Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Tannenbaum Tax

The National Christmas Tree Association “requested” a 15-cent fee on fresh-cut Christmas trees in order to promote, research, and evaluate the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace?  This, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Any sensible business owner or economist will tell you that if you want people to buy more of your product, you don’t raise the price or ask the government to place a fee on that product or service.  That is what a monopolistically competitive industry, in cohoots with the government would do.  Government monopolies are all about producing as little as they can and charging as much as they can. 
White House spokesman Matt Lehrich told ABC News that despite some media coverage, “I can tell you unequivocally that the Obama Administration is not taxing Christmas trees. What’s being talked about here is an industry group deciding to impose fees on itself to fund a promotional campaign, similar to how the dairy producers have created the ‘Got Milk?’ campaign.”

The industry and the government underestimated the intelligence of the American public and their own powers of pernicious propaganda.  There’s just so much politically-correct, green-tinted, anti-Christian government overreach the public will digest in any given period.  The administration and the Department of Agriculture have backed off on the Christmas Tree fee – for the time being.  The spin meisters were sent back to the shop to re-message this latest piece of bureaucratic manipulation.
White House spokesman Matt Lehrich told ABC News, “The USDA is going to delay implementation and revisit this action.”  They must have gotten word that Santa is revisiting his naughty and nice list.
People love their live Christmas trees.  My supervisor’s parents had a Christmas tree farm and one of my co-workers married into a Christmas tree farm family.  When S.D. and her husband built their house in upstate New York on her parents’ property, her husband was going to take down the king of the Christmas trees on the former farm.  S.D. said, “No way are we cutting that tree down.  Move the house.”  Her husband, being a smart man, redrew the plans for the house.
We’re in a bad economy, as David Addington, a former top aide to former Vice President Dick Cheney noted.  This is not the time to be placing extraneous fees on anything.  The fresh-cut tree market does have competition in the form of artificial Christmas tree makers.  They have the advantage of not dying.  They last longer and you’re spared the task of throwing your beloved Christmas tree out to the curb with the garbage.
Still, leave the fresh-cut Christmas tree lovers to celebrate the Yule as they will.   The trees, whether live or artificial, are expensive enough.  This is an unseasonable economic time to be taxing their trees.   As for the White House, the USDA, and all the Greenie tree-huggers, Santa should leave a coal-powered energy plant in their stockings.

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