Obama Takes Back the Christmas Tree Tax?

I guess he didn’t like the obvious Grinch ads it would generate.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is going to delay implementation and revisit a proposed new 15 cent fee on fresh-cut Christmas trees,  sources tell ABC News. The fee, requested by the National Christmas Tree Association in 2009, was first announced in the Federal Registry yesterday and has generated criticism of President Obama from conservative media outlets. The well-trafficked Drudge Report is leading with the story, linking to a blog by David Addington, a former top aide to then-Vice President David Addington, at the conservative Heritage Foundation assailing the president thus: “The economy is barely growing and nine percent of the American people have no jobs. Is a new tax on Christmas trees the best President Obama can do? And, by the way, the American Christmas tree has a great image that doesn’t need any help from the government.”

The National Christmas Tree Association says the fee would fund a program “designed to benefit the industry and will be funded by the growers” and is “not expected to have any impact on the final price consumers pay for their Christmas tree.” According to the Federal Registry, the proposed Christmas Tree Promotion Board, which would be funded by the new fee, would launch 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” and to “enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States.”


I use an artificial tree so I don’t have a dog in this fight or however you want to phrase it. But if the tree peeps want to fund some promotion, more private sector power to them — they should fund it themselves and not involve the federal government at all. You involve the feds and pretty soon you’ve unleashed a permanent new Federal Christmas Tree Bureaucracy, which would soon get renamed Federal Large Holiday Plant Administration (a division of the Department of Agriculture) with a swank 20-story DC office and its own SWAT team, and you’re getting regulated to death over tree height and girth and how many branches you can have, how many fake angels you can put on the top of it, etc etc etc. And the following year, you’ll have to involve the EPA in every tree harvest to make sure your chainsaws don’t violate the cross-state pollution rule.

The NCTA should stay as far away from the federal government as they possibly can.


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