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The Obama Christmas Tree Tax

 

Rumors have been flying around the Internet today that Obama’s Energy Department is going to tax our Christmas trees because all those little flashing lights are consuming too much power.

These rumors are absolutely false, and shame on you for believing such a thing!  Obama is going to tax our Christmas trees, but the Agriculture Department will handle the dirty work.  The money will be used to improve the “image and marketing of Christmas trees.”

The Heritage Foundation explains:

In the Federal Register of November 8, 2011, Acting Administrator of Agricultural Marketing David R. Shipman announced that the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint a Christmas Tree Promotion Board.  The purpose of the Board is to run a “program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace; maintain and expend existing markets for Christmas trees; and to carry out programs, plans, and projects designed to provide maximum benefits to the Christmas tree industry” (7 CFR 1214.46(n)).  And the program of “information” is to include efforts to “enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States” (7 CFR 1214.10).

To pay for the new Federal Christmas tree image improvement and marketing program, the Department of Agriculture imposed a 15-cent fee on all sales of fresh Christmas trees by sellers of more than 500 trees per year (7 CFR 1214.52).  And, of course, the Christmas tree sellers are free to pass along the 15-cent Federal fee to consumers who buy their Christmas trees.

(Emphasis mine.)  If it makes you feel any less angry, this isn’t really a “tax,” because Shipman says it isn’t. 

Now, you might look at the bloated figure of the gigantic Obama government, sprawled across the crushed ruins of the American economy, and wonder why a few bucks could not be shifted from some other program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees.  You should know that every single penny spent by Barack Obama is vital and essential.  In fact even more tax revenue is needed to fuel even more spending.  Besides, only evil rich people have live Christmas trees.  The noble working poor get theirs from Wal-Mart.

This is clearly a “jobs program,” as is everything else Big Government does, because people are going to have to chop down those trees, and supply them to other people for sale.  Unless you live in one of those adventurous Canadian border states where the lumberjacks set up their own tents and sell Christmas trees on the side of the road.  By definition, Obama will be creating fewer jobs there, but still: do you hate lumberjacks enough to oppose paying your “fair share” through this new revenue enhancement?  Come on, people, stop complaining!  You gave a lot more than fifteen cents apiece to General Motors.

David Addington of the Heritage Foundation claims “the American Christmas tree has a great image that doesn’t need any help from the government.”  On the contrary, Mr. Addington, some image control is sorely needed among the vocal segment of the Obama constituency that really hates people who cut down trees!  I don’t know exactly what message the Administration will concoct to pacify them, but I’m sure they’ll feel a lot better just knowing other people were taxed to send it.

Update: even as liberal websites make fools of themselves trying to “debunk” the Christmas Tree Tax – mostly by uncritically accepting the Administration spin that it’s not really a “tax,” it’s just, er, money the government will take from people by force – ABC News reports the Administration has buckled to mounting public pressure and will “delay implementation and revisit” the proposed fees.  Poor Media Matters.  They’re always the last to know.

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Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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