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Oh Christmas tree, how tone-deaf are thy taxes?

**Update, ABC reports the 'Christmas Tree tax' has been delayed. So you don't have to read the rest of this for a number of months.

If there's any doubt about a firewall between the White House and the campaign to get President Obama re-elected, consider the so-called 'Christmas Tree tax.'

The 15-cents per-tree fee is supposed to help market real Christmas Trees instead of fake ones. Other industries have similar fees that pay for programs for meat, poultry and cotton, according to this article with the snappy headline "A fee on thee, oh Christmas tree." 

Puns like this are inevitable. And that's what makes this so potentially troublesome for Obama. It's the stuff of jokes. Add in the chuckle factor, penny-ante nature of the fee, the perennial 'war-on-Christmas' jihad of the right and the sentiment of Christmas, and we're sure to soon see jpegs of Obama painted like the grinch.

 "All I want for Christmas is a free market," headlines a blog by S.C. Sen. Jim DeMint. Actually, what DeMint wants is another platform to whack away at Obama. So Christmas came early.

There's political mileage in fighting these fees. Just last year, Gov. Rick Scot whacked an alligator-marketing fee (yup, alligator marketing fee) to applause from the right. Florida still has a citrus-fee that the tea party would love to squeeze out of existence.

 

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