Christmas Tree Tax: Bum Rap for Obama, Probably

So the Obama administration is trying to destroy Christmas with a new tax on Christmas trees?

Bah humbug. I’m pro-Christmas and pro-Christmas tree, but this hubbub looks like a red herring.

The 15 cent per tree tax (to fund promotional efforts and industry bureaucrats) is the same type of surtax that USDA-empowered committees have been imposing for decades. Court cases challenging this type of tax (bogusly labeled an “assessment) have made it at least to federal appellate courts. I have forgotten whether the Supremes have deigned to rule on the issue. Some of the lawyers challenging those powers made eloquent arguments – James Moody did fine work on this cause.

Did the Obama White House have any role in approving this Xmas tree checkoff? My impression is that the agriculture producer committees worked on their own – exploiting govt. authority to tax their fellow producers but otherwise not popping up on the radar. These committees never should have been permitted to become tinhorn dictators with taxing authority.

I am reminded of some of the demagoguery on Obama and Christmas in prior years – such as the 2009 rumor that Obama had banned all religious ornaments in the White House. Simply not true.

Media Matters notes that “Gateway Pundit blogger Jim Hoft said the ‘Christmas Tree Tax’ illustrated that ‘Barack Obama hates Christians.'” Geez….

There are plenty of abuses the Obama team have committed that deserve far more attention. And there are plenty of ag boondoggles far worse than this.

James Bovard


One Response to Christmas Tree Tax: Bum Rap for Obama, Probably

  1. Dirk Sabin November 10, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    What really ought to be done is a tax on sentimental puffery and then we’d be swimming in cash.

    I’d suggest a tax on bullshit but this would be reaching too far.