Jim DeMint Explains Obama's Brand New Christmas Tree Tax

Tyler Durden's picture

You really can't make this up

Crony Capitalism, Christmas Trees, and the Stupidest Tax of All Time

No, it’s not a joke.  President Obama really is imposing a special new tax on Christmas trees.

And while the policy seems a ludicrous political misstep – and possibly an unconstitutional one at that – in truth, the Obama Christmas Tree Tax is much worse than that.

The $2 million the Obama Administration expects the tax to raise will not reduce the deficit or cover needed government services.  Instead, it will serve as a marketing slush fund for the Christmas tree industry.

The money will set up a brand new government agency called (no, seriously) the Christmas Tree Promotion Board.  The CTPB will use the $2 million to hire a staff – most likely the industry lobbyists who cooked up this scheme –  and then run advertisements to “enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry of the United States.”

Don’t the Christmas tree growers and retailers already do that?  Yes.  Isn’t marketing something that all companies should do with their profits, to grow their business and attract new customers?  Yes.

And while we’re asking questions, does anyone in America – anyone? – believe that Christmas trees have a bad image that needs taxpayer-subsidized improvement?

So why should the government-funded Christmas Tree Promotion Board tax us to fund a marketing campaign?  So the Christmas tree industry can pocket the $2 million they now won’t have to spend marketing their trees.

That’s it.  That’s the whole purpose of the Obama Christmas Tree Tax: to take money from hard-working families celebrating Christmas and give it to clever lobbyists and businessmen running a crony-capitalist subsidy scam.

And while this policy will, by design, help one group of people, it will hurt others: businesses that sell artificial Christmas trees, people who work at your local stores that sell them, and, don’t forget, the consumers who are out 15 cents a tree.

Business groups using government connections to enrich themselves by hurting everyone else.  Makes you just want to break into “O Holy Night,” doesn’t it?

Hopefully, the Crony Capitalists in the Obama Administration have gone too far this time, and public backlash will force Congress to shut down the Christmas Tree Promotion Board and repeal the single stupidest tax of all time. I will soon offer an amendment on the Senate floor to do just that.

All I want for Christmas is a free market.

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Ahmeexnal's picture

Time to switch to a christmas pumpkin.

BlueStreet's picture

Or maybe a Festivus pole.

Ahmeexnal's picture

Maybe it's Ogolfer's first step to force people to switch to a tax-free Islam.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Obama is godless.  He worships power.  Obama has never read the Quran.  He has probably never read the Constitution.

redpill's picture

This is the most rigoddamndiculous thing I've ever heard of.  Completely stupid and pointless.  Not even Obama lemmings would think up such a thing.  Just the economic cost of forcing all Christmas tree sellers to levy and remit a federal tax is going to be more than 15 cents a tree.  And how does he do this by Executive Order?  Is he deliberately trying to lose the election or what?

Panic Panic Panic's picture

Another example of Big Tree keeping me down.

tarsubil's picture

That is exactly how they'll spin it. What's the big deal? We are only stealing a couple million? What do you care?

MisterMousePotato's picture

When you start thinking there's no difference between the parties, compare and contrast the words of Senator DeMint with those of, oh, say, Nancy Pelosi and/or Harry Reid.

tarsubil's picture

Why not compare actions and results instead?

grekko's picture

What about separation of church and state?   We all know what X-mas trees celebrate!  Happy holidays everyone, not Merry Christmas!  Ha!

FlyPaper's picture

Now we have the Cub Scouts collecting taxes on work they do to raise money to get their patches.

Can't get people to buy into soak-the-middle class?

Soak the scouts instead!

MisterMousePotato's picture

For people as sophisticated as the average Zero Hedge reader, I cannot understand how they cannot seem to understand the limitations on the power of the minority party in, for example, the U.S. Senate. The fact is that Jim DeMint has no more influence over Senate bills and legislation, really, than I do. Are you going to fault me, too, for not passing legislation in the Senate we all agree is necessary and appropriate?

Senator DeMint is, by the way, doing yeoman's work with his Senate Conservatives Fund trying to rid us of the political GOP hacks in the Senate, and deserves credit for that.

tarsubil's picture

Did Jim have any influence when his party had majorities?

MisterMousePotato's picture

No. But he's slowly starting to gain. It's going to take many more election cycles, I fear. I might be dead by then. But ... until Collins, Snowe, McStain, et al., are gone, what're we gonna do? I'd like to see what any of us would/could do with those albatrosses around our neck. Thank God Castle and Spector are gone. And no Charlie Crist either. No, things are not progressing quickly enough, but at least they're going in the right direction.

tarsubil's picture

I think you're right. We'll all be dead before voting makes one shit of difference. Meanwhile, our kids will be getting ass raped by oligarchs.

mkkby's picture

It's another attack by TPTB in Israel.  Jews don't celebrate Christmas.  Sink your teeth into this raw meat ZHers.

