As if there isn't enough apprehension about the economy these days, as if the popular culture hasn't already transformed the Christmas season from one of Christian joy to one of commercial anxiety, Congress may yet Scrooge over one of the most endearing activities of the season, the one purchase people genuinely look forward to: the buying of a Christmas tree. Yes, Virginia, there is a tax clause in the new farm bill. An agreement between House and Senate negotiators ironing out differences between the respective chambers' versions of a new farm bill includes a per-tree tax on Christmas tree growers. The growers then will pass it on to Christmas tree retailers who will, in turn, pass it on to consumers. Trickle down government at its convoluted best.
Good grief, Charlie Brown, you blockhead. You owe Congress a Christmas tree tax!
You may remember that President Barack Obama attempted this a few years ago, but the country's Bob Cratchits rose up and the idea was as warmly received as egg nog past its sell-by date. Now, however, a Christmas tree tax may be a stocking stuffer from House Republicans to Senate Democrats in order to reach a deal in an attempt to pass a farm bill that Republicans say must trim food stamp spending.
Congress might as well throw in a jingle bell tax, too. That’s how farm-related a lot of the “farm” bill is. The "farm" policies Congress is considering include:
» 80 percent food stamps: The House bill would make modest changes to this welfare program, but the Senate would do virtually nothing to rein in the massive growth in food stamp spending.
» Ultra-high-speed broadband access for rural areas.
» Policies that actually drive up food prices for Americans.
» Giving money to farmers for doing absolutely nothing.
Congress may agree to consider a new farm bill any time now. As it is, taxpayers could be looking at a trillion-dollar, subsidy-filled disaster — complete with a Christmas tree tax. Humbug.
If House Republicans think they're going to get real welfare reform from Senate Democrats in a "farm bill" for a mere Christmas tree tax, they probably really do believe in (spoiler alert for the children) Santa Claus. Sorry, Virginia.
Oh, (taxed) Christmas Tree! Sing the word "taxed" at the appropriate time during this video. Why not? According to the singer, there are many versions of this song. Congress may have inspired a new one.