New stimulus package may provide vacation credits

It looks like the president is getting ready this week to discuss the next round of stimulus relief, according to a senior administration official via The Wall Street Journal.

“We’ve been through the rescue phase and we’re now in the transitional reopening phase and I think generally speaking we’d like to move into a growth-incentive phase for the future economy,” the senior administration official said.

This growth incentive has two newly developing focuses that we have not heard much about.

The first is what I recently wrote about regarding a focus on creating more manufacturing jobs.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro stated,”Put simply, we need to create more manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing jobs not only provide good wages but also create more jobs both up- and downstream through multiplier effects.”

I’m not an economist so I’m not quite qualified to comment on the validity of the economic ramifications of focusing on manufacturing jobs.

But it does sound like it could help a lot of people get back to work and get cash flow going back into their pockets.

But something that is really interesting and relevant to us travelers is that the administration is apparently considering a special “vacation credit.”

The administration is reportedly discussing a tourism tax deduction or tax credit for families or individuals who take a vacation somewhere in the US, perhaps in the next three to six months.

That’s a very interesting proposition.

I think it would definitely incentivize a lot of people to get out and travel and would result in an appreciable and potentially significant injection into the tourism and service industries that have been slammed by the coronavirus.

But I also wonder about whether or not that type of incentive is contrary to public health.

With coronavirus cases on the rise in certain states and cities, are we really trying to incentivize people to travel over the next few months?

I could see a travel credit being useful to jumpstart the travel industry once things are more under control, such as when we are closer to having a vaccine and some people are still on the fence about traveling.

Or at least when transmission rates are not accelerating.

But offering that tax incentive right now just seems like it could be a bad decision that is too premature.

This is coming from someone who would benefit from people traveling as soon as possible and it is echoed by other commenters I have seen on the blog such as one who wrote:

 I own a travel business….arranging custom European itineraries. Business like mine have suffered the most…we cannot off er “take out” and we actually have to pay BACK commissions for trips that were not taken. So we have no income , and are having to refund past income on top of it. Yet even I know that traveling too early is a big mistake. Some destinations are opening up…I am advising my clients not to travel internationally until next year because doing so would exacerbate this pandemic again. Until there is a vaccine, it is simply the right advice, money or not.

So I’d be curious as to what you feel is the right thing.

Should we plow ahead and try to jumpstart the travel industry right now by incentivizing Americans to take vacations?

Or is this a bad idea that will cause many Americans to put their health at risk?

H/T

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