Obama's New Mantra: Tourism!

Posted: Jan 21, 2012 3:30 PM

Buzzword for the State of the Union, which is next week: tourism. AP reported today that Obama's State of the Union speech is going to focus on tourism and the economy.

Eye on the State of the Union address, President Barack Obama is citing his work to bolster tourism and aid the economy as he readies to outline his election-year priorities.

Obama used his radio and Internet address Saturday to bring attention to steps he outlined in Florida's Walt Disney World on Thursday to make it easier for tourists to travel to the U.S. The White House said more than 1 million U.S. jobs could be created over the next decade, according to industry projections, if the nation took a larger share of the international travel market.

"We want more visitors coming here. We want them spending money here. It's good for our economy, and it will help provide the boost more businesses need to grow and hire," Obama said in the radio address.

The tourism initiative was part of an executive order Obama signed to increase non-immigrant visa processing capacity in China and Brazil by 40 percent this year and expand a visa waiver program that lets participating nationals to travel to the U.S. for stays of 90 days or less without a visa.

I'm not really sure how tourism suddenly became the silver bullet to fix the economy. And it seems states in the Midwest are going to want to hear about other solutions than tourism jobs. But, hey, if they want to come deal with the TSA, more power to them.

Of course, the president has also indicated he's going to be talking about the same old, same old:

In a preview Saturday, Obama said in a video to supporters that the speech will be an economic blueprint built around manufacturing, energy, education and American values.

He is expected to announce ideas to make college more affordable and to address the housing crisis still hampering the economy three years into his term, people familiar with the speech said. Obama will also propose fresh ideas to ensure that the wealthy pay more in taxes, reiterating what he considers a matter of basic fairness, the officials said.

College won't become more affordable by subsidies; it will become more expensive. And I don't care how "fresh" the idea is: it's the same old trick to get the wealthy to pay more taxes to help make up for irresponsible and reckless spending. Here's what basic fairness is: not penalizing people for being successful. Basic fairness again: everyone contributes an equal amount.