Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Crony Watch: The Christmas tree farmers are looking for protection

A fleecing avoided with the demise of the most recent farm bill:

One item that was part of the (thankfully) deceased farm bill that got little attention was a levy on live Christmas trees.

Apparently, live Christmas tree producers are upset at competition from artificial trees. And there is nothing to which Congress is more sympathetic than using government coercion to help industry incumbents fight off new competition.

We almost had a tax on Christmas trees to finance advertising for, well, Christmas trees. You know, as if they were beef or milk. All part of using ever-growing government to entrench incumbent businesses.

Incidentally and irrelevantly, we are forced to wonder whether such a program would survive an Establishment Clause challenge.

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