Christmas Tree Fee is Right to Work Issue, not Tax Issue

What may be the most festive political scandal of all time broke Tuesday when the Heritage Foundation reported that a 15 cent tax would be applied to each fresh Christmas Tree sold this holiday season.

After the tax spent the day getting slammed across the internets, Obama and friends decided to delay the implementation of this. Hopefully the delay is permanent. The tax would not go into Uncle Sam’s coffers, but instead would be directly used to set up a program run by the National Christmas Tree Association to promote Christmas trees. All retailers of Christmas Trees would be required to pay to fund this program, regardless of whether or not they believed it would represent their interests.

This sounds an awful lot like the forced-unionism which exists in non-Right to Work states, only on retailers rather than workers. Furthermore, it is more dangerous than forcing union membership upon workers as a condition of employment. It is easier for a worker to find a new job than for a retailer or producer to change what he sells or makes. This scheme would have forced unwilling Christmas tree retailers and producers into paying for this promotional program under the guise of providing promotional support.

If Christmas tree producers wish to band together and launch a campaign which promotes their product, they have every right in the world to do so. The fact that the National Christmas Tree Association turned to the government to organize these efforts and coercively recruit members only shows that this is not desired by the sellers and producers of Christmas trees.  Although the critics of this plan were misguided in their denouncing it as a tax, we are fortunate that the outrage which percolated across the internet today was able to shut down this scheme.

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