V in PA's picture

Hanukkah bushes weren't covered under the tax? Oh my!

Carlyle Groupie's picture

Notice they are taxing Americans. No dreidel tax or menorah tax?? Think about it. Oppress Americans let the chosen people thrive.

opg84's picture

Jewish people arent americans???

Nascent_Variable's picture

This is just the beginning.  Now that Big Tree is getting some action, you know Big Axe will want a cut.

Big Slick's picture

Wanna see a +1000 pt day on the Dow?  Two word Obama speech:  "I quit."

nope-1004's picture

Can't quit if he's fired.

He's a loser.


smlbizman's picture

the supreme court is hearing the fofa request for his papers....his college papers have been released...occidental coll....1981 on a foriegn exchange visa....from harvey organ

paterphysi's picture

Surprised to see such rightwing propaganda bullshit printed here. This idea for this "tax" goes back to 2008 and has nothing to do with Obama.



Yeah Obama is a failure, but people who think he is a leftwing whatever are complete fools who are falling for the false choice of "left" and "right" that passes for politics in this country.



HelluvaEngineer's picture

It's still fucking retarded and should be chastised by anyone with two firing neurons.  This has nothing to do with politics.  Only a moron would sign off on this.

paterphysi's picture


 on the second page of this thread mpointer sums this up perfectly:


Vote up!

Vote down!


This whole thread is inane.  It's an industry-sponsored fee like the beef or dairy industry that the Dept. of Agriculture has to approve.  You people will fall for anything.. 





I just think it is too funny how people fall for the Fox News big lie. Oh Noes! The WAR ON CHRISTMAS!


This is just another distraction from the real issues that face this nation.

redpill's picture

Christmas Tree growers can do their own advertising, why do we have a federal agency involved?  The USDA should be eliminated.  Its budget is a theft of $1200 from every American household every year, and two-thirds of it goes out in subsidies that are not needed.


Hansel's picture

I hate to break it to you, but the Department of Agriculture is part of the executive branch.

flattrader's picture

>>>I just think it is too funny how people fall for the Fox News big lie. Oh Noes! The WAR ON CHRISTMAS!<<<

When I hear that libs are kidnapping elves and buying RPGs to shoot down Santa's sleigh, then I'll believe there's a war on Christmas.

DeMint is certifiable.  The clickbait here is getting more and more ridiculous.

chet's picture

Around here, everything is Obama's fault.  He caused the recession that started a year and a half before he took office.

Even though the taxcode has been thousands of pages long for decades, it's Obama's fault.  And even though it is stuffed with special taxes or subsidies for every agricultural product under the song, this specific tax on Christmas Trees is the "most ridiculous thing I've ever seen" and surely augers the end of American freedom forever.

Tortfeasor's picture

He wanted the job, he got the job.  Now he's fucking up the job.  Regardless of what mess he got himself voted into, he campaigned on changing it and making it better.  His responsibility, and he's blown it.  Thems the facts.

chet's picture

He's done alright.  His greatest error was choosing the wrong team of economic advisors which has got us all fucked.  But it was the same advice a GOP Pres would have gotten.  Watch every other country and the EU following the same flawed steps.  It's all they know and McCain would have done the same.

He's going to be reelected too, so get used to the idea.

gloogle's picture

Wow.  What an argument.  You like what you're getting so much and want more?  Whoooeeeeee....,..l.

chet's picture

My point is to be intelligent and criticize Obama for the proper things.  Unhinged hatred of Obama is no more rational than the unhinged hatred of Bush we had a few years ago.

The guy got handed a shit sandwich.  One President in 10 might be great enough to turn a shit sandwich into chocolate cake.  But the average President just tries to scrape the shit off as best he can.

Everyone here knows the country is fucked.  The Titanic has already hit the iceberg and is taking in water.  How much sense does it make to stand over the Captain's shoulder and tell him to turn the wheel right instead of left?

LFMayor's picture

"it's not his fault".   "it's not my fault"   When the west stopped raising adults to accept personal responsibility, that was the tipping point.  Now the spiral sinks lower.  We have great sports "icons" papering over child rapes and a CiC who can't be told he's ever done bad.  He asked for the fucking job and he's done piss poor at it.

I eagerly await the bottom, so we can burn the impurities, skim the dross off and start building again.  

chet's picture

What would your ideal President have done?

LFMayor's picture

told the banks, GM and Chrysler to eat shit and take their beatings like real men.  Wiped his ass with the NAFTA agreement.  Lined up the whole of the known child sex offender registry in front of beltfeds on live TV.

What's your great plan, now that we've heard your excuses?

chet's picture

I agree with you on the banks and big companies.  I would have done a stimulus in 2009, and then worked on closing the budget deficit in following years by raising taxes on top earners, capital gains and reforming the entitlement programs.  Probably through raising retirement ages, some means testing.  I would have made sure that the stimulus was used on actual physical public infrastructure that is useful for commerce.

