Tag: Business

We’re #3!

Well, friends, I think we can finally give our government some credit. After decades of effort, we are finally one of the top nations in the world in something. In fact, we’re the third best. Only France and Portugal are better. With a huge bipartisan effort and some fantastic leadership from President Obama, the United States is now third in tax shittiness:

If American businesses have begun looking for opportunities to relocate their corporate offices overseas, it’s not necessarily from a lack of patriotism. The Tax Foundation calculated the tax competitiveness of the 34 countries within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), nations at least nominally committed to free-market economics, as part of their annual ranking system. The US comes in 32nd out of 34, just above France and Portugal, but below such economic powerhouses as Mexico — and Greece

The United States places 32nd out of the 34 OECD countries on the ITCI. There are three main drivers behind the U.S.’s low score. First, it has the highest corporate income tax rate in the OECD at 39.1 percent. Second, it is one of the only countries in the OECD that does not have a territorial tax system, which would exempt foreign profits earned by domestic corporations from domestic taxation. Finally, the United States loses points for having a relatively high, progressive individual income tax (combined top rate of 46.3 percent) that taxes both dividends and capital gains, albeit at a reduced rate.

This isn’t just a matter of taxes being high; many of the countries ranked below us have much higher overall tax rates and much larger governments. To get our #3 ranking, we had to put together a corporate tax system with both a high rate and ridiculous complications. We had to resist the global trend to not double-tax foreign earnings. We had to make our income tax ridiculously complicated and unfair. We had to create a tax system that is openly hostile to the idea of people working, investing and exporting goods.

So, congratulations to the Congress and President Obama! Between this and our rapid decline in the Economic Freedom Index, you’re making this country worse than the European socialist states!

Color Me Surprised

GM is going back into bankruptcy court:

A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Friday urged settlement talks in a dispute between General Motors Co and plaintiffs seeking compensation for the lost value of their cars stemming from a massive recall over a faulty ignition switch, though neither side seemed ready to negotiate quite yet.

Judge Robert Gerber, of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, said he would welcome the prospect of a resolution that avoided a “monstrous battle.”

Gerber is the same judge who in 2009 oversaw GM’s whirlwind Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. Now facing dozens of lawsuits over a faulty ignition switch that has led to the recall of some 2.6 million vehicles, GM is asking Gerber to enforce the so-called bankruptcy shield, in a pre-emptive move aimed at staving off dozens of lawsuits from customers who say they took a financial hit from the recall.

Under the plan approved by Gerber, GM channeled its burdensome liabilities into a shell known as “Old GM,” while selling its profitable assets to “New GM,” a separate corporate entity that took GM out of bankruptcy and now operates as General Motors Co.

Accident victims are not involved in the dispute before Gerber, which concerns only claims for loss of car value.

The law here is quite complicated. As far as I understand, piercing the bankruptcy shield is difficult. However, if the GM (and the government) committed fraud by concealing the ignition switch problem before bankruptcy, this could make new GM liable. And if the judge finds that, this could end up before the Supreme Court.

I suspect this is the first of many deceptions and financial shenanigans that were swept under the rug in GM’s controlled bankruptcy. Do not be surprised if they end up in court again. And do not be surprised if we find out that some shady and illegal stuff goes on with industry and government ride in the same cart.

As Long As The House Is On Fire …

So Detroit is in bankruptcy, hemorrhaging jobs and businesses. A sensible mayor would say, “Hmm, what can we do to bring businesses back to Detroit?”

Detroit does not have a sensible mayor:

Amidst a bankruptcy and a fast-dwindling population and tax base, the city has prioritized the task of ensuring that all businesses are in compliance with its codes and permitting. To accomplish this, Mayor David Bing announced in January that he’d assembled a task force to execute Operation Compliance.

Operation Compliance began with the stated goal of shutting down 20 businesses a week. Since its inception, Operation Compliance has resulted in the closure of 383 small businesses, with another 536 in the “process of compliance,” according to figures provided to Reason TV by city officials.

