Originally published December 15 2013
Rand Paul gets it: 'Economic Freedom Zones' could save America's cities from bankruptcy
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) If the founding fathers were to somehow be reincarnated today, they would never recognize the country that they fought to create.
I'm not simply talking about all of the technological advances made since the 18th century, although anyone who lived then would be blown away by what America has built and accomplished. I'm talking about the way that we are being governed today.
Which is to say, we are being over-governed.
Thanks to a century's worth of "progressivism," U.S. government bureaucracy has grown so large that it has become a branch of government unto itself. The crushing weight of rules, regulations and mandates that the states and the people must endure costs the economy nearly $2 trillion a year - money that firms, businesses and companies could better use to expand and hire workers.
Even in flush economic times, this is a huge chunk of money taken out of our economy, making it far more unproductive than it needs to be.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., understands the damage the federal government does to its own economy every year. What's more, he's got solutions.
Paul, who went to Detroit recently for the opening of a new GOP outreach center in the heavily Democratic - and massively broke - city, discussed his visions with Brietbart News.
'Economic Freedom Zones'
"Around the country, we're going to be opening offices in all the major cities in the United States," Paul said. "And when you look at the red-blue map of party divisions around the country, the Republican Party tends to win the countryside and the rural cities and small towns but we're not doing so well in the big cities. So I think we need to spend more time in the big cities. And I think spending time will help to introduce our message to those people in those cities."
And one of his party's messages is: Let's grow our economy...
But simple growth isn't enough, Paul says. Cumbersome, expensive policies have to change, and red tape must be cut - concepts inherent in "Economic Freedom Zones" that he envisions around the country.
"I think also we need to think about what policies will attract new voters and what are the problems of a city," Paul told Breitbart News. "We've been thinking a lot about what's going on with Detroit and Detroit's bankruptcy and we've come up with a plan we'll introduce at the Detroit Economic Club about what we call 'Economic Freedom Zones.' Some of the idea we took from Jack Kemp who had something called 'Enterprise Zones.' But we've gone a little bit farther because we think in some ways the 'Enterprise Zones' never quite lived up to their potential because they weren't dramatic enough."
Continuing, Paul said part of the plan involves substantial reductions in punitive taxes.
"What we've done is devised dramatic reductions in taxes for any community that has unemployment one and a half times the national average," he said. "That'll apply to Detroit, and it'll also apply to several counties in Kentucky, also Louisville, as well as several other cities around the country. We'd reduce taxes so significantly that Detroit would have enough of her own money left in Detroit and not sent to Washington that we think it'd provide a stimulus and help her get out of the hole."
According to a plan that Paul provided to Breitbart, the Economic Freedom Zones would also include:
-- Reductions in individual and corporate income tax rates to a single, flat rate of 5 percent;
-- Child education tax credits to parents;
-- A reduction in payroll taxes;
-- A suspension of some Environmental Protection Agency regulations;
-- And a suspension of the Davis-Bacon Act, which, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, "requires all contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal or District of Columbia construction contracts or federally assisted contracts in excess of $2,000 to pay their laborers and mechanics not less than the prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits for corresponding classes of laborers and mechanics employed on similar projects in the area."
Empowering the people to create, not the government to pick winners and losers
Paul said an economic zone of the type he described would make it possible for Detroit to save itself - without a federal bailout, which some in Washington have called for but which Paul has previously said he would work to prevent.
"And the thing that makes this better than a government bailout or a government stimulus is that if we take, let's say a billion dollars from Houston and we send it to Detroit by way of Washington, some of it gets squandered and lost in the bureaucracy of Washington," Paul said.
"Somewhere in Washington, some central planner needs to figure out who to send the money to in Detroit. He sends the money to his friends. They aren't necessarily the best people in business; they just happen to be friends of the president," he said. "So that's what happened when the president sent out a trillion dollar stimulus a couple years ago. It turned out each job cost about $400,000 and it didn't significantly improve unemployment."
Paul said his plan would empower businesses and their customers, not the government.
The framers would approve, I think.
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