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Happy Holidays from Washington

Friday November 11th, 2011   •   Posted by Stephanie Freedman at 10:33am PST   •  

The government is leaving no stone unturned. A tax on Christmas trees was brought to the floor this week. Is nothing sacred? Christian Science Monitor reports:

The so-called “Christmas Tree tax” had all the makings of a grand political theater. After the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved Tuesday a 15-cent tax on fresh Christmas trees, some conservative Republicans fired back at the Obama administration. A “Grinch move,” Rep. Steve Scalise (R) of Louisiana told Fox News.”A marketing slush fund for the Christmas tree industry,” Sen. Jim DeMint (R) of South Carolina said in his blog. So on Wednesday, the day the Christmas tree tax was to take effect, the Obama administration delayed it.

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The Heritage Foundation blog The Foundry comments:

Christmas is more than a month away, but the Obama Administration just couldn’t wait to hang a shiny new ornament on every fresh Christmas tree in America: a 15-cent tax to support a new federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees. Following a public outcry, the White House changed course, not a day later.

No, it’s not a joke. Heritage Vice President David Addington broke the story Tuesday night on, writing that in the Federal Register of November 8, it was announced that the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint a Christmas Tree Promotion Board to run a “program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace.” Among its goals: “to enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States.” Yes, you read that correctly. The Obama Administration wanted the federal government to handle public relations for Christmas trees.

How did the White House want to pay for it? With a 15-cent fee on all sales of fresh Christmas trees by sellers of more than 500 trees per year. As Addington wrote, “Of course, the Christmas tree sellers are free to pass along the 15-cent federal fee to consumers who buy their Christmas trees.” More taxes for American consumers in the middle of the Christmas season? Some present.

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Featured Image:
© Brent Hathaway |

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November 2011