But business owners say that Operation Compliance unfairly targets small, struggling businesses in poor areas of town and that the city’s maze of regulations is nearly impossible to navigate, with permit fees that are excessive and damaging to businesses running on thin profit margins.

Emphasis mine.

Does it surprise anyone that Operation Compliance is targeting those without the resources to fight? Does it surprise anyone that they are crushing the competition to larger more powerful businesses? The thing is that the city often does have the law on their side: Detroit’s regulations are such a nightmare that many business owners just say “screw it” and open up rogue businesses. The result is a model to “prosperity” that goes like so:

1) Write excessive and labyrinthine regulation.
2) Wait for businesses to open.
3) Hire a bunch of public employees to shut down businesses for violating those regs.
4) Profit!

This is insane. This is something that could only be thought of by a city government that sees prosperity entirely in terms of the size of power of government. They look at bigger more prosperous cities with large public sectors and think that the large public sector created the big city, not vice versa. They have the stated goal of closing hundreds of businesses a year. They are anti-matter to Hong Kong, one of the most prosperous cities on Earth, where a business could once be opened with a single form (I don’t know if this is still true since China took over).

Detroit is doomed. I see little indication that they even understand what the problem is, let alone are taking steps to solve it.

Internet Tax

Well, it’s semi-official. The Senate has approved the Marketplace Fairness Act. This act, strongly supported by the likes of Amazon.com, would force online businesses to pay sales taxes based on the location of their customer. Supporters say it is critical to bring needed revenue to local and state governments and to protect the brick-and-morter mom-and-pop stores that are losing out to internet sales.

The supporters are also full of shit.

There are innumerable problems with the Act as written and the supposed motivations behind it. First, the Act will stifle tax competition, protecting states with high taxes. Second, the MFA is actually very unfair to online businesses because it imposes gigantic compliance costs on them.

Mr. Enzi’s Marketplace Fairness Act discriminates against Internet-based businesses by imposing burdens that it does not apply to brick-and-mortar companies. For the first time, online merchants would be forced to collect sales taxes for all of America’s estimated 9,600 state and local taxing authorities.

New Hampshire, for example, has no sales tax, but a Granite State Web merchant would be forced to collect and remit sales taxes to all the governments that do. Small online sellers will therefore have to comply with tax laws created by distant governments in which they have no representation, and in places where they consume no local services.

Meanwhile, New Hampshire’s brick-and-mortar retailers will bear no such burden. They will not be required to collect taxes on the many customers who drive across the Maine and Massachusetts borders to shop in New Hampshire. Bill sponsors say it would be too big a hassle to force traditional retailers to ask every walk-in customer where they live, but these Senators are happy to impose new obligations online.

The Enzi plan would require a centralized tax collector for each state or for a group of states that would gather both state and local levies from the online merchants. His office concedes that could still mean 27 or more different auditors of a Web-based business—which is better than 9,600 but hardly qualifies as simplicity.

The Act exempts business with under a million in sales but that’s not really a big exemption (and makes that millionth dollar incredibly expensive; if they tax everything below a million, that’s a marginal rate of several million). No doubt, services will spring up that will allow smaller businesses to simplify the process. But I see no reason why they should be forced to cough up for this services, especially as the services are likely to be provide by Amazon.

Oh, yeah, about Amazon:

For Amazon—the actual target of these laws—[filing state sales tax returns] is trivial. Its staff of crack accountants can probably roll these things out before their Monday-morning coffee break. For a small vendor, however, that’s a whole lot of paperwork. Imagine being a small eBay vendor that has to file a different set of tax returns every quarter or every month, depending on who happened to buy your handmade toaster cozies. The bill makes this slightly easier by exempting the smallest businesses and saying that you only have to file one return per state. But that’s still hours and hours of work per month, for folks who are probably already working pretty damn hard.

This bill, in fact, is good for Amazon—it kills off their small-fry competitors who can’t afford the staff accountants (or the software) to file 46 returns every month. And it frees them up to open warehouses in more states, the better to minimize their shipping costs. Presumably, that’s why they’re in favor of the bill.

