McCain Unveils Tech Policy, Opposes Net Neutrality Regulations
The presidential candidate outlined his vision for tax breaks and incentives for research, workforce training, open trade, a reduction in business regulations, and protection of intellectual property.
U.S. Sen. John McCain has given a glimpse into his plans for a technology policy.
The presidential candidate issued a statement Thursday on how he would encourage innovation and competitiveness in America. It outlined his vision for tax breaks and incentives for research, workforce training, open trade, a reduction in business regulations, and protection of intellectual property.
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It points out his experience as the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and its role in developing legislation for the Internet, cable, and other technologies. The statement credited McCain for guiding a wireless spectrum policy that encouraged widespread adoption of mobile phones and Wi-Fi technology.
The statement explained that McCain would keep the Internet and entrepreneurs free of unnecessary regulation, which indicates he is unlikely to support network neutrality laws. McCain also supports increased access to broadband, risk capital investment, and tax policies and incentives to promote innovation. He indicated he would keep capital gains taxes low, reform the R&D tax credit for 10% of wages spent on research and development, and make the tax credit permanent.
McCain said he would lower the corporate tax rate to 25%, and he cited a 2006 Congressional Budget Office study concluding that U.S. workers shoulder 70% of the corporate tax burden. Lowering the tax rate would keep America competitive in the face of China, South Korea and other nations, he said.
McCain said he would also allow companies to expense costs for new equipment and technology in the first year, prevent Internet taxation, and fight increased taxes on wireless services. He said he would support fair trade agreements for technology workers and lower tariffs on American products.
In terms of job training, McCain would fully fund the America Competes Act, support training grants for displaced workers, minorities, and low-income students. At the same time, he would encourage an increase in the number of H-1B visas issued annually and make the U.S. Department of Labor responsible for determining the number of visas issued.
"For every foreign worker hired, corporations generally hire five to ten additional American workers," he said in the statement.
McCain said he would protect U.S. entertainment and media interests from piracy by encouraging enforcement online and offline. He promised to give the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office more resources for hiring and training staff to review patents and seek international cooperation to protect intellectual property. Finally, he said he would support alternative approaches to resolving patent disputes.
In terms of network neutrality, McCain said he would preserve consumer choice and freedom to access content, use applications and attach devices, as long as they don't harm the network.
"John McCain does not believe in prescriptive regulation like 'net-neutrality,' but rather he believes that an open marketplace with a variety of consumer choices is the best deterrent against unfair practices," the campaign announced in the statement.
The Republican candidate said he would promote access to high-speed Internet for all Americans by encouraging private investment for infrastructure build-out and allow local governments to offer services, where private companies fail to do so. He said he would support government-backed loans or low-interest bonds to support that effort as well. McCain would reward companies that participate in a "People Connect Program" by offering high-speed Internet access services to low-income customers. In exchange, the companies could offset the tax liability.
He promised to support increased access to government information online, as well as internal improvements in terms of technology use. Since 2001, he has called for an Office of Electronic Government to ensure greater use of technology in federal government.
Finally, McCain said he would support Cooperative Research and Development Agreements.