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<p>North Carolina Citizens for a Sound Economy (NC CSE) has developed an economic growth agenda that meets our nation’s challenges head-on. Our 25,000 North Carolina citizen-activists are committed to working with our 280,000 CSE members across the United States to help Congress and the Administration enact a stimulus package that will: </p>
<p>1) INITIATE PRO-GROWTH TAX POLICY - A Strong National Defense Requires a Strong Economy
2) PROVIDE LONG-TERM ENERGY SECURITY - We Need Energy Self-Reliance
3) DEVELOP ECONOMIC PROSPERITY - Economic Growth Initiatives are the Key to Prosperity
4) CONTROL CONGRESSIONAL SPENDING - Now is Not the Time for Wasteful Spending </p>
<p>1) TAX POLICY: Key to a strong and prosperous nation is a healthy economy. Simply increasing government spending is not the answer. Congress must pass a permanent growth package that contains tax cuts directed at increasing saving and investment in both the short and long term. Any such package should include: </p>
<p>Accelerate the tax cuts and make them permanent. In May, the President signed a pro-growth tax cut. These cuts could have a faster positive impact if we accelerate the implementation schedule. And, equally important, if the tax cuts are made permanent, it would immediately have a positive effect on investment decisions.
Reduce the Capital Gains Tax. We need to give investors incentives and confidence to take risks. A lower tax on risked capital provides the right signal and will increase risk-taking.
Accelerate Depreciation Schedules. The current tax code discourages capital investment by prohibiting businesses from deducting full investment expenses in the year of purchase. Unlike all other expenses, deductions for investments must be made over many years according to complicated depreciation schedules. Congress should streamline these schedules to lessen the disincentive on capital investment and help expand the economy.
2) ENERGY SECURITY: America has long had a self-imposed over-reliance on foreign sources of energy. In fact, today the United States imports nearly 60 percent of its crude oil—the highest level in history. This reliance on foreign sources of energy not only exports environmental damage to other countries, but gives foreign governments undue influence over America’s economy. We have long needed a new approach to energy policy that recognizes the need to find new domestic sources of energy. Key to this approach is the opening of ANWR and other areas to energy production. America has abundant and diverse energy sources. We should be allowed to take advantage of them in an environmentally sensitive manner. </p>
<p>3) REMOVE BARRIERS TO ECONOMIC PROSPERITY: Congress must act to restore economic growth and eliminate policies that hamper overall economic development. </p>
<p>Modernize Telecommunications Regulations: Congress must eliminate broadband price caps to encourage investment, and put an end to outdated regulations that force telephone companies to share networks in order to return growth to our high-tech economy.
Regulatory Reform: President Bush should introduce a 90-day moratorium on new federal regulations that may hamper economic growth. In addition, each agency should review existing regulations to identify and eliminate unnecessary regulations that restrict or constrain economic growth. Rules subject to statutory or judicial deadlines or those responding to health or safety emergencies would be exempt.
4) MAINTAIN FISCAL DISCIPLINE: The war against terrorism will be a costly endeavor that will require a significant share of the government’s resources. Because overall spending will almost undoubtedly increase, it is especially important to exercise fiscal discipline and avoid waste. Congress must prioritize America’s needs and avoid excessive spending on wasteful government programs that stymie economic growth. Spending priorities should be established and traditional pork barrel politics should halt. Reforms in domestic spending programs made good sense before and should still be pursued. Now more than ever, revisiting spending priorities is an economic necessity.