Big Government at the Grocery Store

Under the Democratic-controlled Congress, big government has found another way to reach into your pocket by placing minimum charges on debit cards.

Legislation has already passed in the Senate and is expected to soon pass in the House that includes a provision giving the Federal Reserve control of debit-card transaction fees rather than letting the free market decide.

While the amendment by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) to the Financial Reform bill is complicated, using terms like “interchange regulation,” what the it means for American consumers is:

• Placing minimum charges on debit cards — not just credit cards — at all stores,
• Processing costs for debit-card transactions will be shifted to the wallet of the card holders.

In other words, inconvenience and higher prices for debit-card consumers.

Seventeen Republicans voted for bigger government in the Senate: Barrasso, Brown, Burr, Chambliss, Collins, Crapo, Ensign, Enzi, Graham, Grassley, Isakson, LeMieux, Lugar, Risch, Snowe, Vitter, and Wicker.

Republicans in the House remain silent on the issue leading many to believe they care little about this newest intrusion of big government.

Experts have cited that retailers like Wal-Mart would be the only ones benefiting from the legislation because they will be looking at lower prices for debit-card use.

Coincidentally, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. gave Durbin’s home state $20 million in charity, focusing on anti-hunger efforts, on the eve of the conference vote. Which members of the House Financial Services Committee will receive kickbacks in their home state next?