It also will likely force more and more businesses to become Z-shops under the Amazon umbrella. It really tells you how mature the internet business model has gotten that the online leviathans are now trying to protect themselves the same way offline ones do: by supporting regulation the destroys the competition.

Let me be clear on one thing: I don’t think internet sales should be completely exempt from sales tax. I do think the retailers have a point (albeit not much of one). Online sellers use the same roads, cops and infrastructure that brick-and-mortar stores do. They should have to pay for it.

So I’m not proposing that internet sellers don’t pay sales taxes. My understanding of the current law is that sales taxes are paid to the customer’s location if the merchant has a physical presence. I’ll revise this if I’m wrong. But wouldn’t a better alternative be to pay taxes to the locality in which the seller resides? If I buy a coat from a seller in Maine, I should pay sales taxes to his local and state governments. It should be the same as if I actually drove up to main or had a friend buy it and ship it for me.

This alternative — taxes based on point of sale — would be everything the MFA isn’t. It would be simple for sellers, requiring zero extra paperwork. It would pay tax money into the governments that are actually supporting the businesses rather than government that are whining about their high-tax regimes. It would create massive tax competition. And it would be straight forward. If the GOP weren’t obsessed with anti-tax dogma, it would be a viable alternative.

I will grant you that my idea does not give Amazon and other large businesses a huge advantage in the marketplace. Nor does it allow them to crush lesser competition. Nor does it allow states to tax without fear. But, unlike all the “fairness” oriented politicians, that’s not my goal.

In any case, this Act needs to go down in flames in the House. While I think innumerable lawsuits will spring up, I think it unlikely the Court will overturn it. The only way out of this potential nightmare is for Congress to act with some common sense.


In the end, all you need to know about this act is the title. Any piece of legislation with word “Fairness” in it is bound to be a piece of shit.

Twinkies Get Creamed As America Follows Suit

I did some contract work with IBC when it was based in Kansas City a few years ago.  Around 2008-ish.  Back then, the Teamsters Union was doing its best to bring about the outcome that the Baker’s Union ultimately accomplished: Death of the business.  The End didn’t come since the Teamsters knew back then–as they did now–when to pull back from the brink.   “Save the Twinkies, Save the World” was the vision.

Every day, I’d read the company’s consumer/employee bulletin board and just marvel at how divisive and completely un-moderated it was a website with a forum that some guy had set up for IBC employees to bitch about everything and I’m amazed that Hostess allowed it to exist. The CEO was constantly cursed by the union employees while everyone else damned the unions for demanding them all right out of jobs.

Nothing has changed, except that the inevitable has finally occurred.  Hostess has been a doomed business for a long time.  I’m not entirely sure who should be blamed (even though the proximate cause was the stubborness of the bakers).   The vitriol, threats, and “I told you so’s” at the link don’t tell the story, but they clearly show that there’s no shortage of blame in any direction.  It’s hard to see how any company can function for long with that much greed, suspicion, and ineptitude flying around.

I’m a stridently anti-union guy so it’s pretty obvious to me that the unions are to blame for the Hostess fiasco.  They tried to turn a company that makes baked goods into more and more of a benefits and pension provider even as the company went bankrupt and had nothing left to give.  You can’t be surprised by that kind of behavior.  It’s just what they do.  I pity the newly-unemployed workers, but I applaud the permanent destruction of thousands of union jobs.  A more responsible business will take over the brand in time and all will be well, I’m sure.

Yet there’s a lesson here for us all.  Like Hostess, the United States has also awarded lavish entitlements to its people and run up unsustainable liabilities in the process.  The bakers-as-takers simply refused to accept the hard realities of the business and arithmetic, gambled their livelihoods on money that just wasn’t there, and lost everything for themselves and the 2/3 of employees who weren’t on board.

Our big national Twinkie is similarly going stale as people demand yet more cream filling from it.  In Hostess’s case, the people who were tired of fighting about it with those who always wanted to squeeze out more simply walked away and let it go.  What do we do as a nation when the capitalists just stop giving a fuck?

