Sometime this week, Congress will consider the Travel Promotion Act to set up a public/private corporation. The corporation will be chartered to promote travel to the US and will be funded by charging every foreign visitor a $10 fee.
Senator Jim DeMint makes a good case that this is just corporate pork and a bad idea economically. Its an even worse idea for foreign policy reasons. As I've written elsewhere the fee will offend our allies and be viewed by them as a visa requirement. So, not only will Americans traveling overseas be charged a fee (as Senator DeMint worries) we may also wind up having to stand in lines at the European embassies to get visas.
Is that how we should be promoting travel to America? On the backs of American travelers?