Christmas trees are pretty unpopular, right?
The House must think so, since its farm bill would pave the way to set up a Christmas Tree Promotion Board. Its purpose would be “to enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States.”
And it would be funded by a 15-cent tax on fresh Christmas trees—which sellers are free to pass on to you, the Bob Cratchits of America.
A couple of years ago, after significant backlash—in large part due to the efforts of The Heritage Foundation—the Administration backed off and issued a stay of this tax. But now Congress could make the tax a reality as the House and Senate work out differences between their farm bills.
As Heritage expert Daren Bakst has said:
A 15-cent tax may not seem like much. However, taxes are a death by a thousand cuts. One of those cuts shouldn’t come from the Christmas tree. One way to actually hurt the image of the Christmas tree is to make it a symbol of taxation during the holiday season.
Congress might as well throw in a jingle bell tax, too. That’s how farm-related a lot of the “farm” bill is. The “farm” policies Congress is considering include:
- 80 percent food stamps: The House bill would make modest changes to this welfare program, but the Senate would do virtually nothing to rein in the massive growth in food stamp spending.
- Ultra-high-speed broadband access for rural areas.
- Policies that actually drive up food prices for Americans.
- Giving money to farmers for doing absolutely nothing.
Congress may agree to consider a new farm bill any time now. As it is, taxpayers could be looking at a trillion-dollar, subsidy-filled disaster—complete with a Christmas tree tax. Humbug.
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