Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The Christmas Tree Tax Is Back

One of President Obama's most unpopular moves, one so wildly unpopular that he took the most unusual action of withdrawing it, was a tax on Christmas trees. But now, most remarkably and regrettably, the agriculture committee of the Republican-controlled Congress has revived the idea.

Amazingly, however, the most disgusting thing is not the targeting of Christmas trees or the fact that a bunch of Republicans have signed on. Those are bad enough, to be sure. But note the amount of the tax laid out -- 15%.

I'm old enough to remember an America where citizens raised an uproar over new taxes of 1 and 2 per cent. But now we have Republican politicians (almost all who talk about being fiscal conservatives and favoring limited government) passing taxes at 15 per cent. Wow.

Also note this line from the Washington Times story, "The majority of Christmas tree farms want the fee, saying they will use the money to promote their industry."

Well, Gertrude, there's one for the economic books. Promote an industry which already has all kinds of competition (inexpensive, attractive, unproblematic, fake Christmas trees) by forcing consumers to pay another 15% for your product. Yeah, that ought'a work.

Again, this idea was so bad that even President Obama threw it aside. But, obviously, we need to remind our Congressmen that a Christmas tree tax (especially as exorbitant, specialized and counter-productive as this one is) needs to be sawed off at the roots. Write your letters, send your e-mails, and make your phone calls ASAP.