I would have wrapped up the wars as quickly as possible, which I think Obama gets good marks for.  Coming into office in spring 2009 and being out of Iraq by end of 2011 is about as fast as it could be done.  Afghanistan is just a clusterfuck.  Not sure what to do, but just pulling out is tempting.  We could stay there another 10 years without changing the facts on the ground much.  I would have stopped US torture programs in no uncertain terms and shut down Guantanamo within the first year.  US prisons can hold terrorists just fine.

Al Gorerhythm's picture

So, more of what's working so well in Europe is your strategy? Fucking meddling morons. It's like a zombie onslaught. You all have management plans on how to best spend my money and on how to screw me over further (austerity) by making me pay for your socialist intervening, theft and corruption. You left/right cunts don't get it do you? Fucking ass wipes.The treadind on the rights and liberties of other people with your fucked up ideals is over. Your belief that government is the panacea for the frailties of individuals is over. At least with me it is. So fuck you and your sleight of hand cronies. Get the fuck out of my life.


Harlequin001's picture

'I would have done a stimulus in 2009, and then worked on closing the budget deficit in following years by raising taxes on top earners, capital gains and reforming the entitlement programs. ' - Fucking hilarious. If you're going to stimulate and then crash by reducing deficits, why bother with the stimulus in the first place?

Good old economic theory, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever and we wonder why we're all in this mess.

Do you never learn?

TimmyB's picture

The problem with our failed political system is that neither Obama nor McCain would have ever told the banks to eat shit nor would either haved wiped thier asses with NAFTA.

Please tell me exactly who I can vote for that supports the solutions you propose.  Clearly, the answer is "no one."  Our current political system gives us two choices:  either "shit sandwich" or  "sharp stick in the eye."  Thus, solutions to our economic problems are simply not possible with our current "who ever gets the most bribes wins" political system.






Al Gorerhythm's picture

Ideal president; says it all. Haven't they all been Ideal Presidents, until they aren't?

Crusader Rabbit's picture

As a Senator you can't dismiss his role in the making of the shit snadwich. As president he just made it fluffier and thicker. So far he hasn't tried to scape anything off. He hasn't even noticed he's caked in it as his own stench made him indifferent to the smell long ago. Probably because he was so full of it to begin with.

Look back to the period when the precipitous portion of the fall began - when Hillary was passed by him as the Dem ticket headliner. 

The sad thing is he never got behind the wheel as Captain. He baoarded the first lifeboat - dressed as a woman and has been paddling furiously ever since. Excluding his Senatorially book deal that paid out just before the deadline prohibitted a payment how much wealth has he accumulated for his parachute? The only work he seems to do is "Fundraising" and campaigning.

If you are asking me to accept your premise that he has a long climb up to get to the level of an "Average" president then I will agree with you. He doesn't seem to know the difference between up and down. As a leader he doesn't have a message or a gaol that he has asked us to get on board with - he doesn't know where he's going or he can't let us know, either way he's not telling us.

chet's picture

You may not be able to judge his presidency clearly because you have such passionate dislike for him.  May be clouding how you interpret everything he does.

FlyPaper's picture

Chet, buddy:

The man is absolutely out-of-his-league and completely inexperienced in a number of critical areas.   Honestly.   

1)  He was so committed to his Healthcare package that he spent virtually zero time on the economic issues.   

2)  His government has run up the country's tab at an astonishing rate.

3)  His plans for fixing things mostly centered around

a)  Beating up business

b)  New Taxes

c)  Spending money the country (literally) doesn't have

d)  Adding piles of new regulations to administratively take control.  

He hired the wrong advisors?   OK, who is actually responsible for the hire?  OBAMA.  But you let him off the hook.

The man takes zero responsibility for anything.  His job performance on key issues is abysmal, and he should be fired by his board of directors: the public.


Silver Bully's picture

MillionDollarBonus, is that you? You may be using a different name, but you can't fool me. You practical jokster, you! (eh-eh, nudge-nudge, dontcha know!)

Crusader Rabbit's picture

Or perhaps you are inverting the argument that might best suit your position. That I am percieving rationally and you can't because of your passionate like for him.

Nice try though - vacations, golf and fundraising still aren't leadership. He has no history of leading and is not leading now.

Chuck Walla's picture

Obama isn't scraping shit off anything, he's piling it higher.  How many cops and teachers could have been hired if that money that went to donors(Solyndra) would have been saved instead?  And when did the Federal Government become the National Government?  Cops & teachers are not the feds province, at all.  He understands nothing but politics which he avidly pursues through corruption. Its the Chicago way. 


And he's certainly no communist, he just wants to take money from one person's paycheck to give to another person of his choosing.  So why is he wealthy?  Why doesn't he give away his millions first and show us the depth of his conviction?