(Savannah Morning News editorial published November 12)
Most people probably agree that the venerable Christmas tree doesn’t need any help with its classic, holiday image.
But not if you happen to work for the Obama administration.
In one of the looniest — if not Grinchiest — proposals ever to come out of Washington’s chimney stack in recent years, President Obama’s Agriculture Department actually proposed a new 15-cent charge on all fresh Christmas trees.
Fortunately, someone in the administration had the good sense this week to ax this goofy idea.
Taxing Christmas trees?
Say it ain’t so, Mr. Scrooge.
Actually, it shouldn’t be such a huge surprise. The Obama administration has been pushing for higher taxes on some segments of the American economy to ease the nation’s crushing debt. Why not tax the holiday spirit if you can get away with it?
Interestingly, the crafty elves in the Agriculture Department justified the tax (which they called a “fee,” presumably with straight faces) to support a Christmas Tree Promotion Board. This panel would run a government program to enhance the image of Christmas trees and expand markets.
Hence the need for money to pay for it.
As envisioned, the tax would be imposed on sellers of more than 500 trees per year. The sellers, of course, would pass the cost on to consumers.
But there’s glad tidings of joy. Fresh Christmas trees are safe from the taxman, at least for another season. However, if you want to be insulated from future tax attacks, consider artificial.