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Who In Congress Believes In The Most Silly Tax Conspiracy Of All Time?

At the end of last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on H.R. 1947, the farm bill for 2014. As usual, the agricultural appropriations bill is an opportunity for particular members of Congress to promote their favorite corrupt or silly ideas. A few sensible ideas in a farm bill typically get crowded out by policies that will maintain the dominance of the industries that are at the top o the agricultural food plan… and by just plain weird ideas from politicians who have food issues or conspiracy theories.

One example of the latter category of farm bill additions came from U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski last week, in the form of H. Amdt 214. H. Amdt 214, if approved for addition to H.R. 1947, would have continued a ban on “the Christmas tree tax”.

A tax that specifically targets Christmas trees sounds like a nasty idea, doesn’t it?

Before her amendment was voted on, Representative Walorski warned that, if the Christmas tree tax is allowed to go into effect this year, it would create economic harm to “moms and dads and single parents who are struggling to make ends meet to pay their monthly bills and to pay their mortgages and still have enough left in their budgets to put food on the tables and fill up the gas tanks.”

A tax that specifically targets Christmas trees and harms families who are struggling to make ends meet sounds downright despicable. Even worse, Representative Walorski says that the Christmas tree tax would be forced upon small business owners who don’t want to pay it.

If you’re feeling outraged about this Christmas tree tax right now, let me offer you a quick dose of reality as an antidote. The Christmas tree tax isn’t really a tax that’s being foisted upon the Christmas tree industry. It’s a fee that Christmas tree growers have asked to pay, which would go into a fund to pay for the marketing of natural Christmas trees (as opposed to artificial Christmas trees, most of which are made in factories in Asia, and shipped all the way across the Pacific Ocean).

The fee-for-marketing arrangement is a replica of a model that has been successful in other agricultural areas, such as cotton, beef, and dairy. Remember the Got Milk? advertisements? They were paid for through a similar, government-sponsored, industry-paid, mechanism.

Representative Jackie Walorski hasn’t complained a bit about the similar programs for other agricultural products. She has only raised objections about what she calls the “Christmas tree tax”. Why?

Well, the concept grabs attention, doesn’t it? The idea of taxing something related to Christmas sounds almost Communist, and forcing a new expense upon hard-working people at Christmas time, when they’re struggling most sounds not just heartless, but dramatically heartless. Drama seems to be what Representative Walorski is most in need of.

The economic burden of the Christmas tree marketing fee, however, is nominal, if it exists at all. It’s 15 cents per tree. So, even if a family went tree-happy and got five Christmas trees per year, the economic burden for that family would still be less than one dollar.

jackie walorskiFurthermore, the idea of the marketing program is that it’s an investment – one that the Christmas tree industry is eager for. They’re hoping that, as with most marketing investments, they’ll get a larger return than what they’re paying out to begin with. So, there’s a possibility that the so-called Christmas tree tax could even prevent price increases on Christmas trees in the years to come, providing a tiny economic benefit for hard-working American families.

Representative Kurt Schrader stepped up to the House floor and carefully explained these details to his colleagues. He patiently pointed out Walorski’s misperceptions and distortions. Still, when Walorski’s amendment came to a vote, 197 members of the U.S. House of Representatives still couldn’t grasp these basic concepts through their heads. These 197 voted for Walorksi’s amendment. They are…

… the Congressional Idiots Who Fell For The Christmas Tree Tax Conspiracy Theory:

(Among them are Representatives Dan Maffei and Jared Polis. I especially note these Democrats as people who ought to have known better. You’ve got some explaining to do, guys.)

