Operation Chokepoint still Choking Businesses

Federal tax-feeders are using their powers for choking businesses, still!

“I’m an American, and when the government does something like this to its own citizens, it has to be stopped,” said Georgia business owner, Andy Kramer.

Kramer family

I agree, Mr. Kramer. So… how do we stop it?

[See also, “Justice Department Harasses, Punishes, and Tries to Destroy Legal Businesses Through Banks.”]

The quotation comes from a story at The Daily Signal: “Small Business Owner Questions Why Justice Department Would Threaten His Livelihood.”

But over the past year, he has struggled to make ends meet, finding himself subject to the Justice Department’s covert program Operation Choke Point.

Kramer is aware that his industry, check cashing, is often criticized for charging exorbitant fees and thereby subject to complex regulations.

“I’m the poster boy for compliance,” he said. “I don’t mind going through all the hoops—it’s hard, it’s expensive, but I do it.”

In the early 2000s, Kramer said national banks like SunTrust, Wells Fargo and Bank of America went on a campaign to eliminate money-service businesses from their customer base.

But because local banks still supported his service, decisions made by “the big boys” never posed a significant threat.

Until Operation Choke Point kicked into gear.

The program, Kramer believes, caused a series of local banks to drop his accounts, putting Discount Check Casher of Georgia and its nine full-time employees in jeopardy.

Yeah, that’s the whole reason we have a government: To put businesses out of business, and employees out on the street, and onto the welfare rolls.

[See also, “Executive Branch Bypasses Congress to Impose Financial Sanctions on… Legal Gun Dealers.”]

Since coming under pressure from Republicans in Congress, the FDIC walked back its involvement in Operation Choke Point, taking dramatic steps to reverse its policies in targeting legal and legitimate industries that are unpopular within the Obama administration.

But industry insiders’ say Choke Point is far from over, and the FDIC’s policy change is insufficient to protect business owners.

“The FDIC’s latest move is as a stunning admission that the government targeted legal and lawful businesses for undue regulatory scrutiny,” said Jamie Fulmer, senior vice president of public affairs for Advance America, Cash Advance. However, he said:

“The FDIC gave little hint at whether it would rectify the damage done to the untold number of regulated businesses who lost crucial banking relationships or whether officials with personal biases against legal businesses used by millions will be held accountable.”

The U.S. Consumer Coalition’s [Senior Advisor, Brian] Wise said the FDIC’s latest move was a political stunt to “quell the public scrutiny of this program.”

Anyone who suggests we have anything close to a free-market system in today’s United States needs to have his sanity questioned. Bureaucrats who are not capable of running any real business are ruining everything they touch.

Again: How do we stop it?