HAZARD, Ky (WYMT) - U. S. Senator Rand Paul announced Friday that he has a way to help cities across the country that are struggling with high unemployment. Best of all, he said his solution could particularly aid eastern Kentucky.
While the latest unemployment figures show rates continue to drop nationally, the same cannot be said in our mountains.
"I am hoping it will have a big impact in eastern Kentucky," said Paul.
In an interview for Issues and Answers: Mountain Edition, Senator Paul discussed his plan to help.
"What we have devised is something called economic freedom zones and in any community that has unemployment that is more than one and a half the national rate, we come in and we offer lower taxes," said Paul.
Paul formally announced the proposed bill in Detroit on Friday. The legislation calls for a flat tax of five percent across the board in qualifying areas.
"A county like Harlan County, which has nearly 17 percent unemployment, if you do this over a 10 year period, it will leave more than $50,000,000 in Harlan that otherwise would have been sent to Washington," said Paul.
The senator added the best part of his plan is that money made in Appalachia stays in Appalachia.
"Say someone has a welding shop in Hazard and they employ 10 people. If they are allowed to keep more of their taxes, maybe they will employ 12 people," said Paul.
He also said the zones could seriously aid folks impacted by what he calls President Obama's "war on coal". Many believe Paul is a potential Republican presidential candidate for the 2016 race.
To see more of our interview with Rand Paul, watch Issues and Answers: Mountain Edition on December 16th at 7PM on WYMT.