A Better Deal for Maine:
Eric Brakey’s Plan to Create Better Paying Jobs
- Establish Economic Freedom Zones to drive investment
- Repatriate Capital and see investments soar
- Empower the people to ‘REIN’ in excessive regulations
- Stop wasteful overseas spending and spend that money in America
- Invest in education with the Workforce Tax Credit
- Audit the Federal Reserve
- Economic Freedom Zones
Areas of high unemployment and historic underinvestment need capital and job training. That is why the first part of my jobs program creates Economic Freedom Zones, promoting business investment in targeted areas by slashing federal taxes.
An Economic Freedom Zone (EFZ) is defined as any area certified as a HUB zone by the Small Business Administration, or an area with:
- An unemployment rate 1.5 times the national average, or
- A poverty rate 30% above the national average
Employers investing capital to either start or grow a business will qualify for a 5% flat tax rate and reduced capital gains taxes for investments.
Businesses in EFZs would also receive a $2,000 new hire tax credit for hiring someone on public assistance. The credit would expand to $6,000 if they provide healthcare benefits.
EFZ-located businesses would receive a $5,000 tax credit for employer-provided education or training expenses.
Individuals living in EFZs would receive a $5,900 individual tax credit for K–12 or adult education or job training, including expenses related to apprenticeship programs.
New businesses in EFZs would be exempt from collecting online sales tax in states in which they do not have a physical presence. Traditional Maine Industries like fishing and timber would flourish, while industries like Industrial Hemp and Cannabis Production would see substantial new investment and tech and manufacturing companies would be greatly incentivized to open operations.
- Repatriate Capital
American companies currently hold an estimated $2.6 trillion dollars in overseas banks. The 2017 tax cuts have led to the return of $305.6 billion in capital to America in just the first six months of 2018, but we can do more to bring back a bigger piece and see that money invested in America. The next steps would be a special tax rate of 10% on repatriated capital for two years, and allowing capital to be repatriated tax-free if it is invested in an Economic Freedom Zone.
- REINS Act
I believe in efficient regulations, but federal regulations cost the U.S. economy $2.9 trillion in 2017. This is excessive, and much of it has been created by unelected bureaucrats. Congress is supposed to make the laws, not the Executive branch, and we need to reassert the people’s power back into the legislative process.
Congress can take an important step to rein in the federal bureaucracy by passing the REINS Act, which requires Congressional approval of major regulations, defined as costing the U.S. economy $100 billion or more. This will inject accountability into the federal bureaucracy, and help remove job-killing restrictions on America’s workers.
- Spend American Tax Dollars in America
The U.S. desperately needs to fix our crumbling infrastructure, including ensuring rural Americans have access to broadband internet. Congress can fund these priorities by ceasing to waste billions per year trying to be the world’s policemen.
Ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would free up $10 billion per month that could be used to cut our deficit, build infrastructure, invest in rural broadband, protect Social Security, and keep our promises to our veterans.
Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the United Stares is still spending $686 million annually on NATO. This accounts for 71.7 percent of NATO’s budget. It is high time we stop footing the defense bills for other wealthy nations. Our allies must pay their fair share.
I have also had it with sending foreign aid to countries that burn our flag and shout ‘Death to America.’ I will fight to cut assistance to any country that votes against the U.S. in the United Nations 30 percent of the time or more.
- US Workforce Tax Credit
Improving access to quality education and apprenticeship programs is key to preparing Americans for the high-paying jobs. That is why I support the USA Workforce Tax Credit Act which provides a tax credit of up to $259,000 for donations to charities providing scholarships for K-12 education and /or scholarship for apprenticeship programs.
- Audit the Federal Reserve
The Federal Reserve impacts every American. Many of the problems facing the middle class—including unemployment and wage stagnation—are tied to the Federal Reserve and the decisions they make.
Yet Congress, the President, and the American people are kept the dark about the Federal Reserve’s meeting and decision-making processes. This is a wrong that must be righted. This is why I agree with President Trump, Senator Collins, Senator Rand Paul, and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin —and disagree with Agnus King—that Congress must pass legislation to ‘Audit the Fed’ and shed some light on the operations of this incredibly powerful institution.
‘Audit the Fed’ will allow the General Accounting Office to conduct a full audit of the Federal Reserve, providing Congress and American people with the information needed to make changes to ensure our nation’s monetary policy helps all Americans, not just the elites.