Retailers Demand Price Controls from Congress
Christmas is the time for goodies and gifts but lobbyists for the retail industry’s are hoping Congress grants their wish list of crony capitalist giveaways that will cost consumers while increasing their own profit margin.
Andrew Langer, the President of the Institute for Liberty, is pulling the alarm on the crony scheme pushed for by lobbyists for the retail industry to impose federal price controls on credit card fees:
“Congress should reject European price controls,” that “while America’s regulatory costs have ballooned since 2005, Europe’s have positively skyrocketed. Thankfully, the United States has not copied the statist policies in many European counties that hamper economic growth. But right now, well-funded lobbyists are pushing a European idea that the government should set price controls on payment processing fees. These same lobbyists were successful five years ago in implementing a cap on card swipe fees, yet that was not enough for them. They are back for more. This time they’re clamoring for European-style price controls and claiming that the fees are weighing down the economy.”
A group called the Merchants Payment Coalition is demanding Congress copy Europe and their champion, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois’ has pushed to cap swipe fees retailers paid for debit cards since the Dodd-Frank bill. The add insult to injury, he openly admitted that he carried his amendment for Walgreen corporation saying, “I had the CEO of Walgreens contact me last week,” Durbin related on the floor, “and he told me that when they look at the expenses of Walgreens, …it turns out the fees that Walgreens pays to credit card companies is the fourth largest item of cost for their business.”