Okay, two things that already stick out in this blogger's mind: that this is a tax without any representation or due process, regardless of what the administration is arguing. Indeed, within the text of the "order" issued by the Department of Agriculture it is found that "...the assessment provided for in this type of program is not a tax nor does it yield revenue for the Federal government. These producer and importers funds raised by producers and importers are for the benefit of producers and importers."
What. The. Hell?!? Ummmm this is an attempt to use the force of the federal government to extract from us money against our consent, and they have the audacity to say that this is not a "tax" because it's doesn't "yield revenue for the Federal government"?!
If it's not for the Federal government then what is this money being taken from us for?!?
And then I have to make note of how I'm hard-pressed to see how this isn't acting in respect toward an establishment of religion. True, there are many Christians who do not celebrate the holiday of Christmas, and that is fine. However, I can't find in the text of the order or anywhere else in the Federal Register that there's going to be a parallel tax imposed on Kwanzaa Trees.
Here's the official text of the legislation from the Federal Register. Feel free to peruse it for yourself. Feel even more free to be honked-off at what must be the most ridiculous act of big government in recent memory...
...but I've no doubt that even worse is being thought of as I write this.
EDIT 11:33 p.m. EST: Someone left a comment earlier about how this tax was coming at the urging of the Christmas tree industry. So that led me to performing some research and investigation...
The Department of Agriculture is saying that this request came from something calling itself the "Christmas Tree Checkoff Study". Until tonight this cryptic group barely appeared anywhere, except for the proposal and order in the Federal Register and this website at checkoffstudy.blogspot.com. I went to that errr, "industry site". All I found was that there are ten people said to be from the Christmas tree industry who met with Department of Agriculture to push for this tax. However I can't find out anything about who exactly they are.
Well, further along at checkoffstudy.blogspot.com it is found that Christmas Tree Checkoff Study is allegedly acting at the behest of an outfit called Christmas Tree Promotion Now. Christmas Tree Promotion Now has a slightly more proper website at christmastreepromotion.com... but there again, there can be found NO information at all about who exactly constitutes this "industry-wide group of producers and importers".
In the past hour or so I've contacted two friends who each grow Christmas trees for commercial sale, and they didn't know anything about this tax either until I told them about it. Nor had either of them ever heard of Christmas Tree Checkoff Study or Christmas Tree Promotion Now.
I don't think it's an invalid question at all: WHO is asking for this tax? Let's see some names!
And I'm especially curious about knowing that, in light of this statement on Christmas Tree Promotion Now's Frequently Asked Questions...
Why not a voluntary program?Ummmm... WHO EXACTLY GETS TO DECIDE WHAT IS "FAIR"?!?
Voluntary marketing efforts have had success in the Christmas tree industry; however the challenge has always been the ability to sustain funding. A program that provides fair, consistent funding for promoting farm grown Christmas trees is needed so that all producers and importers can benefit.
There will always be a small minority attempting to side step the system. Because this would be a Federal program, then those who are assessed are legally required to comply.
And that "there will always be a small minority attempting to side step the system" so there needs to be "a Federal program" to make those dissidents "legally required to comply"?!
That is government-enforced thuggery at its worst!
Again, I would like to know who exactly is pushing for this tax. As things stand at this moment, there are only two possibilities that come to mind: either it is the Obama Administration itself, or it is... well, let's just call it "crony capitalism".