Doing Business in America

We all know that regulatory uncertainty is a conservative myth, right? The very idea that the tens of thousands of pages of federal regulations are inhibiting American business is just laughable, no?

Well, someone forgot to tell the Economist:

America is meant to be the home of laissez-faire. Unlike Europeans, whose lives have long been circumscribed by meddling governments and diktats from Brussels, Americans are supposed to be free to choose, for better or for worse. Yet for some time America has been straying from this ideal.

Consider the Dodd-Frank law of 2010. Its aim was noble: to prevent another financial crisis. Its strategy was sensible, too: improve transparency, stop banks from taking excessive risks, prevent abusive financial practices and end “too big to fail” by authorising regulators to seize any big, tottering financial firm and wind it down. This newspaper supported these goals at the time, and we still do. But Dodd-Frank is far too complex, and becoming more so. At 848 pages, it is 23 times longer than Glass-Steagall, the reform that followed the Wall Street crash of 1929. Worse, every other page demands that regulators fill in further detail. Some of these clarifications are hundreds of pages long. Just one bit, the “Volcker rule”, which aims to curb risky proprietary trading by banks, includes 383 questions that break down into 1,420 subquestions.

Hardly anyone has actually read Dodd-Frank, besides the Chinese government and our correspondent in New York (see article). Those who have struggle to make sense of it, not least because so much detail has yet to be filled in: of the 400 rules it mandates, only 93 have been finalised. So financial firms in America must prepare to comply with a law that is partly unintelligible and partly unknowable.

And that’s just Dodd-Frank. Remember Sarbanes-Oxley, the legislation that was supposed to prevent another financial crisis? Haha. Good times. Well, you combine Sarbanes-Oxley with Dodd-Frank and you’ve got a mess of regulation so dense that Facebook recently blasted the regulatory environment for making their IPO a nightmare. This is why more IPOs are occurring in markets away from our shores than within them.

It’s not just Obama, either. He’s done a lot of damage — the Economist notes that the number of diagnostic codes in our healthcare system will increase next year from 18,000 to 140,000. And last week he made a laughable proposal for “tax reform” that would end up with lower rate but more loopholes, credits and subsidies. But Republicans have played their part, too, pushing “anti-terrorism” regulation that has slathered immigration, finance and travel in paperwork. And SOX was signed by Bush.

Getting rid of regulations sounds good, but there are a lot of regulations that we need. As the financial crisis showed, we have a banking industry that will happily construct elaborate financial vehicles that even they don’t understand. We have whole industries that will pretend they’re not hurting the environment. They do this not because they are evil, but because they are human and it simply human nature to pretend a problem doesn’t exist when it involves our money, our power or our pride. The lead industry spent decades ignoring their own scientists and insisting that lead was harmless. That wasn’t because they liked the idea of children destroying their brains; it was simply a willing suspension of disbelief. Government is an imperfect and frustrating regulator. But it’s not something we can simply push off a cliff.

But attacking regulation piecemeal — the way Obama has kind-sorta proposed and the way the Republicans kinda-sorta do — isn’t going to work either. There are tens of thousands of regulations and we could spend weeks getting rid of just one. Each one has its advocates; each its pencil-pushers who depend on it. The inertia is simply enormous.

No, what we need — what the Economist notes and what Phillip Howard has been flogging for years — is a complete change in our approach to regulation. What we have designed is a system that tries to idiot-proof itself, that tries to anticipate every eventuality, ever possibility so that there is no possibility of error. But in doing so, we have made the perfect the enemy of the good. We have a system in which something as simple as finding out how much money a bank has can take years. We have a system is incapable of responding to new problems until new rules have been passed. This is like mapping out a mine field by stepping on all the mines.

What we need to do is strip down the regulations to the basics and empower bureaucrats to use their judgement. Hand in hand with that comes accountability — the ability to fine or fire bureaucrats who exceed their authority and make bad decisions.

