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  • Morning Bell: Obama's Christmas Tree Tax

    Christmas is more than a month away, but the Obama Administration just couldn’t wait to hang a shiny new ornament on every fresh Christmas tree in America: a 15-cent tax to support a new federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees. Following a public outcry, the White House changed course, not a day later.

    No, it’s not a joke. Heritage Vice President David Addington broke the story Tuesday night on Foundry.org, writing that in the Federal Register of November 8, it was announced that the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint a Christmas Tree Promotion Board to run a “program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace.” Among its goals: “to enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States.” Yes, you read that correctly. The Obama Administration wanted the federal government to handle public relations for Christmas trees.

    How did the White House want to pay for it? With a 15-cent fee on all sales of fresh Christmas trees by sellers of more than 500 trees per year. As Addington wrote, “Of course, the Christmas tree sellers are free to pass along the 15-cent federal fee to consumers who buy their Christmas trees.” More taxes for American consumers in the middle of the Christmas season? Some present. Especially with the economy barely growing and 14 million Americans out of work. As Addington wrote, “Is a new tax on Christmas trees the best President Obama can do?”

    After the article was posted on Foundry.org, the story was picked up by the Drudge Report, more than a million people read it, and a firestorm erupted–including reaction from left-wing websites coming out in knee-jerk defense of the Obama Administration. One writer argued that the 15-cent fee is “far from a tax” while also trumpeting the positive benefits of the federal government “partnering” with industry for marketing and research.

    What they didn’t mention, though, is that it’s a partnership that many in the Christmas tree industry simply don’t want. As reported in the Federal Register, the industry “tried three different times to conduct promotional programs based on voluntary contributions. Each time, after about three years, the revenue declined to a point where the programs were ineffective.” In other words, many Christmas tree sellers decided they no longer wanted to participate in the programs.

    So what did the industry do? It sought a mandatory tax, imposed by the federal government, to force compliance among individual sellers who otherwise didn’t want to participate. And the Obama Administration was happy to oblige. Heritage’s Diane Katz says this episode underscores a fundamental problem with the White House’s philosophy:

    Clearly the Obama Administration is confused about free enterprise. Not only is it forcing Americans to buy specific types of health insurance, it is also forcing Christmas tree growers to pay into a government promotion fund that failed to garner voluntary contributions.

    The good news is that this Christmas story has a happy ending, at least for now. Not 24 hours after Heritage posted its report, the Obama Administration decided to delay its Christmas tree tax while the Department of Agriculture reconsiders its order, as ABC’s Jake Tapper reported. But what’s troubling is that, had this story not come to light, and had Americans not spoken out, yet another tax — another mandate from the federal government — would have been imposed on industry and the American people without their knowledge.

    Proponents of the fee might say it’s only 15 cents, but that’s just the problem. It’s so small that most folks might not notice. But given free rein, Washington will keep right on taxing until Americans are nickel-and-dimed to death. And if you hang too many ornaments on a Christmas tree, eventually it will collapse under the weight.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    82 Responses to Morning Bell: Obama's Christmas Tree Tax

    1. oldmtn says:

      Thanks Heritage for breaking the story, it's folks like you that help keep the people informed when the people are being stomped on this Admin.

      • farmer says:

        Unfortunately this story is untrue.

        The 15 ¢ is a Check off Program, there are tons of ag checkoff programs. Got Milk ? funded by one. The Incredible Edible Egg – funded by another. Beef, Its what's for dinner. by yet another. Get it ? farmers pay in when they sell the commodity. the funds used for promotion, education, research, etc.

        they are a good idea. run by a board. producers have input.

      • Z55 says:

        So, surely you are going to publish the real story now, right? It wasn't an Obama tax at all, the Christmas Tree Association of America voted among themselves and decided to start this commodity fee and promotion/research initiative. There are 20+ commodities that do this. The USDA oversees the programs, but does not start or administer them. The fees do NOT go to the government. So, heritage.org, are you going to do the right thing and set the record straight?

