The Humble Libertarian

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Christmas Tree Tax

Sometimes all you need is the headline. "Christmas Tree Tax." Yeah. Here's the story:

'Obama Administration to Delay New 15-Cent Christmas Tree Tax

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is going to delay implementation and revisit a proposed new 15 cent fee on fresh-cut Christmas trees, sources tell ABC News. The fee, requested by the National Christmas Tree Association in 2009, was first announced in the Federal Registry yesterday and has generated criticism of President Obama from conservative media outlets.

The well-trafficked Drudge Report is leading with the story, linking to a blog by David Addington, a former top aide to then-Vice President Dick Cheney, at the conservative Heritage Foundation assailing the president thus: “The economy is barely growing and nine percent of the American people have no jobs. Is a new tax on Christmas trees the best President Obama can do? And, by the way, the American Christmas tree has a great image that doesn’t need any help from the government.”'

Hat tip: Memeorandum.

Did you get the part where the National Christmas Tree Association actually lobbied for this tax? See this is a perfect example of corporate lobbying for increased government regulation. The big kid on the block (in this case "the block" is the Christmas Tree industry and the big kid is the National Christmas Tree Association) will often ask the government to tax and regulate it more.

Why? Because smaller competitors can't keep up with the costs of added taxation and regulatory compliance, putting them out of business and rewarding the too-big-to-fails with their market share. Regulation doesn't restrain big business, it encourages and insulates it from competition from small and local businesses.

Are you paying attention, Occupy Wall Street?

In the meantime, I'm left chuckling bitterly at the ugly spectacle of a government as incompetent as Mr. Obama's, seriously proposing slapping a tax on freaking Christmas Trees of all things.

I guess Obama couldn't bear letting Harry Reid be the only Grinch in Washington:

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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