Sen. Martha McSally Wants To Give American Adults $4,000 To Take a Vacation

Brittany M. Hughes | June 23, 2020
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Sen. Martha McSally – who’s a Republican, in case this next part makes you think otherwise – wants to give every American adult $4,000 to take a vacation. 

No, seriously.

We’re not sure if McSally is trying to butter up constituents ahead of a tough election or if she's just been spending way too much time with Elizabeth Warren, but her proposal is the real deal. According to McSally’s TRIP Act, announced just ahead of President Donald Trump’s rally in New Mexico, every American adult would receive up to a $4,000 tax credit – that’s $8,000 per jointly-filing family – to take a trip somewhere. The bill would also provide an extra $500 for dependent children.

According to McSally, the bill's purpose is to help tourism industries that have been sent reeling from the months-long COVID-19 shutdown.

“The tourism and hospitality industries were among the hardest-hit sectors across the country and their revival is critical to our economic recovery,” McSally said in a statement announcing the measure. “Arizona has lost billions in revenue this year alone due to the pandemic. My legislation will help boost domestic travel and jumpstart the comeback of our hotels, entertainment sectors, local tourism agencies, and the thousands of businesses that make Arizona one of the best places in the world to visit."

People would be eligible to receive the credit, which is retroactive back to January 1, 2020, provided that they travel at least 50 miles outside their home, stay within the U.S. or one of its territories, and take their trip between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2021. The credit would cover the cost of lodging, food, transportation and entertainment, including sporting events.

The bill would also give $50 million in taxpayer dollars – you know, the dollars she’s supposedly trying to help people hang on to? – to destination marketing organizations to use for promoting travel and tourism across the United States.

Now, given that this is a tax credit and not just a government check, it won't be free money in your pocket, but rather a reduction in the amount of federal taxes you'll pay that year. And while letting Americans keep more of their own money might sound like a good and even conservative thing (ignoring, of course, the fact that we’re $23 trillion in debt and climbing, and this bill would largely decrease revenue with no offset in spending), it's not nearly as nice as it sounds – namely because of the fact that the government is giving you back your own cash if, and only if, you use it for the specific purpose they’ve prescribed. Don’t need a vacation, but want to put your kid in a pricey private school? You can’t use your “credit” for that. Don’t want to go to the beach, but do need to pay down some medical bills? Nope, not that either. Would rather use that ski trip money to offload some debt? Sorry, no – because the government has decided where you should put your own cash that they're so generously offering back to you.

Which is pretty much the government's modus operandi, no matter what side of the aisle you're standing on.

Perhaps, if Senator Sally really wanted to help Americans who’ve been hit hard by the coronavirus shutdown, she'd let them keep their own money...and decide for themselves what to do with it.

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