After PAPER gets Taxed, Feds Push Using More
Don’t you wish they would just make up their collective mind?
As detailed in the Federal Register of September 16, the Agricultural Marketing Service would enforce an involuntary levy on paper producers to fund “educational activities, information and programs designed to enhance and broaden the understanding of the use and attributes of paper and paper-based packaging.”
Who knew paper was so unappreciated and misunderstood!
A proposed 35-cent tax on each ton of paper is projected to raise more than $25 million annually for the campaign, according to the proposed order. A 12-member board appointed by the USDA would oversee our re-education.
This government-sponsored promotion racket is the very same model adopted by milk, beef, cotton, and some 15 other commodities that exploit the USDA’s taxing power. Combined, they accumulate nearly $800 million annually—most of which is recouped by businesses raising retail prices.
Congress provided a very broad definition of “agricultural commodity” in the 1996 law that authorized such programs. It’s no wonder, then, that the scheme has spread to Christmas trees, rocks, and now paper.
As justification for the “marketing fee,” the American Forest and Paper Association reports that markets for paper and paper-based packaging that would be covered under the program declined by 15 percent between 2000 and 2010. And the advent of the automobile reduced the use of horses, too. Go figure.
In other news, Kindle sales are up!
Timothy Konola is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please click here.