From the Senate Conservatives Fund --
This new $400 million program, which is part of the Travel Promotion Act, allows the government to pay for tourism advertising around the globe. It's a lot like "Cash for Clunkers," only this time the handouts go to mega corporations that want someone else to pay their advertising bills.
Writing in the Washington Post today, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) describes it this way:The advertising fund would be controlled by leaders of America's tourism industry -- giant corporations such as Disney, Loews and Marriott. Keep in mind, those companies are not in distress -- they're thriving. Disney, for instance, posted profits of $4.4 billion last year, and bought Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion just last week.
In order to make this crazy idea less objectionable, the authors of the bill pay for the new bureaucracy with new taxes on foreign travelers coming to the U.S. Of course such a fee is counter-productive to the stated goal of "travel promotion" and it will most certainly lead to higher travel fees for Americans traveling abroad. The EU has already announced that any new fee will trigger reciprocal fees on Americans traveling to its countries.
We realize that passing this program may help some of the tourism interests in Las Vegas and provide a political benefit to Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) who is suffering in the polls and could face a stiff challenger in 2010. But we hope some of his Democrat colleagues have the courage to oppose his boondoggle.
The Senate voted to cut off debate and advance the bill on Monday, demonstrating that Senators didn't learn much in August. Only 19 Republicans opposed it.
Sen. RINOvich joined other questionable conservatives such as, Susan Collins (R-ME), Lindsey Graham-nesty (R-SC) & Olympia Snowe (R-ME) in supporting this corporate welfare bill.