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Christmas Tree Tax

Recorded on November 9, 2011

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.

We have a new tax. Every Christmas tree sold will have a 15-cent surcharge, by decree of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The money will fund a new Christmas Tree Promotion Board, to run ad campaigns promoting Christmas trees.

This is not a joke.

But why? Are Christmas trees endangered? Are they threatened by artificial Christmas trees? Or is the tree industry worried about holiday competition from menorahs, or Kwanzaa candles, or even Festivus poles?

Federal law lets bureaucrats create special fees and boards to promote products. They've already done this for milk, beef, cotton, eggs, pork, lamb, watermelons, soybeans, mushrooms, avocados, mangos, potatoes, peanuts and popcorn.

The fees on each item are small—but they keep bureaucrats in business. And now, do we really need the federal government to tell us to buy a Christmas tree?

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.