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Nov 9th, 2011 by Elizabeth Scalia
When I saw the headline, I assumed it was from the Onion News Network.
President Obama’s Agriculture Department today announced that it will impose a new 15-cent charge on all fresh Christmas trees—the Christmas Tree Tax—to support a new Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees . . . the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint a Christmas Tree Promotion Board. The purpose of the Board is to run a “program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace . . . [including] efforts to “enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States” (7 CFR 1214.10).
Holiday trees, presumably, are not being similarly taxed.
Come one. This is adorable. Everyone who buys Christmas Trees — because they love them — will be spending an additional fifteen cents to help people understand why they should love Christmas Trees, or better-appreciate the Christmas Trees they are purchasing.
See, this is where Governor Walker made his mistake: If you want to call ‘em Christmas Trees, you have to tax them, first. Then you’re allowed.
UPDATE: Over at Facebook my friend Thomas L. McDonald, who is a dandy writer, wondered puckishly:
Doesn’t this amount to a tax on religious speech? Other questions: will there be a menorah tax? A halal tax? A tax for whatever it is pagans use to do whatever it is they do?
Hmmmm, quite the conundrum, there, since they have in fact called referred to these trees as “Christmas” trees. Perhaps the administration should have called them “Holiday” trees, after all, in order to avoid any and all suggestions that they were unduly taxing religious speech. Then again, “Holiday” does mean “Holy Day,” in which case, the thing might be unavoidable. Perhaps then, they should have referred to taxing “trees used for celebratory purposes on or around December 25.”
UPDATE II: Ed Morrissey says Satire is dead