    2. RG Schmidt says:

      Maybe I didn't get the latest Obama revised copy, but the Constitution I have says only Congress can establish a tax.

      • David Lubin says:

        Didn't you hear? The Constitution is a "living" document. Kind of like the American dollar. Better run with it while you can.

      • J.A. Russell says:

        I asked about this once regarding the FCC's charge on my phone bill (for giving internet to libraries and people who don't want to pay for it).

        My senator, Mary Landrieu, wrote me a very courteous reply which said that the court had declared that it was not a TAX but a FEE and therefor not subject to the Constitution's Origination Clause.

        • Bobbie says:

          when did it become ethical that government fix taxing under the term fees? Businesses can't add taxes paid for their product to gain profit! why can government set fees ANYWHERE? government lays taxes on us and twists the word into one that protects government and calls it FEES? what THIEVES! and the sky isn't blue in appearance either, is it?

    3. dan says:

      Uh, besides the supidity and overreach of the proposed tax, aren't taxes supposed to originate and be passed in the Congress?

      • Bob says:

        Not under Obama's rule! He has executive powers. Remember? You ain't seen nothing yet!

      • Bill Olson says:

        Ah, absolutely correct! Tax levys must start in the House and must be passed by both houses. The USDA administers, note the word used, about 20 commodity programs for US farmers(cotton- the fabric of our life, beef- it's what's for dinner, etc). The money that USDA administers comes from the farmers in that industry that have chosen (that is not a tax) to contribute to the fund. In this case 70% of the members of the Christmas Tree Growers Assn. chose to have the USDA promote their product, to get people the buy Christmas trees grown in the US rather than a fake one from China. Ron Paul will get the government out of the farmers' business. Vote for RON.

    4. Scott D says:

      This story misses the important part, which should be a running soundbite in the next election:

      A Federal government that thinks its proper role is to run a Christmas Tree Promotion Board is simply out of control and most be stopped.

    5. Marc Hoffman says:

      How in the world can the President simply impose a new tax? Did this go through Congress? If the President had the authority to just raise taxes "willy nilly", then he wouldn't be going around the country telling the American people that his jobs bill "can't wait."

      The real issue here is the President overstepping his authority. Where is the check and balance here?

      • Leftshot says:

        Yes, I would very much like to see The Heritage Foundation follow up on this point. The Constitution seems very clear on this: Only Congress has the authority to raise taxes. I haven't heard anything that suggests that Congress authorized this or had any role in this. This seems like another unconstitutional act by an administration that would just LOVE to do more of this on a grander scale judging by the President's rhetoric and actions.

      • Mary says:

        It's not a tax. It is a fee that the industry, with the approval of the Agriculture Department, have imposed on themselves. What the Christmas tree producers proposed, and did, was set up a marketing entity that will collect a fee from producers to produce ads, etc., to market their product. It is the same kind of thing that pays for those famous milk commericials, for advertising of apples, and soy, and pistachios, etc. They asked the Agriculture Department to approve a 15-cent fee, per tree, on domestic producers and importers to pay for these marketing efforts. It was requested by the industry, to benefit the industry, and to be paid for by the industry. The Agriculture Department's job was to solicit public feedback — it did, and found that most supported the proposal. This week, they gave the industry the okay to proceed. That's all that happened. (I'm a marketing professional who has worked with similar marketing boards for apples, soy, bean and legumes, and more.)

    6. Theseus says:

      If Congress had not delegated over the years so much of its authority to the Executive branch bureaucracies we would not have to worry about this aspect of crony capitalism.

    7. Robert, TX says:

      A ridiculous idea, and an even more ridiculous waste of time. Why not report that the State of Texas (the so-called bastion of modern conservatism) has been siphoning 2-3 billion dollars per year from our transportation revenues – to pay for our massive social programs – every year for the last sixteen years. In Tarrant County alone, we are constructing 4 separate, new tollroads because we just don't have the money. All of the taxes and fees were proposed, and raised, to support our roads yet they steal this money to buy votes – and then hit us with tolls on top of everything else. And I assure you every other state is doing the exact same thing. And it costs a LOT more than 15 cents.

