The Closet Moderate: November 2011

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Opening Salvo

Is it the War on Christmas season again? The bells and the sleigh, the fife and the drum! Oh joy!

I consider myself a seasoned veteran of the Christmas wars, but I must admit even I find this new front that has opened up nothing less than confounding. Here's the most recent savage attack from those who wish to destroy Christmas and all that is holy.

A Christmas Tree Tax

That's right—the holiday haters have teamed up with the biggest Grinch of the all, Obama, to achieve their two missions at once. They are trying to get you to to quit buying Christmas trees by stealing your hard-earned money and inflating the already massive government.

It all makes so much sense. That is until one thinks about it for more than the time it takes light to travel across one's vacuous skull.

The tax is 15 cents a tree. And it was thought up by the growers of Christmas trees, to tax themselves to pay for advertising for said trees (a la "got milk?", "the other white meat", etc). And there was a year of open public comment on the topic. And the process started 3 1/2 years ago.

What makes me so pissed about this is not that it is a pointless ruse by Republicans to take attention away from important matters and paint Obama as a Christmas hater (?!?). Which it absolutely is. No, that's all well and good and expected. No, what pisses me off is the fact that this tax is just the kind of shit Republicans actually want.

Look, when I wake up every day and I ask myself "WWMRD?" (What Would Mitt Romney Do?), I invariably answer myself: "Be pro-business!". I mean, amiright? Silent Cal said "America's Business is Business". And I think it's probably the winningest argument the right has got at the moment. I don't buy lots of it, but, fine, making it easier for businesses to do what they do, and get the economy back going again, sure, why not? It sure beats granting voting rights to fetuses, I'll give it that. And that is exactly what this tax was about. Not the fetuses, the business thing: allowing a business group to effectively lobby to get some pro-business legislation passed. Not to state the obvious, but a tax like this is a hugely good deal for the Christmas tree growers. It gets around the usual collective action problems and allows them all to pitch in for a common cause. And it's clearly pro-American jobs, as real Christmas trees are largely grown in the US, whereas the fake ones come from overseas. I realize some of my fellow bloggards don't want a penny of government money raised or spent on anything that wasn't spelled out by some crusty dude from the 1700s. Sure, cool, I hear that; y'all are nuts, but at least you are consistent. But for the rest of the Republican establishment the Christmas Tree Tax is exactly what you want the government to be doing with its time!

In closing, the War on Christmas is a special time of year, when people get to say patently ridiculous things like Christians in the US are oppressed, or Kwanzaa is real. I hope this opening salvo is a sign of an especially delightful and wacky War on Christmas season, and I wish you all a very merry War on Christmas!