Say Hello to “Fannie Travel”

Last Wednesday, September 9th,  the US Senate moved off the front burner issues such as record deficits, rising American casualties in Afghanistan, and the Obama Administration’s plan to take control of America’s health care.  These matters were cast aside temporarily in favor of taking up and passing the “Travel Promotion Act of 2009.”  This legislation, which is also pending in the House of Representatives, sets up yet another bureaucracy, this time as an officially-sanctioned “independent non-profit corporation” — the “Corporation for Travel Promotion.”  This new bureaucracy would be directed to “counter and correct misperceptions regarding US entry policy [whatever that means] and promote US travel.”  Reflecting the prevailing Washington view that “two bureaucracies are always better than one,” the bill also would set up a new office within the Department of Commerce to similarly “promote” travel to the US.

Apparently the Senate had concluded that the multi-billion dollar US travel and tourism industry is incapable of promoting travel to the United States on its own.  To help the industry do what most people understand the industry is doing already — that is, promoting travel to the United States by people in other countries –  the bill authorizes the new, government-sanctioned corporation to collect fees from persons entering the United States.  One suspects this was the primary reason the tourism industry lobbied in support of the bill.

South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, who voted against the measure, estimates that the fund to be set up will total some $400 million.  It will include also a $100 million federal “matching fund.”  Sen. DeMint derisively calls the new government tourism agency, “Fannie Travel.”  The measure, coming at a time of record, massive deficit spending, however, is not a laughing matter and those Senators who voted for it are not funny.

24 comments Add your comment

jt

September 16th, 2009
6:17 am

I read somewhere that the main purpose of the “Corporation for Travel Promotion.” is NOT to promote travel TO the U.S.
The Internal Revenue Service will be checking for “compliance” before you LEAVE the U.S.
You will not be traveling abroad if you owe Uncle Sugar any money.

R Honerkamp

September 16th, 2009
6:40 am

“counter and correct misperceptions regarding US entry policy [whatever that means] and promote US travel.”

I’ll tell you exactly what that means. “Oh, we don’t seize and search your laptop and phone *every* time you come into the US! Don’t worry! It probably won’t happen this time!”

Scott

September 16th, 2009
7:45 am

A stupid bill that will only create animosity with other countries — a great way to promote the U.S. Charge every person coming to visit another $10. They already have to register 72 hours in advance — something we don’t have to do — and now we’re going to charge them for it. This is called a visa in other places. Now Europeans are looking at doing that to us, which could become a big mess.

Bozo the clown

September 16th, 2009
7:46 am

Bob, why not run for office and stop things like this? Oh, you already tried that.

Remember?

September 16th, 2009
8:06 am

Bob, remember when you were in that movie “Borat”? That was awesome.

Jon but not Jon Voight

September 16th, 2009
9:22 am

“…and the Obama Administration’s plan to take control of America’s health care.” If I only had a dollar for each time you blow hard conservatives made this statement.

jconservative

September 16th, 2009
10:19 am

We used to call this type of thing welfare.

3rd Party Guy

September 16th, 2009
11:59 am

Hey Bozo, do you have anything intelligent concerning the topic, or are you just a another hit-and-run douchebag?

This act is welfare. But, like the rest of the corporate socialist programs out there, its fraud and waste will be ignored. Maybe people are too busy discussing the brilliance of Borat.

Piso Mojado

September 16th, 2009
12:25 pm

Gee, Bob, maybe if you only googled “Travel and Promotion Act of 2009″ and read what this legislation does and why some people think it’s important, you could have written what the real purpose of this legislation is and what it does. But I guess this information would have shot a hole in every point you try to make. Since 9/11, overseas travel to the US has decreased 17%, costing us more than 200,000 jobs and close to $210 billion in visitor spending and tax receipts. Yes, fees are involved, but it will be a $10 fee for every foreign traveler to the US.

C’mon, Bob. You sometimes pander to the lowest common denominator among us Georgians – riling up a bunch of intellectual light-weights by stirring up irrational fear and opposing anything the left proposes. Down here in GA, that’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Your opinion would have been more compelling if you read the proposed legislation summary and were able to congeal an argument based on fact.

I remember...

September 16th, 2009
12:51 pm

This is a stupid program.