    8. Todd says:

      The Obama administration is out of control. And Congress sits idly by doing nothing. November 2012 cannot come fast enough.

    9. inverbrass says:

      If only the government would deliver our mail, guard our shores and leave us alone, and by extension leave the US Postal Service alone. The only thing more frightening than our dysfunctional, corrupt, too large, and mis-managed government are the fools that put them in power.

    10. sdfultz says:

      This is a industry generated fee to create revenue for advertising themselves, imposed by themselves.
      You guys should be ashamed cluttering the news with this stuff, I'm trying my best to have faith in the traditional clear thinking from Heritage.
      Please don't let me down, we do have some real problems to deal with.

      • saveamerica says:

        create revenue for advertising themselves? why did the government involve themselves? businesses use their own money to advertise their products without government intervening! and since when do Christmas trees need advertisement and at a cost? Times are a changing so are interests, why pretend? with the population in this country they will either have a good season or not. probably not after this stab in the back.

        i appreciate Heritage exposing unconstitutional government wherever it's at, so thank you very much Heritage, for keeping us informed through your excellent work!

      • This is a big deal. The gov't is once again deciding which industry survives and which fails. They will be having a Christmas Tree Bailout before you know it. If more people are buying artificial tress and the 'live tree' industry is feeling the crunch, oh well. That's how the "free market' works. Survival of the fittest. There are changes in industry everyday-it all depends on what the consumers wants at that time.It's call supply and demand. If the consumers aren't demanding the product then there is no need to keep supplying it. But the biggest reason Obama changed his mind about the tax is because it had the word "Christmas" in it. The Obama's call it a "Holiday Tree" which is kinda funny-the origination of that word is "Holy Day" . OMG-OBAMA MUST GO.

    11. Hillbilly says:

      Can a Plastic Surgeon remedy the Long Nose of the Fed Govm't? By-the-way this Christmas Tree tax is a European Style Hidden Tax.-I can now understand why the Adm tried to sneak this tax through. How many times on other items have Hidden Taxes been sneaked through? …….SCARY….

    12. patricia says:

      The government IS the problem……….or lack of it. He and his donothing congress should be fired……..this is going from ridiculous to absolutely absurd!!!!!!

    13. ThatGirl says:

      That it's taken two years for the Administration to approve the growers' request suggests that the Administration could indeed 'wait'. Wait, that is, to approve a measure which would promote a product that is 100% American-made, sales of which have been declining steadily during the last several years, due to competition from an industry largely based outside of the US.

      The industry employs Americans to produce an American-made product. Promoting that industry would've been worth an extra 15 cents this year to me.

      • sdfultz says:

        Our insight is falling on deaf ears

        • Erin B. says:

          that's because some people are more interested in finding anything to bash the opposition with instead of focusing on providing real solutions to our growing problems. it's lazy and maddening.

    14. Jeff says:

      Your complete characterization of this story is so wrong it makes me sick. It is not a tax it is a self imposed assessment by an in industry which will utilize nearly every dollar to help the industry. The government has very little involvement in the operation of the promotion board and the agency overseeing the program to assure that the funds are spent as proposed by the industry receives an administrative fee from the fund to off set government costs. Once the government gives authorization of the program, the industry must vote on the program to authorize it. If the majority in the industry are against it, it does not happen. It also will be voted upon again in three years by the industry to see if they want to keep it. There are some problems with voluntary programs. The first is once one person or company chooses not to participate, they then have a competitive edge over others in the industry. They continue to receive the benefits of the program from those who participate, but before long, those that know of the success and good of the program have no choice but to stop participating because they can't as effectively compete. It is a ripple effect which effectively hurts the industry. So while you say that so many left the voluntary program, I can guarantee you that most left, because they had no choice. This program is the same as "Got milk", and the many other industry driven programs that raise money to help promote their industry.

