Talking Innovation and the Startup Act 2.0 with Sen. Moran

Meghan Fletcher photo

When Kansas Senator Jerry Moran sat down to address the economy, he took a unique look at the problem and came up with a unique solution. In an effort to boost both innovation and the economy, he decided to focus his efforts on small businesses. With the bipartisan support of Virginia Senator Mark Warner, Moran introduced the Startup Act as a way to increase the possibility of success for startup businesses across the nation. It addresses five main points that currently may hinder the growth of these companies, including capital formation, the tax code, regulatory environment, access to talent, and state to state competition.

When the initial introduction was successfully, the two senators went looking for other supporters. They partnered with Sen. Chris Coonz and Sen. Marco Rubio, borrowing from their recently introduced Agree Act which focused mainly on capital formation and regulatory issues, to create the revamped Startup Act 2.0. The new Act is designed to give entrepreneurs a better shot at success in the tough economy of today.

"With the high unemployment rate, there are lots of people who are looking for ways to put food on their families table, and starting your own business is certainly one of those fallback positions. If you have lost your job, going out and starting your own business is certainly a way to respond to that problem," Moran said. "In the United States, our economy has always been based on entrepreneurship… And certainly the growth of the economy is occurring on the technology side and there is a real hunger to get government out of the way."

Check out our conversation with Sen. Moran and ITI's own Robert Hoffman, where they talk more about the Startup Act 2.0 and how it promotes innovation and economic recovery.

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  • Dan Chilton Thu., September 13, 2:30 PM
    In the guise of a bipartisan bill to keep startups and foreign graduates with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) graduate degrees, working innovating and creating start-ups and jobs here in America, the GOP has offered a tax haven for the rich; a zero-per-cent tax investment in foreign jobs -- to the detriment of Americans. Businesses have now soured somewhat on high-tech offshore jobs, since remote workers, several time-zones away, tend to work doing what you put in writing for them to do, not what you actually meant for them to do or what you need them to do. This bill brings outsourced jobs to America -- but not for Americans themselves to benefit from. It will help US entrepreneurs hire foreign managers and then hide their profits from taxation. I see not only robust competition from foreign workers now, but also a trend toward short-term contract positions away from long-term integration of technical expertise into the company. Touted as a high-tech startup and jobs bill, Startup Act 2.0 is primarily a tax haven with a ZERO percent tax on investments in 'high tech' companies, and a labor cost reducing measure. It authorizes 75,000 visas for foreign STEM graduates who will be motivated to accept relatively low wages to get their visa extended. This will DISCOURAGE Americans from getting advanced STEM degrees and it will also degrade the quality and quantity of job prospects for US STEM workers. It will lower wages and benefits, and will treat STEM workers as commodities rather than as integral parts of business industry and society. The hypocrisy here is that the 'free market capitalist' supporters of this bill want want to kill the natural reaction of the market which would be to increase wages of STEM employees,due to their relative scarcity here at home. The bill lacks assurances that these new start-ups by STEM graduates are actually 'high tech' - or that there is any substantial requirement for the new start-ups, funded by taxpayer money, to hire Americans. As written, this bill could easily create a quick way to 'import' cheap offshore workers to compete for American jobs, discourage Americans from going into STEM careers themselves, and finally, worst of all, create yet another tax loophole -- this one a "high tech" loophole -- for investors to pay zero tax -- yes, you read that right, zero tax -- on their American-generated profits.
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