The 10 Friendliest Cities in the U.S.

The 10 Friendliest Cities in the U.S.

It seems that Honolulu is home to much more than just beaches and hula skirts. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, visitor spending rose 15.6 percent to 1.1 billion in October, which is good news for Hawaii’s largest city and state capital, home to
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By Suelain Moy

The friendliest city for visitors is Honolulu, according to more than 6,400 respondents in a newly released poll by Travelzoo.

Survey takers were asked to pick the cities, states and countries where they felt the most welcome, could easily ask for directions, and get dining recommendations. New York City came in second, followed by New Orleans.

Last year was a record-breaking year for tourism, and the numbers confirm the popularity of these destinations for travelers. In 2014, 8.3 million visitors came to the Aloha State, with total visitor expenditures estimated at $14.7 billion. On average, 205,044 visitors are in the state of Hawaii on any given day.

Related: They’re Leaving Las Vegas: Fewer I Do’s in Last Decade

New York City, where tourism also hit a record high in 2014 with 56.4 million visitors streaming into the Big Apple, claimed the second spot in the poll.

Third place New Orleans has 9.52 million visitors and tourism spending of $6.81 billion in 2014. Fourth place Las Vegas also broke tourism records with 40 million visitors last year, thanks to renovated and rebranded resorts and direct flights from Canada and Mexico. Boston rounded out the top five, with a total of 16,250,000 international and domestic visitors in 2014.

Here are the top 10 friendly cities:

  1. Honolulu
  2. New York
  3. New Orleans
  4. Las Vegas
  5. Boston
  6. San Diego
  7. San Francisco
  8. Charleston, S.C.
  9. Chicago
  10. Seattle

Travelzoo also ranked states for friendliness, with warm climes dominating the list. In the top spot was Florida, followed by California and Hawaii. New York and Maine were the only states from the Northeast to make the list.

  1. Florida
  2. California
  3. Hawaii
  4. New York
  5. Texas
  6. South Carolina
  7. Maine
  8. Georgia
  9. Washington
  10. Arizona

In Europe, Amsterdam, London, and Dublin were considered the friendliest cities to visit, with Italy and Ireland seen as the friendliest countries.

Majority of Tax Cuts Going to Filers Earning More Than $100K: JCT

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By The Fiscal Times Staff

Ahead of a House Ways and Means Committee hearing scheduled for Wednesday, the Joint Committee on Taxation prepared an analysis of the distributional effects of the 2017 Republican tax bill. The New York Times’ Jim Tankersley highlighted the fact that according to the JCT analysis, about 75 percent of the individual and business benefits of the tax cuts will go to filers earning more than $100,000 in 2019. And nearly half of the benefits will flow to filers earning over $200,000.

The Trump Budget's $1.2 Trillion in 'Phantom Revenues'

Trump budget arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington
KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters
By The Fiscal Times Staff

President Trump’s 2020 budget includes up to $1.2 trillion in “potentially phantom revenues” — money that comes from taxes the administration opposes or from tax hikes that face strong opposition from businesses, The Wall Street Journal’s Richard Rubin reports, citing data from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. That total, covering 2020 through 2029, includes as much as $390 billion in taxes created under the Affordable Care Act, which the president wants to repeal.

The $1.2 trillion in questionable revenue projections is in addition to the White House budget’s projected deficits of $7.3 trillion for the 10-year period. That total is itself questionable, given that the president’s budget relies on optimistic assumptions about economic growth and some unrealistic spending cuts, meaning that the deficits could be significantly higher than projected.

Chart of the Day: Trump's Huge Proposed Cuts to Public Investment

Trump budget arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington
KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Ben Ritz of the Progressive Policy Institute slams President Trump’s new budget:

“It would dismantle public investments that lay the foundation for economic growth, resulting in less innovation. It would shred the social safety net, resulting in more poverty. It would rip away access to affordable health care, resulting in more disease. It would cut taxes for the rich, resulting in more income inequality. It would bloat the defense budget, resulting in more wasteful spending. And all this would add up to a higher national debt than the policies in President Obama’s final budget proposal.”

Here’s Ritz’s breakdown of Trump’s proposed spending cuts to public investment in areas such as infrastructure, education and scientific research:

Chart of the Day: The Decline in Corporate Taxes

By The Fiscal Times Staff

Since roughly the end of World War Two, individual income taxes in the U.S. have equaled about 8 percent of GDP. By contrast, the Tax Policy Center says, “corporate income tax revenues declined from 6% of GDP in 1950s to under 2% in the 1980s through the Great Recession, and have averaged 1.4% of GDP since then.”