Rep. Robert Aderholt
Rep. Rodney Alexander
Rep. Justin Amash
Rep. Mark Amodei
Rep. Michele Bachmann
Rep. Lou Barletta
Rep. Garland Barr
Rep. John Barrow
Rep. Joe Barton
Rep. Gus Bilirakis
Rep. Rob Bishop
Rep. Diane Black
Rep. Marsha Blackburn
Rep. Jo Bonner
Rep. Charles Boustany
Rep. Kevin Brady
Rep. Jim Bridenstine
Rep. Mo Brooks
Rep. Susan Brooks
Rep. Paul Broun
Rep. Vern Buchanan
Rep. Larry Bucshon
Rep. Michael Burgess
Rep. Ken Calvert
Rep. Dave Camp
Rep. John Campbell
Rep. Eric Cantor
Rep. Shelley Capito
Rep. John Carter
Rep. Bill Cassidy
Rep. Steve Chabot
Rep. Jason Chaffetz
Rep. Howard Coble
Rep. Mike Coffman
Rep. Tom Cole
Rep. Doug Collins
Rep. Chris Collins
Rep. Paul Cook
Rep. Tom Cotton
Rep. Kevin Cramer
Rep. Eric Crawford
Rep. John Culberson
Rep. Steve Daines
Rep. Rodney Davis
Rep. John Delaney
Rep. Charles Dent
Rep. Ron DeSantis
Rep. Scott DesJarlais
Rep. Jeff Duncan
Rep. John Duncan
Rep. Renee Ellmers
Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick
Rep. Charles Fleischmann
Rep. John Fleming
Rep. Bill Flores
Rep. J. Forbes
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry
Rep. Virginia Foxx
Rep. Trent Franks
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen
Rep. Joe Garcia
Rep. Cory Gardner
Rep. Scott Garrett
Rep. Jim Gerlach
Rep. Bob Gibbs
Rep. Christopher Gibson
Rep. Phil Gingrey
Rep. Louie Gohmert
Rep. Paul Gosar
Rep. Trey Gowdy
Rep. Tom Graves
Rep. Tim Griffin
Rep. Brett Guthrie
Rep. Ralph Hall
Rep. Andy Harris
Rep. Joseph Heck
Rep. Jeb Hensarling
Rep. George Holding
Rep. Richard Hudson
Rep. Tim Huelskamp
Rep. Randy Hultgren
Rep. Duncan Hunter
Rep. Robert Hurt
Rep. Darrell Issa
Rep. Lynn Jenkins
Rep. Bill Johnson
Rep. Sam Johnson
Rep. Walter Jones
Rep. Jim Jordan
Rep. Mike Kelly
Rep. Steve King
Rep. Peter King
Rep. Jack Kingston
Rep. John Kline
Rep. Raúl Labrador
Rep. Doug LaMalfa
Rep. Doug Lamborn
Rep. Leonard Lance
Rep. James Lankford
Rep. Robert Latta
Rep. Daniel Lipinski
Rep. Frank LoBiondo
Rep. Billy Long
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer
Rep. Cynthia Lummis
Rep. Daniel Maffei
Rep. Sean Maloney
Rep. Kenny Marchant
Rep. Tom Marino
Rep. Thomas Massie
Rep. Jim Matheson
Rep. Kevin McCarthy
Rep. Michael McCaul
Rep. Tom McClintock
Rep. Patrick McHenry
Rep. Howard McKeon
Rep. David McKinley
Rep. Patrick Meehan
Rep. Luke Messer
Rep. John Mica
Rep. Jeff Miller
Rep. Markwayne Mullin
Rep. Mick Mulvaney
Rep. Patrick Murphy
Rep. Tim Murphy
Rep. Randy Neugebauer
Rep. Richard Nugent
Rep. Devin Nunes
Rep. Pete Olson
Rep. Steven Palazzo
Rep. Erik Paulsen
Rep. Stevan Pearce
Rep. Scott Perry
Rep. Scott Peters
Rep. Robert Pittenger
Rep. Joseph Pitts
Rep. Ted Poe
Rep. Jared Polis
Rep. Mike Pompeo
Rep. Bill Posey
Rep. Tom Price
Rep. Trey Radel
Rep. Nick Rahall
Rep. David Reichert
Rep. James Renacci
Rep. Tom Rice
Rep. E. Rigell
Rep. Martha Roby
Rep. David Roe
Rep. Mike Rogers
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
Rep. Todd Rokita
Rep. Thomas Rooney
Rep. Peter Roskam
Rep. Dennis Ross
Rep. Keith Rothfus
Rep. Edward Royce
Rep. Raul Ruiz
Rep. Jon Runyan
Rep. Paul Ryan
Rep. Matt Salmon
Rep. Steve Scalise
Rep. Bradley Schneider
Rep. David Schweikert
Rep. Austin Scott
Rep. F. Sensenbrenner
Rep. Pete Sessions
Rep. John Shimkus
Rep. Bill Shuster
Rep. Adrian Smith
Rep. Christopher Smith
Rep. Lamar Smith
Rep. Steve Southerland
Rep. Chris Stewart
Rep. Steve Stockman
Rep. Marlin Stutzman
Rep. Lee Terry
Rep. Patrick Tiberi
Rep. Scott Tipton
Rep. David Valadao
Rep. Ann Wagner
Rep. Tim Walberg
Rep. Jackie Walorski
Rep. Daniel Webster
Rep. Brad Wenstrup
Rep. Roger Williams
Rep. Joe Wilson
Rep. Robert Wittman
Rep. Frank Wolf
Rep. Steve Womack
Rep. Rob Woodall
Rep. Kevin Yoder
Rep. Don Young
Rep. C. Young
Rep. Todd Young

5 comments to Who In Congress Believes In The Most Silly Tax Conspiracy Of All Time?

  • Bill

    Yeah, but what about the Marshmallow Peeps tax and the Hanukkah Menorah tax, huh? Huh?

  • J Clifford

    We need equality for neopagans! We need a Beltane Holly Wreath tax!

  • Dave

    Actually J, come campaign time the opponent of each of these legislators would otherwise claim “and he/she voted for a tax on CHRISTMAS TREES!!!!!! I s’pose we should be happy they’re not requiring us to buy one.

    • J Clifford

      ….and those voters, well, if they believe this Christmas tree tax nonsense, the voters are morons as well.

      This program is quite constitutional, a part of Congress’s authority to regulate commerce… and to help commerce along when commerce proves to be incapable, adrift in the theoretical logic of the marketplace.

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