Opinion: Morning Examiner

Congress should say no to Obama's Christmas tree tax

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Beltway Confidential,Congress,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Taxes,Barack Obama

Whether people say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays," one thing they shouldn't have to say about the favorite season of kids everywhere is "Christmas tree tax."

But this perennial stinker of an idea from special-interest grinches with connections in the Obama White House is back, this time in the farm bill now before Congress.

The proposal is a 15-cent tax to be paid on every freshly-cut Christmas tree sold in America. President Obama, at the urging of the National Christmas Tree Association, first proposed it in 2011.

Say no, again

The Obama proposal establishes the levy and a Christmas tree promotional board. "Promotional boards" are classic Big Government-Big Business tools used to rob, rule or regulate the many and benefit the few.

As the Heritage Foundation's Amy Payne notes this morning on the think tank's Foundry blog, Obama backed off the last time around and issued a stay. But earlier this year, the House Agriculture Committee lifted the stay.

Now with Congress trying to get a farm bill done, the danger is it will be rushed through at the end of the year without time to debate the Christmas tree tax.

We're from the government ...

As Payne points out, "One way to actually hurt the image of the Christmas tree is to make it a symbol of taxation during the holiday season."

The Christmas tree levy would be only 15 cents now, but there are two certainties about taxes — they almost never are repealed and they always go up.

So, here's a Christmas wish for Congress: Instead of fiddling around with this useless example of special-interest favoritism, how about doing something constructive, as described in today's Washington Examiner editorial?

Today on washingtonexaminer.com

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