oklahomans out of work. Our economy was stagnant. Our state was literally broke; we had $2.03 in our Rainy Day savings account. Public schools had taken an enormous spending cut, as the previous governor was forced to cut more than $300 million due to a huge budget shortfall. Oklahoma families — friends I had grown up with and businesses on Main Street in my hometown — were suffering.

At the time, I was serving in Congress. I saw in Washington how tax increases, irresponsible policies like “Obamacare” and a general drift from the values and freedoms we always have shared were pulling the nation — and Oklahoma — in the wrong direction.

I came home to fix that. I asked Oklahomans to elect me to pursue a pro-growth agenda: tax cuts, reasonable regulations, a commitment to eliminating government waste, and a willingness to stand up to Washington, when it forced bad policies on our state.

Working hand-in-hand with legislators in both parties, I’ve kept those promises and our economy is once again moving in the right direction.

Oklahomans are getting back to work. Since I’ve taken office, we’ve created more than 100,000 jobs and our unemployment rate has plummeted from more than 7 percent to just 4.7 percent.

Families are earning more. Per-capita income increased 15 percent from 2011 to 2013, the nation’s fourth highest growth rate; median household income is growing at twice the national average.

Our state is no longer broke. Our once-empty savings account now has more than $530 million.

We are once again investing in state priorities. In the last two years, we’ve put more than $180 million of new money into public education. We’ve strengthened accountability in schools, and we’ve repealed controversial Common Core standards, replacing them with rigorous, Oklahoma-based academic standards.

In the next four years, we need to continue to reinvest economic gains into K-12 education, give our teachers pay raises, and ensure our children are receiving the top-notch education they deserve.

My opponent talks a lot about the government money he wants to spend, but here’s the truth: We won’t see that money if he is elected.

Rep. Dorman supports policies that would stop Oklahoma’s economic growth in its tracks: higher taxes and more regulation. He says his first action in office would be to expand “Obamacare” in Oklahoma, a billion-dollar expense that would undercut funding for education, public safety and other priorities.

Rep. Dorman calls tax cuts a “waste of time,” opposes the back-to-school sales tax holiday that families rely on, and has even supported an increase in the gasoline tax. He opposes policies that have led to economic growth, like workers compensation reform that reduced insurance costs by more than 20 percent for Oklahoma’s small businesses and tort reforms that reduced frivolous lawsuits. On education, he chose to oppose $150 million in K-12 funding increases. That is not the kind of leadership that Oklahomans want or need.

For the last four years, I’ve worked to protect Oklahoma values and pursue Oklahoma solutions. That’s why I’ve received endorsements from conservative groups like the NRA, the National Right to Life Committee, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. The results of our conservative policies, I’m proud to say, have led to more prosperous Oklahoma families and businesses.

I’m asking voters for their support Nov. 4 so we can build on those successes and continue our forward momentum.

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