Americans would unilaterally receive a $4,000 ‘vacation credit’ for US-based airfare, lodging, restaurants, and other travel-related expenses under a recently-revealed Trump stimulus proposal. The credit, part of an estimated $2 trillion stimulus boost, may also apply to artists and musicians touring the United States.
The proposal, first discussed by Donald Trump during a White House Roundtable in May, is designed to encourage Americans to hop onto airplanes, stay at hotels, and enjoy vacations while enjoying a sizable credit on their taxes. According to Forbes, the proposed ‘vacation credit’ would be up to $4,000, and apply to all US-based travel. Trump sketched the proposal under the ‘Explore America’ moniker, though the White House has not yet expanded on any details.
The travel-focused credit could be a boon to touring musicians and performers, a group that has been unable to hit the road for months. Additionally, venue owners would also feel the lift alongside businesses in vacation hubs like New Orleans.
The travel credit is just one component of a broader ‘Phase 4’ stimulus boost, according Trump. The current proposal includes a range of economic boosters, including infrastructure and manufacturing investments. According to White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, a ‘buy American, hire American’ mantra would guide the upcoming stimulus injections.
At this stage, it’s unclear if the next phase will include a second, direct stimulus check, similar to the $1,200 check already mailed to approximately 159 million Americans.
But a direct check appears increasingly unlikely, given that employment numbers surged 17.7% in the last month as states start to reopen. Extensions of a $600 federal unemployment supplement are also unlikely.
Still, Trump didn’t offer any details on upcoming stimulus checks, only pointing to something ‘very dramatic’ and ‘very good,’ while noting that the ‘economy is really starting to roll’.
Currently, about 12 million lower-income Americans have yet to receive their first stimulus check, principally because they have not filled out a designated form for non-filers or for those not registered to receive other forms of public assistance.
While COVID-related restrictions on crowded events are likely to continue for months, touring could resume as soon as September as more restrictions get lifted. Beyond that, more distanced gigs like outdoor drive-in theater shows are one area of experimentation — with Garth Brooks pushing the idea with a 300 drive-in theater ‘tour’.