      You have to remember that these folks are competing against the artificial tree industry. Nearly all of these trees are made out of this country and are supported by governments such as the Chinese. Have you ever seen the type of resources the Chinese (and other countries) put into competing against foreign goods? This money comes directly from the foreign governments, our government does not, nor should they sponsor this, but they should allow an industry the opportunity to assess itself to compete in global marketplace.

      • Jeanne Stotler says:

        I would love to have real trees, we put up 2, How do you suppose I could get around my allergies. I am allergic to the sap and break out like I hav e Poisin Ivy, besides this the fragrance sets off my asthma and I cannot be in the same room, OH! I guess I could stay in my room during the holidays with my meds and inhaler. Don't knock the artificial trees, they have a purpose. The onacolagy ward at Childrens don't need a tree, why give sick kids a purpose in life? WAke up not all of us can have real trees.

      • Mike says:

        You are entirely correct. With all this administration is doing to tax and spend this is all Heritage could come up with? And to read some of the comments…I really have to wonder.

    15. Kassandra Romas says:

      The US Constitution allows ONLY Congress the authority to levy taxes.
      No other department is allowed to do so.
      Once again, this administration is usurping the law, defying the law, and ignoring the tenets of the law.

      It is the responsibility of the President of the US, the Department of Justice, to uphold the laws of the land.
      Otherwise, they are in contempt of our Constitution.

      • mrrzk says:

        Laws of the land? Are you kidding? Obama doesnt know what a law is if it hit him between the eyes. He doesnt care about our laws, our Constitution, us Americans or ANYTHING THAT IS AMERICAN.

        Unless, its to further his power and pocket book. He will TAKE what he wants and doesnt care what anyone says or thinks..
        THEY ARE IN CONTEMPT OF OUR CONSTITUTION, but who cares???? We cant seem to do anything about it.!!!!

      • John says:

        Uh, yes, the authority for the check off programs came from Congress… in 1996… from legislation sponsored by 15 Republicans… including co-sponsor John Boehner. Maybe if you did some research instead of being a lemming, you'd know that.

    16. Al Carreau says:

      Great article, but maybe it should be pointed out that: This is another illegal attempt by the Obama administration to impose a new tax without involving our congress. (Art. I, Sec. 8): "The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises,…"

    17. Dale Hunter says:

      I think I recall that our new President promised not to increase taxes "one thin dime" to 95% of the tax payers. I guess three nickels give him an out on this promise??

    18. Larry White says:

      “Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty” was a simple poster on the bulletin board in our U.S. Air Force boot camp barracks in 1959. Thank God for the internet, the Heritage Foundation and some of us old conservatives who read…even at 17 years old. A little bit here, a little bit there, a million here, a trillion there, pretty soon we‘re talking about real money. _ At first, I thought the Obama Administration was trying to tax “the Christ in Christmas Tree”! Oh well, we only have 436 days left on Obama’s Watch. Thanks for your vigilance Heritage

    19. Curt Krehbiel says:

      This is a punitive tax and regulation imposed by a president who thinks he is the only Santa Clause we need.

    20. guest says:

      I would like to know WHAT is going to stop this administration, and WHEN?
      There seems to be no end to their "ideas", proposals and attempts to further
      THEIR agenda.

      • gary sheldon says:

        When "conservatives" in the House refuse to fund the Tyrant's ideas they are regarded as "DO NOTHING" types when in truth they are doing plenty to stop the snowplow of the country's top TYRANT. ALL media complain about the do-nothing Congress. The House now needs to defund the HELL out of EVERY useless department and job killing regulators. Then we have the REAL,ehtnically predjudiced CBC ACLU, and climate gate GORE folks and the foolishnes that is behind these schemes.

      • Bob says:

        The question to what and when has an easy answer – VOTE!

    21. Don Vander Jagt says:

      If you want less of anything tax it, if you want more of a thing subsidise it.
      Our present White House occupant has chosen the later, because that is who he is.

