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Thread: Obama's Promise zones v. Rand's Economic Freedom zones

  1. #1
    LL P. Stewie Array Beorn's Avatar
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    Dec 2008

    Default Obama's Promise zones v. Rand's Economic Freedom zones

    Picking up from the Future of the Republican Party thread...

    Income inequality is the name of the political game in 2014.

    Democrats and Republicans alike have taken on the challenge of addressing America’s rampant, deep-seated inequality as the cornerstone of their platform for the upcoming midterm elections.


    To this end, President Obama unveiled his first five “promise zones” this afternoon in a White House press conference. These zones are pockets of the country that will receive comprehensive federal assistance after being especially hard hit by the recession. There will ultimately be 20 zones across the country.

    The “promise zone” plan – zones are located in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeaster Kentucky and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma – aims to cut red tape and streamline federal funding from government agencies. In this way, specific zones can benefit from strategic, targeted government funding in the areas it needs it most.


    Across the aisle, Senator Rand Paul introduced a bill to Congress to create “Economic Freedom Zones” that would reduce taxes and ease government regulation in distressed areas.

    Speaking in Detroit last month, Paul argued that the measure would “leave over $1.3 billion in Detroit” over 10 years by slashing personal and business income tax to 5 percent, eliminating capital gains taxes and offering other incentives for people and businesses to move to designated zones in economic distress.

    Paul was invited to the President’s announcement this afternoon and was expected to join Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at a private meeting with the President to discuss the initiative.

    “They say the sincerest form of flatter is in imitation,” Paul told Fox News.

    Sounds great that there's the potential for bipartisanship between two people with incredibly different political ideologies in an effort to help the hardest hit areas of our country.

    But wait...

    Call me cynical, but I don't believe Obama is reaching out to Rand with the best of intentions. Frankly, the exclusion of Detroit from Obama's plan reveals that his chosen zones are not based neediness, but on political calculation. To that end I think the inclusion of Kentucky in Obama's plan is part of a divide and conquer scheme whereby the Rand's constituents are bribed with easy access to govt funding which might set them against Rand's more ideological tea party/libertarian base who will just see such action as shuffling chairs on he titanic.

    It will be an interesting test for Rand to see how he performs on this level and what sort of political judo he can pull off. He needs to swing for the fences here and get a bill passed even if it's imperfect.

  2. #2
    He pronks, too! Array Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I am frankly not informed about these two proposals. I did not hear of them. Seeing them here, they don't exactly look like the same plan. Only Paul's idea suggests cutting taxes, while in Obama's proposal there is some talk about apparent deregulation to streamline government aid, it's not clear what Paul means and he may (I would assume he does) have something quite different in mind.

    I did not see the full list of 20 areas, but if it does lack Detroit I do find that odd.
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