Since the coronation of Barack Obama, The One, he of the perfectly creased pants legs, he who causes the legs of grown men to tingle, I’ve often wondered what might constitute the proverbial last straw, what might be the final, outrageously lunatic imposition of nanny statism that would drive the American public to rebellion? What might be the mindless, big government tipping point that finally provokes a harried, over-regulated and over-taxed citizenry to rise up against its socialistic, wealth redistributing, self-anointed masters?
I’ve been only mildly surprised at the desensitization of the public. So overwhelming, so constant have been the revelations of incompetence, cronyism, corruption and outright criminality on a global scale that single acts and omissions that would have brought down any government—any Republican government at least—prior to the advent of the Golden Age of Obama provoke only resigned shrugs and mutters of “so what else is new?” from most Americans. At least Christmas is coming…
The Scene: The private meeting room of the Secretary of Agriculture (SecAg).
The Mood: Buoyant.
Undersecretary of Agriculture (UnAg): “…so under this new rule, we’ll regulate every soft drink vending machine in every school in America?”
Assistant to the Undersecretary of Agriculture (AsUnAg): “That’s right sir!”
Assistant to the Assistant to the Undersecretary of Agriculture (AsAsUnAg) (grinning and nodding furiously): Every single one!
UnAg: “Amazing! And all soft drinks must be replaced with organic cabbage juice?”
AsAsUnAg: “Oh yes, organic…”
AsUnAg: “…cabbage juice.”
SecAg: “Who has the contract?”
UnAg: “Let’s see here: Oh yes….it’s a company called Solyndra.”
SecAg: “Solyndra…Solyndra…sounds familiar for some reason…”
UnAg: “Not to worry Mr. Secretary. The White House assured me they’re as good as gold.”
SecAg: “Well, I’m sure Mr. Obama is all over this one. What’s the next agenda item?”
UnAg: “The regulation reduction task force report.”
SecAg: “Oh? Who did I put in charge of that?”
UnAg: “Me, Mr. Secretary.”
SecAg: “Oh. Well, you must know what you’re doing if I put you in charge, then.”
UnAg: “Of course, Mr. Secretary.”
SecAg: “Wait a minute! You’re not actually reducing anything, are you?”
SecAg: “Because I talked to the White House, and they said…”
UnAg: “Don’t worry Mr. Secretary. That’s just the title of the executive order. It really says we can do anything we want, just like ObamaCare.”
SecAg: “Oh. That’s good then.”
UnAg: “Yes Mr. Secretary, it is.”
AsAsUnAg: (furiously nodding) “It’s good…”
AsUnAg: (grinning like a madman) “…really good.”
SecAg: “So what are we doing?”
UnAg: “We’ve established an entirely new federal agency—but we’re calling it a ‘board’—if you get my meaning (winks and nods all around)—that will easily cost billions while accomplishing nothing at all. And the best part is we get to raise taxes too!”
(The room erupts in wild applause, cheers and whoops of unrestrained joy followed by raucous laughter)
SecAg: (Catching his breath) “Whew! That’s great! So what did we come up with—no wait, don’t tell me—it has to be something so crazy, so off the wall, no one will be able to tell it from The Onion. Something like a federal agency to, to…promote Christmas trees or something!” (Breaks into hysterical laughter)
UnAg: (Stunned) “How did you know?”
That’s right: with Iran on the verge of building nuclear weapons by means of a program the CIA said didn’t exist, with the national and global economies on the verge of collapse, with the farmers of the Central Valley of California being bankrupted by berserk EPA policies, with the ranks of federal employees steadily increasing and the ranks of private sector workers steadily diminishing and prospects for private sector job creation severely depressed, the Agriculture Department has decided—and apparently adults did this; it wasn’t a fraternity prank—that the nation desperately needs a federal agency to promote and tax Christmas trees!
Imagine the jobs saved or created to produce the stirring agency logo. Perhaps a rampant dollar sign imposed on a field of Christmas trees wafting in the stiff breeze of IRS oversight.
Live trees will be taxed at $.15 each, and according to the Federal Register, the mission of the board is to create a “program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace.” And it’s none too soon. If there is one thing American families are crying out for in anguish it’s government functionaries telling them:
(A) Christmas is a good time to buy Christmas trees. No doubt multi-billion dollar ads can be drafted with statistics proving that more Christmas trees are sold at Christmas than during any other holiday.
(B) They can choose between real and artificial trees (who knew?).
(C) They should choose real trees so the Christmas tree board can be fully funded to tell the public A-C.
Another vital task of this essential program is to improve the image of Christmas trees. Apparently a great many have recently been seen at OWS protests setting fires, urinating on everything that isn’t moving, provoking the police, and trying to pollinate female protestors.
At a time when the Federal government runs illegal guns to Mexican drug cartels as a means of proving that guns are being run to Mexican drug cartels, what’s another little waste of untold billions for no actual reason, and what’s another absolutely unnecessary tax—not a penny of which will be used to reduce the deficit—to a disastrously depressed business sector?
On second thought, this probably won’t even provoke a shrug. One might be tempted to think that some adult, somewhere, might ask of the Agriculture Department: “Don’t those people have any real work to do?” Apparently not.
White House spokesman Matt Lehrich told ABC News that despite some media coverage, ‘I can tell you unequivocally that the Obama Administration is not taxing Christmas trees. What’s being talked about here is an industry group deciding to impose fees on itself to fund a promotional campaign, similar to how the dairy producers have created the ‘Got Milk?’ campaign.’
Ah! So it wasn’t the Agriculture Department at all! It was the powerful Christmas tree sellers lobby trying to tax itself! Apparently not, as ABC also reports that the Obama Administration is delaying the implementation of the program:
‘USDA is going to delay implementation and revisit this action,’ Lehrich said.
Now I’m confused. Didn’t Lehrich say the Adminstration wasn’t involved? So now the Department of Agriculture also sells Christmas trees?
I’ve got a better idea. Let’s just continue running guns to murderous drug criminals, but impose a tax on every gun. They’ve got plenty of money. And if we throw in a free Christmas tree with every gun, we’ll stimulate the Christmas tree market, save or create jobs, build a case for more restrictive gun laws, and help to reduce the deficit! Mr. Holder can pretend to know nothing about that too.
Merry Early Christmas everyone, and remember to buy a Christmas tree and make a straw gun purchase this Christmas season!