The big news today is that the famous Christmas Tree Tax brought to you by Your Federal Government is "on hold." The most interesting thing is how the story had knees jerking all over the web.
For example, the always amusing hacks at Media Matters objected:
Far from a tax initiated by the Obama administration, the proposal to create an assessment on tree growers to fund a research and promotion program through the USDA was begun by the industry during the Bush administration.Ah, blaming Bush. Is there anything we can't blame on him? Do the Media Matters people have a hotkey set up where they can just paste a blame-Bush paragraph into any article they're composing?
Preferable is Alex Tabarrok of Marginal Revolution, who places the tax in context of, not the War Against Christmas, but the equally nasty competition between real and fake trees. How nasty? Alex quotes the real-tree website:
Actually fake trees were invented by a company who made toilet bowl brushes, the Addis Brush Company. Regardless of how far the technology has come, it's still interesting to know the first fake Christmas trees were really just big green toilet bowl brushes.But Republicans gloating over this boneheaded, ham-handed effort from the Democrats should sober up by reading Tad DeHaven at Cato. The legislation allowing such shenanigans was passed in 1996, with mostly GOP support. (The only Republican Senator voting no: John McCain!) DeHaven concludes:
Unfortunately, certain people saw the “Christmas Tree Tax” as an opportunity to further partisan aims rather than provoke a discussion and debate on the proper role of the federal government."Indeed."