That has a downside, too: bureaucrats with power and regulations that are necessarily not specific to every conceivable situation. It is this situation that Harvey Silverglate raged against in his book. But the alternative is a nation that can not move a pinkie without years of discussion and millions in legal fees. The alternative is that the Gulliver of American industry is tied down by a million Lilliputian strings of regulatory bullshit.

And the Left should be the biggest cheerleaders for regulatory reform. They keep telling us we need to remake our energy industry to fight global warming. How on Earth are we going to do that when it takes ten years to do the environmental impact study for a single power line? They keep telling us we need a better approach to immigration. We can’t do that when even getting a work visa involves three pounds of paper and half a pint of blood. They keep telling us our healthcare system is too expensive. How are we supposed to make it cheaper when every hour of patient care is matched by an hour (or two) of paperwork?

Republicans make a lot of noise about regulation but I’m not sure how serious they are since heavy regulation favors powerful businesses (see the CPSIA). They seem happy to rant about it on TV but show little inclination to do anything besides fight a rule or two that have gotten some attention in the media. They are unable or unwilling to admit that any progress on regulatory reform is going to mean giving some power to government agents to interpret and enforce the law.

I don’t like the idea of empowering bureaucrats any more than you do. But as long as it comes with accountability — the ability to punish those who exceed or abuse their power — it’s the least worst alternative.

And what’s the worst alternative? What we’re enduring now. A regulatory state that is massively complex, hideously expensive and doesn’t accomplish anything.

That’s because they get it!

Fro a while now we have had an orchestrated LSM attempt to pretend that the economy is not in the tank or heading that way yet again, so it comes as no surprise to me that 7 in 10 small business owners are not hiring, and blaming the economic policies of the last 3 years and the bad economy it has created for not doing so. Things are bad out there. Don’t let the LSM tools that shill for the collectivists tell you otherwise. And most small business owners put the blame squarely where it belongs despite USNews’s attempt to hide that:

The Obama economy is so bad that 77 percent of small business owners do not plan to hire any more workers despite all of Washington’s hype that the business climate is getting better. Worse: 64 percent of small business owners in a new survey provided to Whispers see the nation teetering on the verge of another recession.

Most shocking of all in the survey of small and medium sized business owners is that many would like to hire more workers but can’t, and new financing rules imposed by hurting banks have made getting loans sharply more difficult than in the past.

These small business owners are right: the current business climate is downright hostile to most business owners, and doubly so to small business owners, and unless your run a mega corp that gives big to one political party, you are threading water. Business owners are lambasted regularly by the collectivist, wealth redistribution, class warriors that totally owned government for 2 years, and still hold the executive and the Senate. We have had a slew of horrible anti-business laws passed during the left’s tenure, including some which have begun to show their negative impact but are going to inflict far more damage and pain down the road, like Obamacare. But even worse is how we now have rogue agencies like the EPA doing what the left couldn’t by law, and coming up with their own business crushing rules. Rules, I add, that a big government growing, tax and spend heavy collectivist wealth redistributionist, democrat controlled congress, with a clear majority that would allow them to override any veto, and that told us they had a mandate (no, not two guys on a date) to do things just like that, wanted desperately, but could not pass. And that was because these onerous rules were economically poisonous and deadly to anyone that voted for them. So yeah, being a small business owner these days is down right dangerous business.

Also, I need to correct the authors and point out that banks are not loaning because banks are now by law mandated to hold on to much larger cash reserves, and have far more onerous regulation related to risk that make any kind of loans to people that didn’t need it in the first place, dangerous to them.

“Despite positive job numbers for the month of October, it is clear that business owners have a differing view of the economy,” said Connie Certusi, executive vice president and general manager of Small Business Accounting Solutions, a division of Sage North America. Sage, a business management software supplier, conducted the survey among its 3.2 million customers.

Those positive numbers they talk about is only “positive” if you are desperate to pretend that the general actions of the collectivists have done anything but harm to the economy. Otherwise the numbers are still showing an anemic economic condition and a desperate and moribund jobs market. Business owners get this. They are not fooled because they see the bottom line at the end of the month.

