If you doubt the government has become too intrusive, too determined to engineer virtually every aspect of our lives, consider the proposed Christmas Tree Promotion Board.
Until news media attention focused critical public attention on the plan, the U.S. Department of Agriculture was planning to establish the board. It was to be funded by a 15-cent fee charged for every fresh-cut Christmas tree sold in the United States.
The department's plan, supported by the National Christmas Tree Association, was for a "program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry's position in the marketplace; maintain and expend existing markets for Christmas trees; and to carry out programs, plans, and projects designed to provide maximum benefits to the Christmas tree industry." And the program was to "enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States."
Proponents insisted Christmas tree growers, not consumers, would pay the fee. Still, in late November, the Department of Agriculture decided it needed more study.
Good. If Christmas tree growers want to promote themselves, let them do it without establishing a new government bureaucracy. What on earth will the government think of next? A board to promote department store Santa Clauses, perhaps through a dime from each child who sits on the jolly old elf's lap?