Why charge only $10 for something this good?

Posted by Marc Hodak on September 10, 2009 under Invisible trade-offs, Stupid laws | 3 Comments to Read

The U.S. Senate voted to charge $10 to visitors to the U.S. to promote…U.S. tourism. Really.

Lawmakers said many international governments aggressively help tourism in their countries by subsidizing promotional programs, but the United States leaves that work to the private sector and to state and local governments.

One might read this to say that the U.S. is looking to close the gap in freedom between us and the rest of the world by funneling more spending through Washington.  But this tax would land on tourists, not Americans.

Which is why the EU is threatening retaliatory taxes on American tourists going there.

  • Craig H said,

    I would bet that the analysis supporting this idea showed that the $10 being funneled via Washington would be just as productive as $10 worth of promotion spending by the private sector or the states.

  • DragonLee said,

    If they charged $100 per visit, then it would be obvious what a boneheaded plan this was. They can tell themselves that no one would be deterred from visiting the U.S. over a $10 charge.

    The more interesting question is who really stands to benefit. If this money is really being used promote tourism, then some “private sector” businesses will stand to get the loot. Which ones? Let’s see who gave the big campaign contributions to the key Senators voting for this bill!

  • Leila Coggins said,

    If Disney World can charge $75 to get into its parks, the U.S. can charge a $10 entrance fee. But instead of wasting this money on promoting tourism, why don’t we use it make our country a place actually worth visiting by investing in infrastructure, security, etc. At least those boondoggles get us all something.

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