“The Sage SMB Perspective on Economic Recovery survey found that 64 percent of business owners who participated in the survey believe that we are either already in a recession or are headed for one in the next six months,” said Certusi. “Not surprisingly, 65 percent of respondents in the Sage SMB Perspective on Economic Recovery said that the negative economy has had an impact on their own business.” And, “The most telling statistic,” she added, “is that 48 percent of business owners would like to hire additional employees but cannot due to issues related to the bad economy.”

Like I said: these guys get it. They are not fooled by the propaganda media and the WH are shoveling out. I personally know people that told me a while back they would not hire with these clowns running the show, because they were not going to work to feed the beast instead of their family.

The survey will provide fodder to those in Washington worried most about the economic impact on small businesses, the sector Democrats and Republicans agree is key to creating jobs.

Hah! What it will do is make republicans say “I told you so” and democrats and the LSM get more desperate in their lies about the economic situation and what is hurting it. The one constant is that the job market will stay shitty, and that’s because the people that create wealth have had enough, if I can take a line from Joe Biden, of the raping coming from people that think the money belongs to the government. Job prospects remain bleak and we can expect this to last until the WH is vacated and the democrats are reduced to an insignificant minority and their wealth redistribution scams are terminated.

Obama’s Jobs Czar outsources jobs…

The next time you hear some libtard tell you how evil republicans are responsible for all those high paying middle class jobs feeling America, remind them about Obama’s pet company that didn’t pay any taxes in 2010 despite over $5 billion in earnings and GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, The Head Of Obama’s Jobs Council, who is moving even more of those jobs to China.

This is par for the course. GE has been one of those US companies at the forefront of this job shedding since the early Clinton years, where it justified doing a lot of that on the economic downturn. And I am not surprised to see them do more of the same now that another democrat they have bought & paid for is in charge and they can blame it on the very economic situation they helped him create. Back during the Clinton years GE moved a lot of their manufacturing operations to Mexico and even Canada, where labor was cheaper. Now the new destination seems to be China, where GE has been sending a lot of their meager remaining US manufacturing capability to recently.

The funny thing, well sad if you are one of the recipients of GE love, is that GE swore it was not cutting anyone here in the US when that X-Ray team was moved to China. As with all leftists – and have no doubt GE is one of those companies run by people pandering to and spouting all the nonsense the left loves, not just for personal gain, but because they are believers: that’s why Immelt is on Obama’s jobs council – they where lying through their teeth. Got to love a “Jobs Council Head”, one of Obama’s big economic Czars, that has the balls to and no problem pulling stunts like this. Well, unless you are one of those many people out there that are looking for work, have been looking for work for a very long time now, or just lost your job because of this move. I am sure that if the big hitters in the LSM ever come about to reporting this, they will find a way to blame Boosh for this too!

The Real Scandal in Washington

As I said in the comments on Alex’s post, I’m not too opposed to the double standard that gets applied to sex scandals. Republicans get hit harder because of the hypocrisy of dictating moral values to the nation when it comes to homosexuality and abortion while they schtupp lobbyists on the side.

But I do object to the failure to call out Democrats when they engage in hypocrisy that makes David Vitter look like Pope Benedict. The Democrats bombard us with an endless stream of propaganda about how they stand up for the little guy, they stand up to special interests, they oppose big money. And they do this while selling the country down the river to those exact interests. One week they are standing up to big insurance companies by pushing healthcare reform the insurance companies love. The next, they’re standing up to energy interests by lavishing money on “green” technology pushed by powerful energy interests. You can read Alex’s post below on the debacle unfolding at Fannie and Freddie, the liberal creation that was tangled up with every monied interest around and zealously defended against re-regulation by Democrats.

And then there’s Dodd-Frank, the bill that was supposed to stick it to the big banks in favor of the little guy. This is the bill that’s going to make Elizabeth Warren everyone’s second wife, constantly nagging us about our financial choices. This is the bill that was named after two men so covered in bank lobby money, their shit comes out in coin sleeves.

So how’s that bill working out? We’ve passed it, so now we can find out what’s in it.