    22. Steve Pike says:

      Obama is not confused about free enterprise. He wants to destroy our free enterprise capitalistic economic system and replace it with a Govt. managed socialistic one where the State micromanages the economy. Deep down Obama is a Gramsci Marxist.

    23. Jane says:

      Here's the crux of the issue. If the industry wants to take a portion of their profits and come together as an industry to market their trees then that's perfectly fine and they should do it. But, it is not the federal government's job to collect a tax and then help them to market their product or to make it fair for all the growers. If a grower chooses not to participate, then that's his choice. And yes, he may collect some benefits by not participating. The industry has to make the general marketing of their product such that growers will want to be a part of the campaign and voluntarily pay a fee to do so. What many of us objected to was not the amount of the tax but the idea that the government would be sticking its nose into a private industry to help market it. This is not the federal government's job. It's simply one more example of this administration's over reach into areas it has no business being a part of.

    24. Viper1938 says:

      Article I, Sections 7 & 8 of the Constitution clearly state that Congress has the power to raise revenue and to lay and collect taxes. The Constitution does NOT give such authority to the President. It is my understanding that Obama studied Constitutional Law. He should know exactly what he is doing, however, it becomes more obvious every day the he really does not care what the Constitution says. He either does not have a clue how things really work or he is intentionally making decisions to bring the United States of America to its knees. It appears to me that he is not trying to spread the wealth on the world, he is attempting even the wealth by bring the U.S. down.

    25. John King says:

      A 15? tax per tree sounds small but given the history of this foolishness, we could easily have expected the CTPB to become its own cabinet agency before long with its own Secretary of Christmas.

      • WVSickFreak says:

        Come on, you know this administration. Obama would never have a Secretary of Christmas. It would have to be a Secretary of Winter Solstice.

    26. KerryB29 says:

      Ok, the DofA is a government entity. The DofA wants to take $.15 per tree (whether you call it a tax or not) for a FEDERAL program to "improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees." Doesn't this somehow violate that (imaginary) separation of church and state that liberals love so much?

    27. Amanda says:

      Thanks Heritage! This is exactly why we need you.

    28. oglethrope says:

      There are many (or at least have been many) similar "market promotion boards" managed by the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service over the past several decades. Each new such undertaking was routinely rejected by interagency committiees for many of the reasons cited but just as routinely approved by previous administrations in the interest of aiding the "affected" industry. In each case a new bureaucracy would be created to oversee the enterprise with staff, budgets, and associated government overhead. Bad idea made even worse by the current administration.

    29. Rachel Pergl says:

      Owning my own small business, I was always at the understanding that businesses should use their own hard work, their own money and their own creativity to market thier product or service. I have never gotten up in the morning and thought "Hmm… I need blank amount of dollars for a radio spot. I sure hope the government will tax my clients so I can pay for that spot." This is what FREE market is all about. You work hard, you compete, you win. Here is my thought. We already know about the infamous Holiday Tree (not Christmas tree) going up in the White House this year. There seems to be an underlying plan to attack Christmas from our beloved administration. We all know that Obama is going to try to get his hand into everything and he already has our healthcare system. Why Christmas Trees. There are so many other agricultural markets out their. Are pumpkin patches struggling to survive? What about apple orchards, or organic cattle farms?….. the list goes on. I just hope the Republican party gets their act together by the election, gives us a strong candidate and gets rid of this clown. We have had enough of his majesties meddling!!!!!

    30. toledofan says:

      Good job HF. Clearly the Obama Administration is confused about free enterprise; the sentence should have read clearly the Obama administration is confused about everything relating to how government operates, what the Constiitution stipulates and who handles the money. Maybe they could have politely written Clueless in Washington.

    31. SMALLRGOVTNOW says:

      15 cents this time, 4 or 5 bucks next time then . . . ( Remember when ATM's were free?)
      - and WHY is congress silent on this??