But not as stupid as Barr looked that cheese in Borat.

The Government is Coming, The Government is Coming.....

September 16th, 2009
1:02 pm

Jon, hopefully you’d be savings those dollars to PAY for it, when it DOES happen.

clyde

September 16th, 2009
1:19 pm

Piso Majado,
I’ll bet there’s a reason that foreign travel is down 17% and I bet that reason won’t be corrected by a $10 fee on all future foreign travelers.

Any of my Canadian friends can fill you in.

Ayn Rand Was Right

September 16th, 2009
2:07 pm

I thought the government was against travel? Oh yeah, that was just business travel they were targeting.

Piso Mojado

September 16th, 2009
3:21 pm

Clyde,

Yes, there is a reason why overseas travel to the US is down 17%!!! You’re a genius! Why don’t you educate yourself by googling “Travel and Promotion Act of 2009″ and actually reading this thing? Heck, maybe you’ll even get to understand exactly WHY travel is down 17%. BTW, all foreign travel isn’t down by 17%, just OVERSEAS travel. You would have learned this by reading the legislative summary. Also, last time I checked one didn’t have to travel over water to get to Canada.

Conservatives were never ones to let facts get in the way a good argument. I’ll bet your Canadian friends don’t come here because they want to stay away from ignoramuses like you.

Chris Broe

September 16th, 2009
3:54 pm

This new “Fannie Travel” fee is less than the cost of a box cutter, or a tuna sandwich at the airport deli. It’s less than what the Hari Krishna’s mug you for with their fund raising. It’s less than what you should be tipping cab drivers, and baggage handlers. I say we pay it and stfu.

Besides, Barr doesn’t have the slightest idea about this new federal initiative. The man just wont think anything through. The globe trotters think they’ll be detained by our airport security if they visit, and tourism is down. We do need a campaign to re-disney-fy (and redignify) our image at airports.

Bozo the clown

September 16th, 2009
4:20 pm

3rd Party Guy. “Intelligent” Here, your kidding right?

The Government is Coming, The Government is Coming.....

September 16th, 2009
4:51 pm

Chris, I didn’t know you could buy box cutters at the airport, are you sure? And thanks for the input on what I should tip someone, nimrod.

clyde

September 16th, 2009
5:54 pm

Piso Mojado,
Thanks for being so genteel.It’s really nice to carry on a conservation with you.

In June, any Canadian traveling to the U.S. was required to have a passport.This requirement has led to a serious drop in Canadian travel to the U.S. Many Canadians that I know will never come here again.This is a blow to the businesses on the border that relied on cross border trade.These are hard facts in the border towns.I don’t know what goes on in your world.
I’ve read much of the pending bill and I can see where it will provide a few secure government jobs.For now.Then the agency will grow and provide more and more jobs.Meanwhile the tourist trade will dwindle because this isn’t the same country it was before 9/11.We have become paranoid and our paranoia shows at Customs.No amount of advertising is going to change that.
Again,ask my Canadian friends.They can tell you.The ones that still cross the border.

Ayn Rand Was Right

September 16th, 2009
7:58 pm

Hey guys…Chris Broe gives money to Hari Krishnas. Holy moly…this is where libbies spend their tax credits?!?!?!? He also claims to tip cab drivers and baggage handlers (I think he means sky caps as the baggage handlers, take the bags from the plane to the conveyor belt) $10…is this a cumulative tip over a period of time, or each time he travels??? No wonder Dems don’t give to charity…they are too busy giving their money to the airport panhandlers and cab drivers!

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

September 17th, 2009
8:33 am

Well, we might not need any travel promotion if we stopped just about stripping people buck-nekkid at airports like they’re some kind of criminals. We already got preverts looking at women’s body parts thru machines when they pass by. You can’t even take a bottle of after-shave lotion with you without somebody in uniform taking it like it’s some kind of bomb. I reckon the next step will be the body cavity search for everybody. We don’t need to fight the Terrists any more. They’ve won. Who can blame people from other countries for not wanting to come here?

That’s my opinion and it’s very true. Have a good day everybody.

Chris Broe

September 17th, 2009
4:33 pm

Also, nobody noticed the importance of yesterday’s killing of an al queda operative in Somalia.

That’s really big big news

Africa.

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