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Tourism Suffers in Washington DC as Government Protects Itself

The Washington Post has run a number of interesting articles on the precipitous decline in tourism that has been experienced in Washington DC. In just today's paper there are articles about the decline in visitors coming from overseas (including illegal aliens) and the cancellation of White House Holiday tours for the general public. The latter article also alludes to the restrictions on the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, as well as the cancellation of regular tours of the White House and the Capitol.

We wonder if the wholesale cancellation of these tours is necessary. Major League Baseball managed to hold World Series games in Yankee Stadium this season without incident. The Capitol Police, the Secret Service, and the other security agencies ought to be able to come up with a plan to allow at least a more limited number of people to tour these facilities. People who wanted to see the White House would certainly understand additional security measures.

After September 11, we pointed out the high-profile effort by our ex-Presidents to demonstrate faith in heightened airport security by flying on commercial airlines. If the our nation's leaders want people to go back to living their lives as normally as possible, at some point they have to decide what the right balance is, between security and accessibility, for the tourist attractions in Washington.

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