The NAACP has offered Sen. Rand Paul the chance to speak to the organization about his plan for economic freedom zones to revive many of the nation's depressed urban areas.
"We’d love to have him," Lorraine Miller, the organization's interim president, told C-SPAN in an interview for its "Newsmakers" program that will air on Sunday. "We’d love to talk with him about it and work with him on it."
Miller's invitation to the Kentucky Republican was first reported by Politico
Doug Stafford, a senior adviser to Paul, said the senator welcomed the opportunity.
"Sen. Paul is pleased to hear that the NAACP would like to work with him on reforms like economic freedom zones and he would be honored to address the organization," Stafford told Politico.
In her interview, Miller pointed to the recent jobs bill of President Barack Obama's that was defeated by Congress as an example of the challenge the Republican Party faces in garnering African-American support, Politico reports.
"African Americans see this. It’s clear. It’s evident," Miller told C-SPAN. "And so you vote for who supports you, and we haven’t seen a lot of support from the Republican Party."
In his continued effort to reach out to African Americans, Paul will speak at Simmons College, a historically black institution in Kentucky, on Monday, Politico reports.
He faced a group of skeptical students last spring when he spoke at Howard University
Paul first discussed is idea for economic freedom zones in December in Detroit. The city of 700,000 last July became the nation's largest to enter into bankruptcy
, with an estimated debt of $18 billion.
He told the Detroit Economic Club that the plan would allow the city to hold onto $1.3 billion in tax revenue
that otherwise would be paid to the federal government, The Washington Times reports.
Under Paul's plan, tax breaks for individuals and corporations would be used to keep or attract taxpayers and businesses to struggling urban and rural areas, Politico reports.
Income and corporate tax rates would be lowered to 5 percent in cities that have filed for bankruptcy protection or are at risk of doing so — or that have an unemployment rate 1.5 times the national rate.
The plan also would eliminate the capital gains tax and reduce regulations in those areas, Politico reports.
“What Detroit needs to thrive is not Washington’s domineering hand, but freedom from big government’s mastery,” Paul said in December, according to The Times. “The answer to poverty and unemployment is not another government stimulus. It is simply leaving more money in the hands of those who earn it.”
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