<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="http://b.scorecardresearch.com/p?c1=2&amp;c2=15743189&amp;cv=2.0&amp;cj=1&amp;&amp;c5=&amp;c15=">

Rand Paul offers 'Freedom Zones' to save bankrupt Detroit


Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul this week is traveling to Detroit, the nation's economic disaster zone, to lay out a sweeping proposal to revive the Motor City while also extending his recent outreach to blacks by opening a GOP African-American engagement office.

Paul, a 2016 GOP presidential front-runner, will be in Detroit on Friday to address the Detroit Economic Club where he will unveil a plan to create economic “Freedom Zones,” a unique agenda that features help to poor families and struggling businesses.

In what could be a cornerstone of Paul’s economic agenda for troubled cities and regions, he will detail his “Detroit economic plan” to revitalize the city’s economy with growth-encouraging tax and regulation changes.

His trip makes him the first to offer a blueprint to restore Detroit's lost luster and comes during a week in which a federal bankruptcy judge gave the city unprecedented powers to take virtually any move to pull out of an economic tailspin.

Key to Paul's plan:

— Providing eligible areas with a reduction in individual and corporate income tax to a single, flat 5 percent rate.

— Reducing the payroll tax.

— Providing child education tax credits to parents.

— Suspending EPA non-attainment designations in Economic Freedom Zone areas.

— Suspend Davis-Bacon wage requirements on federal projects.

“Right now I think Detroit is in a downward spiral and something’s got to be done,” Paul recently told the Detroit News.

While in Detroit, he will also open the Republican National Committee’s African American outreach office, the earliest the party has even opened one.

Paul recently surprised some by speaking to Howard University students who gave him a warm reception.

Those backing his 2016 effort said that Paul is eager to reach out to minorities and groups the party typically ignores to help build a base for the GOP to win back the Senate and White House.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.