5 Christmas Classics Ruined by Red Tape

Dec 23, 2013

Christmas is upon us, but even the merriest of holidays is made a little less bright by a regulatory system that costs our economy $1.8 trillion annually. That is enough to make anyone say, “Bah humbug!” Five of the season’s most treasured traditions are burdened by bureaucratic tie ups.

Christmas Trees

As if there weren’t more important things to worry about, the government has dedicated time and energy to a marketing plan for Christmas trees in the Code of Federal Regulations. Part of the yet-to-be-hashed-out rarm bill pending before Congress, the “order will establish a national Christmas Tree Promotion Board.” Producers and importers of fresh cut Christmas trees would pay a fifteen cent tax on each evergreen to foot the bill.



Earlier this month, an 11 year old girl was banned from selling this plant in a public park because she didn’t have a permit. Today’s red tape can crush both holiday spirit and entrepreneurial spirit in one fell swoop.





Back in 1999, the National Security Agency banned its employees from owning Furbies on the premise that the odd-looking but loveable gizmos were a threat to national security. This regulation is good for a laugh, until you realize it’s just one of the many useless regs taking up time and money.



Christmas Lights

Small businesses in Buffalo, New York, have a longstanding tradition of pooling their money to hang Christmas lights in the popular shopping and dining district on Elmwood Avenue. This year, the City of Buffalo has chosen to crack down on the tradition’s “non-compliance with the City Charter,” citing the safety of the citizens as the reason for banning the lights. Bah humbug.



Bad children who find this under their tree had better not use it for coal-fired power plants. New carbon emission standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency are nearly impossible to meet. The new rules put limits on future power plants built in the United States, but the EPA plans to regulate the emissions from currently existing plants soon.

Are regulations affecting some of your favorite traditions? Tell us in the comments.

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