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Public Statements

Blog: Crony Capitalism, Christmas Trees, and the Stupidest Tax of All Time

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

Mr. Grinch, Mr. Scrooge, meet Mr. Obama.

No, it's not a joke. President Obama really is imposing a special new tax on Christmas trees.

And while the policy seems a ludicrous political misstep -- and possibly an unconstitutional one at that -- in truth, the Obama Christmas Tree Tax is much worse than that.

The $2 million the Obama Administration expects the tax to raise will not reduce the deficit or cover needed government services. Instead, it will serve as a marketing slush fund for the Christmas tree industry. White House Christmas Tree

The money will set up a brand new government agency called (no, seriously) the Christmas Tree Promotion Board. The CTPB will use the $2 million to hire a staff -- most likely the industry lobbyists who cooked up this scheme -- and then run advertisements to "enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry of the United States."

Don't the Christmas tree growers and retailers already do that? Yes. Isn't marketing something that all companies should do with their profits, to grow their business and attract new customers? Yes.

And while we're asking questions, does anyone in America -- anyone? -- believe that Christmas trees have a bad image that needs taxpayer-subsidized improvement?

So why should the government-funded Christmas Tree Promotion Board tax us to fund a marketing campaign? So the Christmas tree industry can pocket the $2 million they now won't have to spend marketing their trees.

That's it. That's the whole purpose of the Obama Christmas Tree Tax: to take money from hard-working families celebrating Christmas and give it to clever lobbyists and businessmen running a crony-capitalist subsidy scam.

And while this policy will, by design, help one group of people, it will hurt others: businesses that sell artificial Christmas trees, people who work at your local stores that sell them, and, don't forget, the consumers who are out 15 cents a tree.

Business groups using government connections to enrich themselves by hurting everyone else. Makes you just want to break into "O Holy Night," doesn't it?

Hopefully, the Crony Capitalists in the Obama Administration have gone too far this time, and public backlash will force Congress to shut down the Christmas Tree Promotion Board and repeal the single stupidest tax of all time. I will soon offer an amendment on the Senate floor to do just that.

All I want for Christmas is a free market.


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