Behold, the sudden realization:

Dodd-Frank is so sprawling — the legislation runs to more than 2,000 pages — that the law firm Morrison & Foerster dubbed the tracker it created to monitor the implementation process “FrankNDodd.”

The law laid out principles but often left it to regulators to write the actual rules. Those would be the same regulatory agencies that failed to prevent the financial crisis and that, in some cases, view the banks they oversee, not taxpayers, as their primary constituents.

Dodd-Frank requires 387 different rules from 20 different regulatory agencies. The Byzantine, tedious rulemaking process has occasionally pitted regulator against regulator and proved a bonanza for lobbyists.

Congress set aggressive deadlines for regulators to make rules to enforce the law, and, unsurprisingly, they are failing to meet them. The agencies missed each of the 26 deadlines they were supposed to meet for April. So far, regulators have finalized 24 rules and missed deadlines on 28, according to the law firm Davis Polk.

This is not an accident. This is not the creation of evil Republican deregulators. That the rule-making is coming to be controlled by special interests is exactly what we fucking predicted would happen.

What did we expect? Between Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley, we are getting to the point here he only way to make money is to control the politicians and the regulators. Anyone else gets screwed. They only other choice is to take your business to less stupid countries.

Well, we all know this is the fault of the evil Republicans. Certainly the Democrats don’t … oh.

Every morning, a Wall Street trade group called SIFMA sends out an email with the day’s news. SIFMA is the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. It represents banks and trading firms. So it’s no surprise that the email is usually heavy with critical news stories about financial reform laws, like the Dodd-Frank Act.

But tonight, SIFMA will be hosting a fundraising dinner for Democratic Congressman Barney Frank: yes, he’s the Frank in Dodd-Frank. SIFMA members will pay $1,000 or more for a seat at the table.

The Wall Street interests are also big Obama contributors.

This needs to be drilled into people’s heads: the rich and the powerful love hyper-regulation. They love it. They love it because they have the money and the influence to successfully navigate a politically-controlled landscape. All that over-regulation accomplishes is the screwing over of newcomers — those who don’t have influence yet and haven’t stuffed political war chests with their hard-earned money. The guys who brought down our financial system love Barney Frank and they love Dodd-Frank because they are protected; they have the keys to the vault (literally, in the case of bailouts).

And the politicians love it too. How else would a turd like Barney Frank get his bloated ass kissed by rich bankers? How else would Obama roll up $35,000 donations? They love having people come to Washington and genuflect before them. They love having the success of businesses and the fate of hundreds of billions of dollars turn on their whims and whimsies. This is what they live for.

The only people who lose are the average citizen, the honest businesses, the economy and the sucker lefties who continues to mindlessly support these weasels and their weasely reforms.

You know your policies are hurting the poor when

Wal-Mart starts pointing out they are not spending as much as they used to on purchases as they used to:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Wal-Mart’s core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and the retail giant is worried, CEO Mike Duke said Wednesday. “We’re seeing core consumers under a lot of pressure,” Duke said at an event in New York. “There’s no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact.” Wal-Mart shoppers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, typically shop in bulk at the beginning of the month when their paychecks come in. Lately, they’re “running out of money” at a faster clip, he said. “Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year,” Duke said. “This end-of-month [purchases] cycle is growing to be a concern.

Gasoline prices are up, inflation has reared its ugly head, and the poor are going to be socked the hardest by these things. Bet you the democrats, the party of the little people, will blame evil oil companies, evil capitalist Wal-Mart, and in general everyone else, but their policies for this. Despite whatever bullshit they say, oil prices are up because of two reasons: the dollar has plummeted in value, and the new Obama Admin policy of blocking oil exploration and extraction is making speculators basically believe oil supplies are going to be negatively impacted sooner than later.

As the dollar loses value and energy prices continue to rise, because of the lack of any real and viable strategy from the left other than to steer billions to their friends pretending this green energy shit is a sound investment, the cost of everything that needs to be moved, refrigerated, and uses plastics, is going to go up. Drastically. Obama is hell bent on beating the malaise of the Carter years it seems. The poor should remember that.