Just so I have this straight…

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

…the U.S. government is going to charge foreign travelers $10 per visit in order to . . . fund a campaign urging foreigners to travel to the U.S.

And this is all because tourism is down, due all the money we’ve spent on post 9-11 efforts to make it more difficult for foreigners to come here.

Can’t wait until these people are in charge of health care!

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17 Responses to “Just so I have this straight…”

  1. #1 |  Traveling Blues | 

    […] Radley Balko: Just so I have this straight… the U.S. government is going to charge foreign travelers $10 per visit in order to… fund a campaign urging foreigners to travel to the U.S. […]

  2. #2 |  grasonGary | 

    “Can’t wait until these people are in charge of health care!”

    Yep, because insurance companies are doing such a great job!

  3. #3 |  Ginger Dan | 

    Well if the dollar keeps sliding, all we’ll have to do is sweep the planes for loose change (euros, swiss francs, yen….) and we should be good.

  4. #4 |  Someone | 

    Maybe people don’t want to travel to the US because we get treated like criminals and have to endure near endless security screenings?

    But I’m sure charging everyone $10 (2%~ of a flight from the EU) will encourage them to visit the US as opposed to for example Canada.

  5. #5 |  Todd | 

    Mexico is looking better and better

  6. #6 |  Swen Swenson | 

    What? You don’t find a curious parallel between charging foreign travelers $10 to promote foreign travel and taxing our health benefits to pay for our health benefits? They’re plumb pullin’ the straps off them boots..

  7. #7 |  Aresen | 


    We Canucks will just keep the $10 and use it to help fund the NAFTA bridge. No need to stop on our way to Mexico.



    Serious comment: I bet this will not go over well in towns within an hour’s drive of the Canadian border and in Florida and Arizona.

    OTOH, since Canada runs a HUGE travel devicit with the US (mostly due to day-trippers who go to the US for shopping or sporting events), the Canadian government will probably love it.

  8. #8 |  Whim | 

    The Milk Producers used to be assessed an involuntary government fee to promote the drinking of milk.

    Is that still around?

  9. #9 |  Matt I. | 

    As a person with extensive family, friends and business contacts outside the US, I will let you know that NO ONE wants to come to America today. Not for business, not for tourism, not for education.

    As ‘Someone’ said, they are tired of being treated like criminals for trying to visit us. They are tired of being fingerprinted at the border, and tired of waiting for months to get a visa interview where they are interrogated as to their motives for visiting our magnanimous paradise.

    The sad thing is that it is this increasing isolationism that is continuing to hurt America financially, and all people can blame is Illegal Immigration ™.

  10. #10 |  GregS | 

    Re Aresen’s comments re Canada: I doubt this $10 charge will discourage Canadians from visiting the U.S., because the new requirement that Canadians now have to have passports to enter the U.S. is a much more effective way of doing that. That $10 charge won’t discourage many Canadians because they’ve already been discouraged by the $87 per head charge to get a passport.

  11. #11 |  pris | 

    Doesn’t make sense fer sure.
    The government manages Medicare, it is well managed compared to the insurance health care business. 1200 insurance companies are ripping off the american population.

  12. #12 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I don’t even like seeing commercials on TV by states who try to draw visitors much less a federal program to bring in the very foreigners we spend so much time and money alienating.

    I don’t like any advertising campaign conducted or “encouraged” by government.

    I mean, if they’re supposed to be doing what we want, why the fuck do they have to sell us on the stuff they’re doing? Unless, of course, they’re doing something we don’t want. Like maybe the drug war?

    This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs.

  13. #13 |  Aresen | 


    A lot of Canadians already had passports. There was some scramble, but about 60% of Canadian adults had them before the passport regulation was proposed several years back. (For comparison, I think the portion of Americans who had passports was around 35%, IIRC)

    Plus the fact that the passport fee is one time in five years and good for the entire world. The proposed $10 fee is for each visit to the US.

    There are a lot of people in the Greater Vancouver area who make single day shopping trips to Bellingham, WA for example. So much so that many Bellingham merchants regularly put ads in Vancouver papers and on Vancouver Radio and TV stations. I don’t think the Bellingham merchants association will be too happy with the idea of the $10 charge.

  14. #14 |  Mattocracy | 

    Restricting travel is a great way to control people. That’s all this about. Kim Jung Ill knows all about it.

  15. #15 |  Kino | 

    snicker…..snicker …….te heeheee……..BWAHAHAHAHAhahahahahahhahahhhaahahhahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhhahahahahahahhahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahahhhahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaahhaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahhaahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahhaahahahahah

  16. #16 |  Fridge | 

    I would imagine the only logical thing to do next is to make sure that we charge US citizens $10 to leave the country and probably another $10 to get back in.

    As the massive tax increase won’t be enough to make up for all the “stimuLESS” spending, they have to find as many ways as possible to bring in more money to redistribute.

    Isn’t “Change” great……………

  17. #17 |  Li | 

    We are putting the neocons in charge of health care?

    I assume they will be fighting the war on cancer with 2000 lb. bombs.