RUSH: Folks, there’s a thing out there, “Obama’s Christmas tree tax.” It’s not quite accurate to say this. The American Spectator has this right. “The news that the [regime’s] Department of Agriculture is implementing a ‘Christmas Tree Tax’ has provoked outrage from folks worried about a War on Christmas — and also those worried about taxes.
“The tax, however, wasn’t the [Regime]’s idea. It was the Christmas tree lobby’s creation,” and the reason is: “Real Christmas trees have been steadily losing market share to artificial trees, so growers and retailers lobbied the Department of Agriculture to institute a checkoff tax and use the funds to promote real trees. The USDA has similar programs for a number of commodities, e.g. ‘Got Milk?’ and ‘Where’s the Beef?’ (sic). The feds are authorized to raise revenues for such programs under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996. Needless to say, there is no problem in the Christmas tree market that necessitates this program.
“I haven’t seen any poll numbers,” the writer here says in the American Spectator, “but I’m going to go ahead and assume that Americans are satisfied with the currently available types of Christmas trees, and that their choices of trees are reasonably informed.” Christmas trees in an economy like this start getting up to 65, 75, $80 for a Christmas tree every year that you’re gonna throw away. People opt for the artificial they can bring out every year so they may pop for 150 bucks for an artificial tree, but they’ve got it every year. They spend the 150 and they’re done with it. There has been a negative impact on the real tree, the real Christmas tree industry. So, yeah, that’s what they shoulda done is move to tax the artificial trees, but the tax is actually supposed to subsidize the real tree guys because of the pain and suffering. But this writer at the American Spectator blog says, “The Christmas Tree Tax is not part of some larger War on Christmas, it just represents the successful lobbying efforts of Christmas tree growers.
“But their struggles are not the public’s problem. If they want to fund a promotional campaign for their product, they should do it themselves, without involving the USDA. That goes for all similar checkoff taxes, such as the ones for beef, milk, soybeans, etc. There’s no reason the federal government should be involved in shaping consumer preferences,” but they are. It’s a lobbying effort. This is why so many of us say it’s gonna be really difficult to get rid of the tax code as it’s currently structured because look at power. Just look at the simple power of social architecture. When you give a lobbyist something for an agent like the Christmas tree growers, you own ’em. It’s just a tremendous amount of power that people have. But there’s a story out there that Obama couldn’t wait, his new Christmas tree tax. You could say it makes some sense to blame him because the federal government is for this, but it wasn’t his idea — and it’s not that he disagrees with it, either. I’m sure he’s all happy and hunky-dory with it.
RUSH: By the way, ladies and gentlemen, Obama has called off the Christmas tree tax. Just happened. I speak and he moves. And it’s over with. The Christmas tree tax, actually what it was, the Christmas tree tax, to be specific, it was to hire a PR firm to go out and extol the virtues of a real Christmas tree. That’s what the tax really was. It was not a tax going to the growers themselves to subsidize them for lack of sales. It was to hire a PR firm to go out there and try to convince you to buy a real tree.
This is a big moment in American history. I don’t know if you people realize this. This is precedent setting. We have found a tax that Obama doesn’t like because it might help Christmas. Stop and think of that. Only I, El Rushbo, able to read the stitches on the fastball, would make that — I mean, you go out, you have a Christmas tree tax at the same time your own government’s trying to get rid of nativity scenes, at the same time your own government’s trying to get rid of any religious symbolism regarding Christmas. And all of a sudden you have a Christmas tree tax that promotes Christmas trees and so forth. It sounds too much like a Christian outreach program. Can’t have that. I mean Rashid Khalidi and Bill Ayers and others would get mighty upset about that. So Obama steps in and makes sure that his regime is not gonna be confused with supporting Christmas.