Color me as stunned as anyone that an avowed "business-first capitalist" like Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) would include the termination of Brand USA in his next gen budget. I mean, honestly...how does a generally accepted "smart guy" not understand the math?
And, the contention that government shouldn't be involved in things that aren't "core" to its mission? When the hell has that stopped government from being engaged in every facet of our life.
I know, I know...different party.
Here's the deal. This plays two ways:
1) He really has gone to the dark side in the name of partisan politics.
2) It's merely a bargaining chip. He knows (and expects) that this will be saved in the ultimate negotiations over the budget.
Call me Pollyanna...but I'm going with door number two. Which also suggests two different thoughts:
1) Tourism is still not respected enough as an industry not to be used as a pawn in a greater chess game.
2) This is the opportunity for our industry (all the industry) to step up and demand that this country's leadership stop playing games with one of the most important industries and exports we have going for us.
This is the call to action. Will we answer?