Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Holiday Taxes

The news media and blogosphere are alight today because of a new 15 cent 'fee' that's being assessed on every real Christmas tree sold in the United States.  The Department of Agriculture says it will use the money to pay for a commission that will promote the use of fresh trees over artificial ones.  Here at Casa de Oso, we have been using a fresh tree for several years, but have an old artificial tree up in the attic.  So I guess you could say we are agnostic on the whole "fresh versus artificial" debate.

Officials in the Ag Department don't seem to think that adding an additional 15 cents added to the wholesale cost of a tree is going to do anything to sales, so I guess they forgot that companies tend to collect government taxes and fees, not pay them.

So what other holiday traditions could be use a little government funded booster club?

  • American Flags - Let's be real here, kids.  A lot of people have stopped flying the flag, even on special holidays like Memorial Day or Independence Day.  Every year, thousands of miniature flags are purchased to decorate graves.  If the government could just get a few cents off of every flag sale, then a campaign could be set up to remind people that if they want to fly the flag, Walmart still sells them.
  • Pumpkins - A lot of people are buying those resin or ceramic jack-o'-lanterns for Halloween, and that's bound to cut into business for our nation's squash producers.  A propaganda campaign of commercials during the network news every evening during the month of October could be paid for by charging a few cents per pound for every real pumpkin sold.
  • Candy at Easter and Halloween - This is another untapped gold mine.  Millions of jelly beans, candy eggs, peanut butter filled bats, and much more are purchased every year.  A fee of just a penny per piece would fund radio ads of just the sound of JayG opening a Zagnut on Vicious Circle for the entire year.  It would be a boon for dentists, and if this works, we might not have to pass a fat tax to keep kids from eating all that junk food.
  • Turkeys - Let's face it, tofurkey and other alternatives for Christmas and Thanksgiving are eating into the gobbler lobbies bottom line, and that's un-American.  A fee on every bird sold could pay for pop-up ads on foodie websites reminding people that Columbus ate turkey on his way to the new world aboard the Mayflower or something.  Come on, who wants to eat ham for Christmas anyway?  It's just not Kosher.
  • Champagne and other booze - I have it on good authority that there are actually people who have the energy on December 31 to stay up until all hours of the night, drinking large quantities of liquor and champagne, just so that they can sing a song and then drink some more.  This untapped source of government revenue could fund billboards reminding everyone to stop off for a six pack on their way home from this party.  It's not like we tax booze in this country, right?  What's that?  Oh we do?  Well, then we'll call it the "Champagne Charge".

As you can see, the government has a lot of methods for separating us with just a little more money in order to convince us to buy things we were going to buy anyway.

Update - Corrected "15%" to "15 cent".  Thanks to Ruth for catching that!  DaddyBear reading comprehension fail!

1 comment:

Ruth said...

acording to Fox its 15 cents not 15 percent? but otherwise I agree completely.

Creative Commons License
DaddyBear's Den by DaddyBear is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at