The Right Coast

September 19, 2005
 
Jack Kemp's Influence
By Mike Rappaport

Here are indications that Jack Kemp's policy ideas have taken hold within the Republican party. From George Bush's speech on the rebuilding of New Orleans, there are three Kempian proposals:

Tonight I propose the creation of a Gulf Opportunity Zone, encompassing the region of the disaster in Louisiana and Mississippi and Alabama. Within this zone, we should provide immediate incentives for job-creating investment: tax relief for small businesses, incentives to companies that create jobs and loans and loan guarantees for small businesses, including minority-owned enterprises, to get them up and running again.

It is entrepreneurship that creates jobs and opportunity. It is entrepreneurship that helps break the cycle of poverty, and we will take the side of entrepreneurs as they lead the economic revival of the Gulf region.

I propose the creation of worker recovery accounts to help those evacuees who need extra help finding work. Under this plan, the federal government would provide accounts of up to $5,000 which these evacuees could draw upon for job training and education to help them get a good job ... and for child care expenses during their job search.

To help lower-income citizens in the hurricane region build new and better lives, I also propose that Congress pass an Urban Homesteading Act. Under this approach, we will identify property in the region owned by the federal government, and provide building sites to low-income citizens free of charge, through a lottery.

In return, they would pledge to build on the lot, with either a mortgage or help from a charitable organization like Habitat for Humanity. Home ownership is one of the great strengths of any community, and it must be a central part of our vision for the revival of this region.