    32. S. Hayes says:

      So, is the ACLU primed to sue the O regime for supporting religion / Christmas? And since when is the U.S. Gubment an ad agency for hire? If the tree growers want to chip in together and run an ad campaign, there are numerous agencies in the business of doing just that, agencies that hire people, that create jobs when they have sufficient clients. Or, is this another example of what the O calls job creation? For Washington do-nothings to funnel union dues back to the regime? And as John King mentions ahead of me, the 15 cents is just the beginning for the new agency. This is how bureaucrats think. Just a little office down the hall today, and tomorrow a $50 billion ad agency to nationalize advertising for all industries – both foreign and domestic – and all "revenues" payable to the regime for redistribution, etc., etc.

    33. Anonymous says:

      This is totally ridiculous! It just goes to show that the Obama administration is trying to get nithing but money out of people.

    34. John Galt says:

      This tax was slated to raise some $2million per year, which would be spent here promoting Christmas tree sales. It is clearly another attempt to stimulate the economy by taxing the wealthy, who can afford Christmas trees! Wasn't the recent "jobs" package costing the taxpayer $200,000 per job? At that rate, that would be 10 additional jobs across the nation. Hmmmmm, I feel really stimulated!

    35. MRCano says:

      Assuming 4 people pay tax for one tree, the greedy grinch in the white house and not a PR firm, would profit just about $11,750,000 minimum from taxing Christmas trees – that's Eleven million, seven hundred and fifty million dollars profit. Now that is some cash with which o can bribe voters!

    36. FlaJim says:

      A small tax is always how government gets its nose under the tent. It's easy to see that if some large Christmas tree retailers want this, the next step would be to include smaller retailers followed by regulations requiring that the trees pass quality control inspections with stiff fines for violators. The tax would be raised regularly, too.

    37. Wayne, La. says:

      The truth is coming out at Christmas. It is an appropriate time for a Christmas tax. The present dictatorial regime is beginning to nickle and dime people to death. I hope that people will understand that the only issue that needs to be addressed is spending restraint. I wonder if that will ever happen?

    38. elainebeachlover says:

      I am actually surprised that it is being called a tax on "Christmas" trees and not "Holiday" trees or whatever. Does this mean the government is actually recognizing Christmas?

    39. Amber says:

      In the spirit of being informed please read up on the FACTS of the New Christmas Tree Checkoff Program. This program was requested by the industry in 2009. A group of Christmas Tree farmers and retailers spent nearly three years studying the potential positives and negatives of a checkoff promotion and research program, including looking at other agricultural commodities that have similar programs. Agricultural commodities such as cotton, beef, eggs, pork, etc. All of these programs have been instrumental in bringing consumers commodity-oriented messages. Again, all in the spirit of being informed.

    40. clsinger says:

      Two thoughts after reading this: 1. I thought "Christmas" was taboo as far as the government is concerned. "Holiday" o.k., "Christmas" no way. So they really want to tax "Holiday" trees, right? 2. Weren't Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem for a census count that would ultimately be used for an increase in taxes? If I'm remembering that correctly, this additional tax seems almost…, expected, if you will. (and for those of you who don't see this as a tax but rather as a fee to help this industry, any money a government demands you to pay, for whatever reason, is a tax.)

    41. Ross Stockwell says:

      Just another way to get more government employees.

    42. Mike, Hickory, NC says:

      "But what’s troubling is that, had this story not come to light, and had Americans not spoken out, yet another tax — another mandate from the federal government — would have been imposed on industry and the American people without their knowledge", and "Proponents of the fee might say it’s only 15 cents, but that’s just the problem. It’s so small that most folks might not notice. But given free rein, Washington will keep right on taxing until Americans are nickel-and-dimed to death". Those two quotes, along with the rest of the story, help expose the government power-growing, liberty decreasing Statist agenda and how progressively "Progressives" and others have been imposing it, deliberately and by default, as in: "How do you boil a frog? 1-degree-at-a-time"…though now they and the mobs are are going more for "all at once".

