Look, I’m no fan of the current POTUS. I think he’s earnest, works hard, and is actually quite smart, but the guy has failed the American people in one of the most important jobs of the President, leadership.
That said, I have little patience for stupid distractions. The latest involves a series of blog posts and Fox News reports that range from the somewhat sensible, Christmas tree tax to promote the real thing, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune, to the absolutely ridiculous, Obama Couldn’t Wait: His New Christmas Tree Tax from The Heritage Network. The latter of course quite stupidly implying that the President is taxing Christmas.
Here’s the reality:
The Christmas Tree “assessment” is essentially the same thing as all of the other USDA sponsored generic advertising campaigns financed by producers with the intent to increase demand. Promotional boards exist for big commodities such as beef, milk, cheese, pork, eggs etc but also for smaller specialty crop industries such as blueberries, mushrooms, peanuts, and watermelon, and now Christmas trees.
Now, is it possible that the assessment will be passed on to consumers? Sure. So let’s be on the look out for trees that cost $50.14 instead of $49.99.
Frankly I’m not sure how effective these generic ad campaigns are for specialty crops, but 70% of growers supported this assessment so they must see a pretty big upside.
A more reasonable debate would be around how any of the “incredible edible egg” adverts end up “needing” to be, I’ll be generous here, facilitated, by a federal agency. I’d much rather some particularly ambitious Christmas tree farmer create their own foundation for the promotion of said item, ask for donations from growers and so forth (proving via business case that for every dollar spent, expect x dollars in return sales, etc.) My main point here is that this is not, as Fox News would have us believe, an OMG Obama is taxing Christmas wharrgarbl!
There are plenty of real items to criticize our POTUS for and there is even real debate to be had within this very issue. But not the way the right wing press is trying to couch it for rating’s sake.