#64

370 Commerce & Housing Credit:Repeal the Corporation for Travel Promotion

Savings in Millions of Dollars
  • 2016
    -38
  • 2017
    -42
  • 2018
    -46
  • 2019
    -50
  • 2020
    -55
  • 2021
    0.0
  • 2022
    0.0
  • 2023
    0.0
  • 2024
    0.0
  • 2025
    0.0
  • 2016-2020
    -231
  • 2016-2025
    -231

Sources

Savings are based on budget authority found on page 2 of Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate, “H.R. 4450: Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014,” July 18, 2014. This estimate includes $100 million in estimated federal budget authority from FY 2016–2020 as well as $731 million in estimated revenues that would not be collected if the program were repealed.

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Technical Notes on Scoring

CBO Baseline

Unless otherwise noted, calculations for savings for each recommendation relies on the most recent Congressional Budget Office baseline, as found in “An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024,” published August 27, 2014, has been used.

Savings “Totals”

While totals for the five and 10 year savings are provided by section and for the complete set of recommendations, there are two reasons they should not be viewed as representing total savings for The Budget Book.

First, as noted in the introduction, The Heritage Foundation would recommend that the savings realized in the Function 050 Defense section would stay within the Department of Defense to strengthen the nation’s defense capabilities.

Second, the numbers cannot be deemed to represent the realized savings if every single recommendation were adopted because policy changes made in one program can impact spending levels in other programs.  Thus, the numbers in the table do not reflect any potential interactions between the various policy changes affecting spending or savings.

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Heritage Recommendation:

Repeal the Corporation for Travel Promotion, which was extended by the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act in the December 2014 omnibus spending bill. It should be noted that once created, federal programs are rarely allowed to expire. This proposal will increase net government spending (taxes minus revenues) by $231 million over five years (the length of its current extension) because, although it will reduce government spending by $500 million, it will also eliminate $731 million in projected tax revenues. Despite adding to net spending, this proposal will reduce the size and scope of government.

Rationale:

$18 Trillion debt. Stop wasting taxpayer dollars promoting international travel.

More commonly known as Brand USA, the Corporation for Travel Promotion is a public-private partnership that promotes international travel to the U.S. and is administered by the Department of Commerce.1  Funding comes from the private sector and local governments, and is matched by federal funding up to $100 million. Federal funds come from a fee collected from foreign travelers using the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), a service intended to expedite the visa process for nations that are friends and allies of the U.S.

According to the Department of Commerce, the travel industry is one of America’s largest export services and garnered $1.5 trillion in total sales in 2013; and international travel to America began increasing years before Brand USA’s founding in 2010, beginning with a post-9/11 upswing in 2004. The federal government’s role in international travel should remain in improving visa and security requirements. Congress should not be helping industries with marketing and communication strategies.

Endnotes

  1.  David Inserra, “Brand USA: Senate Immigration Bill Extends Wasteful, Flawed Program,” The Daily Signal, June 26, 2013.  

$18 Trillion debt. Stop wasting taxpayer dollars promoting international travel.

Contributing Expert

Katie Tubb is a Research Associate and Coordinator in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies

See publications by Katie Tubb

Katie TubbResearch Associate and Coordinator

Heritage Expert

Diane Katz, who has analyzed and written on public policy issues for more than two decades, is a research fellow in regulatory policy at The Heritage Foundation.

See publications by Diane Katz

Diane KatzResearch Fellow in Regulatory Policy

Additional Reading