I want to be sure that the state government is creating an economic environment where freedom, opportunity, and creativity will thrive.

Just in the last few months, we have watched company after company after company give bonuses or pay raises to employees as a result of the Republican tax cuts. This is tangible and exciting evidence of what conservative tax reform is all about. It does not need to stop with the Washington tax cuts and I want Alabama to lead the way in economic freedom and success in the future. Alabamians are busy making sure food gets on the table, kids are successful, and the bills get paid. I want to be sure that state government does its part to financially free the people up and that means creating an economic environment where freedom, opportunity, and creativity will thrive.

I am thankful for all of the industries that have been recruited to Alabama and my administration will certainly continue the effort to land big companies and jobs on our soil. In fact, this is what any governor would do. But, I want to do a lot more.

Cut the Tape

Unnecessary regulations, licensing, and requirements created by bureaucrats are out of control in Alabama. Would-be businessmen and women are discouraged from making their ideas a reality and those who do own businesses are frustrated because jumping government hoops is no recipe for optimum success. I want to provide tax cuts and incentives for entrepreneurs and cut the red tape that restrains them and their employees. Instead of tying up businesses, we need to start imposing stiff requirements on government boards and agencies.  Here’s the deal: if a board with oversight of businesses or professions exists, it must prove the necessity of its existence and the efficacy of the regulations that it imposes to an independent council. If it fails the test of necessity, it needs to be sent off into the sunset.

Bare Minimum Taxes

Taxes should only be collected for goods and services that are necessary for essential government functions. Any dollar swiped away by the tax man is a dollar not being spent on a good or service that a taxpayer needed most, or may have desired more. Today, too much of our tax policy is crafted in order to deliver favors to lobbyists, even to the point of punishing hard-working, productive Alabamians. This has to stop.

Creating a new tax or raising an existing one must not be done to fund some do-gooder’s wish list. We end up robbing Peter to give a handout to Paul when, a lot of times, Paul was very capable of going to work himself and earning his own wage.

Until my administration is confident that all wasteful government spending and bureaucracy has been cut out of Montgomery, I will never consider a tax increase. In fact, I believe that when such cuts have been implemented we will have the money that we need for road and bridge repair, and other critical line items. Further, with good government, sound reform, less bureaucracy, and responsible budgeting, we should be able to decrease taxes and allow Alabamians to put more money into the economy.

Vocational Training

Today, experienced welders, machinists, and mechanics are being paid two and three times more than the average graduate coming out of college! Even though there was a time when college was considered an ideal path for everyone to get a well-paying job, that is not universally true anymore. It is time to encourage partnerships between our schools and local businesses, as well as major companies that have the assets and skills to train our kids for productive vocations.

In addition to the tax deductions these businesses get today for contributions, I want to provide a direct tax credit to those businesses that invest in our vocational education programs. Not only will they receive the direct deduction for what they invest, but I want to match that with a tax credit. We will give them back double their investment for giving us the knowledge and tools to bring thousands of kids into full and honest employment when they graduate. With arrangements like this, everyone wins. Alabama creates more jobs, more kids are prepared for the real world, less debt get racked up and there is ultimately more wealth in our state’s economy for everybody to prosper.