Even The Grinch wouldn’t do this

bassturd’s gonna put The Onion outta business

Coming to your industry soon!

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.

That is solely the business — and business — of the Christmas Tree industry. Lots of commodities have self-imposed fees that thy use for research on improving their product and marketing. See: CA Beef Council.

Whatinhell is the Fedz doing?

In the Federal Register of November 8, 2011, Acting Administrator of Agricultural Marketing David R. Shipman announced that the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint a Christmas Tree Promotion Board.

Not growers. Not wolesalers. Not retailers. A Board Appointed by the Federal Gubbmint. Whatcha wanna bet the salaries are nice and cushy, the duties fleeting, and the perks golden? And the members’ packet will include a basics tutorial: “pointy end up!”

Does this industry even want or need such a thing? I’m guessing not. Or they would have done it. Oh, wait: they DID. ‘Course that took 0.15 seconds to ‘research’, so….

The National Christmas Tree Association “has sent 17,000 Real Christmas Trees to 60 or more military bases throughout the U.S. and overseas.” [and they have a whole marketing section, a convention, a teachers' section, and everything. amazing.] They even have a sense of humor.

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;

As opposed to their prime competitor: the Chanukah Bush

maintain and expend existing markets for Christmas trees;

“How do we sell more o’ these things to Buddhists?”

and to carry out programs, plans, and projects designed to provide maximum benefits to the Christmas tree industry”

“We’re from the Gubbmint and we’re here to help!”

And the program of “information” is to include efforts to “enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States”

Cuz everybody hates a Christmas Tree.

To pay for the new Federal Christmas tree image improvement and marketing program, the Department of Agriculture imposed a 15-cent fee on all sales of fresh Christmas trees by sellers of more than 500 trees per year

Guess who’s paying for this Board to butt in on the business of growing and selling Christmas Trees. And how long is it gonna remain 15¢?



  1. Mumblix Grumph
    Posted November 8, 2011 at 11:49 pm |

    My aunt and her husband used to own a U-Cut Christmas tree farm. You know what they used to “improve their image”?

    Hot chocolate, sharp saws and candy canes…oh yeah, and Bing Crosby on the stereo.

  2. SondraK, TEA Party zombie
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 12:13 am |

    Really. Wow.

    Really. It takes a LOT to render me speechless and yet……I have nothing.

  3. PeggyU
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 12:16 am |

    So if you buy from someone who sells 499 trees, no tax?

  4. SondraK, TEA Party zombie
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 12:40 am |

    ^ Big Christmastree.

  5. Darrell
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 1:42 am |

    Won’t the Feds fine you $1000 if you write the word “Christmas” in the memo space on your check?

    I’d solve my tax issues by calling them “Holiday Trees” like Barack does. Or sue for not taxing “Festivus Poles.”

  6. Susan Lee
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 2:42 am |

    Wait! if you raise the price, increasing the bureaucracy for tree sellers, you’ll sell MORE?

    Some enterprising Atheist ought to sue ‘em for endorsement of a particular religion.

    Susan Lee

  7. The Digital Hairshirt
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 3:35 am |

    I want to know who are they gonna appoint to this “promotion board.” Bet you it will be a bunch of environmentalists since the ultimate goal is to eliminate Christmas trees . . . or turn them into compost for Michelle’s garden.

    Happy Eid!

  8. Paul Moore
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 4:05 am |

    I worked on Xmas tree “plantations” (They really call them that.)a few seasons before the Reagan recovery, because I like to eat. It’s the sort of work Americans won’t do- low pay, no benefits. They prune in July and paint in August, (really, latex paint helps the needles stay green and stuck) Come mid October the cutting and baling goes on seven daze a week, often past dark, rain or snow. One of my co-workers called it convict labor. I reminded him that there was a law against cruel and unusual punishment.

  9. Melissa In Texas
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 6:42 am |

    Didn’t he just catch a bunch of flack for calling them holiday trees?
    What? Is this payback for the backlash?
    Holiday tree just doesn’t work in the song, you moron! ;)

  10. Claire: barbarian, etc
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 6:57 am |

    Eid Twigs

  11. Claire: barbarian, etc
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 6:57 am |

    “It’s the sort of work Americans won’t do”
    yeah — aka “Agriculture”

  12. mech
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 7:22 am |


    How deep did they have to dig to find this heinous regulation?
    Who knows what other bombs are buried in the beltway paper storms.

  13. Posted November 9, 2011 at 7:53 am |

    When can we expect a 15¢ tax on prayer rugs to make them more popular?

  14. Lance
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 8:21 am |

    The only words that came into my head when I read this
    last nite, was, “this is only the beginning’!!!

    The lame excuse for this tax could be used for basically
    anything! Waittle next weeks “Birthday cake tax”!!

    I thought Christmas was primarily a Christian holiday??
    Oh, well whadda ‘speck from a Muslim precedent??

  15. mojo
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 8:22 am |

    They have an industry association, right?

    Refuse to collect the tax, and also drop the price of a tree by $0.30…

  16. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 8:28 am |

    That frosts my not Christmas balls.
    Looks like a good place to take a stand in a tax revolt like mojo says.

  17. DougM (jackassophobe)
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 9:46 am |

    They’re trying to get around the obvious illegality bureaucratic overextension by denying that it’s a tax because it’s not a government program.
    There’s your precedent.

  18. geezerette
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 10:11 am |

    Find out what pocket it goes in first— that would be your sign.

  19. Posted November 9, 2011 at 11:24 am |

    All things considered, let’s do the math:

    In a typical year, 30 Million fresh cut trees are sold. At $.15 tax ..er, Marketing Program, that’s,*counts fingers,rounds down the pinkie….$4,500,000.

    Captain Bullshit strikes again.

    I’m getting a plastic. Eff him and his Holiday Tree

  20. Paul Moore
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm |

    Claire: I was being ironic about the “work Americans won’t do” of course, since I’m third generation myself. There were some migrants on the job. We native Michiganders were amused by the way they greeted the first snow, rolling in it and having snowball fights. By noon they were wet and shivering.

  21. Melissa In Texas
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm |

    one word….

  22. PeggyU
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm |

    Ostensibly, they started the board because natural Christmas tree sales have been declining (hey, environmentalists bitch when you cut down trees, after all!). I think this may be more about forming an industry organization to lobby for gubmint subsidies.

  23. mech
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 10:36 pm |

    Hmmmm, it seems that somebody found a 39-1/2 foot pole with which to distance themselves from this tax.