    43. Pete Houston says:

      If the Christmas Tree Industry needs to market and sell themselves. They can start a Trade Organization to do that and the federal goverment can focus on self defense, Interstate commerce, and size reduction. What business does the federal goverment have in christmas trees marketing and sales. Sounds like the agricultural department does not have enough to do. Or this just another way to take money and give to a buddy of the administrations marketing company for a future or past favor.

    44. Sandra says:

      Would this tax have applied to HOLIDAY trees, or only CHRISTMAS trees???

    45. Troy Jacobs says:

      Maybe this administration is showing their true colors.. they not only want to tax the rich, they want to tax all Americans, starting with this small, but TAX INCREASE proposal… surely there is no relation to the fact that Christmas is the second most revered holiday for many christiasn… but I'm sure it's just coincedence…

    46. Patrick Burke says:

      This is outrageous! Where do they stop!
      These foolish politicians think new taxes on the citizenry are their "National Bank" from which they can make withdrawals at will.
      This tax, in the midst of this miserable economy, shows without doubt that those responsible for this tax proposal have NO IDEA of what made this great nation successful.
      Our system of Capitalism needs tweeked not gutted.

    47. Julia says:

      I am so sick and tired of Obama and the Democrats actions.

    48. Unca_Ruckus says:

      Hmm. according to the 1996 U.S Farm Bill, that wasn't a tax, but a commodity checkoff program. It was approved by the National Christmas Tree Growers Association and talks started during the Bush Administration. According to my research, this is the same program that they used for milk, eggs, beef, and pork advertisements. I guess you can show Obama how much you truly hate America by buying the fake tree made in China.
      Oh, look here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgORCMDChBs&fe
      Then again, it's just the "lame stream" media trying to brainwash you, right?

    49. Tired Ofit says:

      This story has been wrong and misleading from the outset, and the authors continue deliberating misleading the public. Turning the facts into a lie is not a game — it is lying. For those who believe this tripe, please seek other sites to learn the truth.

      • Bobbie says:

        oh really? so there's no government involvement? if government and it's added expense is, has been or will be involved, you're misleading!

        • Got milk? says:

          Tired ofit it right. It is a checkoff program. Do a little research or don't post if you don't know what you are talking about.

    50. Entropy says:

      Obama should go perform an anatomical impossibility on himself!!

    51. Disgusted farmer says:

      Please delete this article. It really calls into question your credibility.

      This is not a tax, it is a checkoff program just like many of the other agricultural products have ( like beff, dairy, eggs, soybeans, peanuts, …).

      Do some research.

    52. Hmmmm…food for thought today: do we need the Secretary of Agriculture to appoint a Christmas Tree Promotion Board?

    53. Rhyscurrency says:

      Where I live they have a special Christmas tree pick up and the tree are mulched and used in parks for playgounds and other areas.

    54. Mainer says:

      Too bad you didn't do some investigating before posting inaccurate information. Here's the truth: http://bangordailynews.com/2011/11/25/business/is

    55. TimeForLogic says:

      Perhaps we should disband the Milk Marketing Board and its "Got Milk" campaign, and the Beef Council, both highly successful programs that were requested by their industries- because both of these programs are identical to the one the Christmas Tree Growers Association wanted to set set up.

      Too bad your no compromise position will condemn an industry to have no way to fight back against ever cheaper foreign artificial tree imports, ultimately making live home grown trees rarer and more expensive.

      Thanks a lot.

    56. Galaxis says:

      You dummies do realize hat this was started under the Bush administration, right?

    57. Frankly True says:

      More twisting and half truths by Heritage, have they no shame. The industry asked for this–it is not a tax…so a self-imposed fee by an industry on itself to promote itself is nothing Obama had a thing to do with. But it makes good copy of Heritage.
      And you people lap it up.
      Did yu bother to investigate further?

    58. I have been surfing online greater than three hours lately, but I by no means discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is beautiful price sufficient for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net can be much more helpful than ever before.

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