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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Grinch Obama's heart grows three sizes in a hurry as "Christmas Tree Tax" is called off

Late last night this blog joined numerous other outlets in reporting that the Obama Administration was set to impose a 15-cent tax on all freshly cut Christmas trees. You can read that initial post for more information, including some stuff I came across during a bit o' investigatin' (I'm still curious as to who the heck the people behind "Christmas Tree Promotion Now" are...)

Looks like Obama and gang got the message: the tax is being put on hold. But not without some snide commentary from the White House...

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.”

Nonetheless, the criticisms have apparently had an impact as the program is now being delayed.

I did not know until a comment left on my post last night that the "Got Milk?" campaign is funded with money taken from farmers without their consent by the Department of Agriculture. This "Christmas Tree Tax" would have done much the same. And in the case of the dairy farmers we're talking thousands of dollars extracted from their budgets each year. No doubt that the larger commercial milk producers can easily pay that. But as someone who grew up on a small family-run dairy farm and knows people who still operate small farms well... let's just say that five or six thousand dollars a year ain't chicken feed.

More and more I'm inclined to believe that this scheme to tax Christmas trees came in part - however large or small - from larger tree growers. Can't outright prove that mind ya, but even so: it would be good to know who the people are behind the Christmas Tree Promotion Now outfit.