Congress wants to use a critical counterterrorism tool to subsidize the travel industry.
by Nathan A. Sales
Earlier this month, the Senate passed the Travel Promotion Act by a lopsided margin of 79–19. The name is innocuous enough. Read the fine print, however, and the bill becomes rather less appealing. It’s corporate welfare for Mickey Mouse.
Here’s a little background on the bill. The TPA directs the Department of Homeland Security to impose a $10 fee on foreign citizens who visit America under the visa-waiver program. That program lets people from 35 countries, mostly in Europe, travel to the U.S. without first obtaining a visa. Instead, travelers register with DHS’s online security system before coming to this country.
The DHS fee could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade. (In 2006 alone, the United States welcomed some 18 million visitors from visa-waiver countries.) The fees will be used to fund a new nonprofit known as the Corporation for Travel Promotion. Its mission is to “promot[e] the United States of America to world travelers,” and it will do so via multimillion-dollar ad campaigns.
What could be wrong with that?
Well, for starters, the TPA is a stark example of mission creep. DHS’s online registry — the “Electronic System for Travel Authorization,” or “ESTA” — is a counterterrorism program. Its purpose is to help authorities identify the next shoe bomber before he sets foot on a flight bound for the U.S. The system was never intended to raise revenue, let alone to raise revenue for the benefit of big business...
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- ► 2010 (54)
- Vatican Clarification on Delay of Anglican Provisi...
- Attacks on traditional Anglicans prove pope's poin...
- Finding a Catholic home
- Foul Ball!
- Top Catholic bishops demand apology from Rep. Kenn...
- Dissident theologian criticizes pope’s opening to ...
- Developing nation Anglicans decline pope's offer
- A Resilient Baghdad on a Day of Horror
- Benedict’s Gambit
- Obama a tough guy, at least with Fox News
- What the Vatican's welcome of Anglicans means
- America’s Obama Obsession
- The Anglicans and the Eastern churches
- Vatican decision to receive Anglicans prompts US, ...
- Catholicism and Anglicanism: the end of an era
- I shall send you the Paraclete, who will lead you ...
- A Bridge Across the Tiber
- The Pope's bold invitation to Anglicans
- Vatican creates new structure for Anglicans
- Is there a Historic Anglican - Vatican Announcemen...
- The Power of the Plaintiffs’ Bar
- Taking Obamacare Off the Books
- The lucrative business of racism
- Subverting Democracy
- Treating the Elderly Like Spoiled Brats
- The danger of Obama's dithering
- Belmont Abbey College: Preparing to Fight
- The Nobel-Hollywood Complex Implodes
- A Tale of Two Soundbites
- 'Reform' No One Wants to Pay For
- The Vote Democrats Don't Want
- Obama’s Theorems
- The Boys Who Cry Racism
- It’s Not Political, It’s Personal
- Why Catholics Should Take a Position on the Hate-C...
- The Obama Fiasco
- Could a Wave Be Building?
- The Baucus Bill Is a Tax Bill
- "Personally Opposed, But..." Five Pro-Abortion Dod...
- How to take down a great power
- Relics of St Therese of Lisieux arrive at Westmins...
- Twits, Twitter, and Tweets
- God vs. Science Isn't the Issue
- The 'youngest headmaster in the world'
- Obama's Job-Killing Agenda
- 'Conceptual Language' Hides Health Care's Costs
- How to Sell a War: First, Start to Win
- Another Fine Mess: Comics Whack Obama
- A Vain President, or a Weak One?
- Note To Catholic Bishops: Obamanomics Is Evil, Too...
- Our Crybaby Culture
- What I Heard in Honduras
- The Nobel Hope Prize
- A Fitting Prize, in a Way
- What If . . .
- Bioethics, Health Care, and Catholic Teaching
- Max's Adventures in Wonderland
- Young Hamlet's Agony
- Absurd decision on Obama makes a mockery of the No...
- States of Personal Privilege
- Stimulus scam
- I'm the laziest man on Earth.
- Romney Reboots
- What's the Rush?
- Remembering Lepanto
- The New Catholic Manliness
- Same Old Obamacare
- Those White Coats In The Rose Garden
- Obama and the General
- The Obama Snap-Back
- Deployments and Diplomacy
- Barack Obama cancels meeting with Dalai Lama 'to k...
- Corporate Welfare for Mickey Mouse
- Reconciliation Looms Large As Debate Continues
- The Conservative Case for Reform
- Half a president
- Bad Options on Iran
- Support for Abortion Slips
- Clunkers in Practice
- Queen 'appalled' at Church of England moves, claim...
- The Obamas Violated First Three Rules of Selling
- How to Talk to an Atheist about Christianity
- Pope welcomes new US ambassador, prods on right to...
- President is AWOL as our commander
- Now will Congress investigate ACORN?
- Update: directives on Medjugorje
- This Mission Is Not McChrystal Clear
- Détente and the Bunker
- The Young and the Jobless
- Food Fight: An Unappetizing Development
- Obama’s French Lesson
- Obama’s Olympic failure will only add to doubts ab...
- Benedict’s trip to Britain: new details emerge
- The Obsolescence of a Slur
- Losing Faith in the Commander in Chief
- Palin: ‘Keep on honking; I’m reloading’
- Rotten in Denmark
- Three Dangerous Stooges
- The Limits of Reinvention
- ▼ October 2009 (102)
- Fr. Christopher George Phillips
- Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.