Walmart: Consumers Impacted by Smaller Paycheck

In leaked emails Wal-Mart execs warned of troubling signs in the economy to start the new year.  After a good Christmas the sales giant saw a slow January followed by an even more dismal early February.

Wal-Mart Stores had the worst sales start to a month in seven years as payroll-tax increases hit shoppers already battling a slow economy, according to internal e-mails obtained by Bloomberg News.

“In case you haven’t seen a sales report these days, February MTD sales are a total disaster,” Jerry Murray, Wal- Mart’s vice president of finance and logistics, said in a Feb. 12 e-mail to other executives, referring to month-to-date sales. “The worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company.”

This information could not be a surprise. Smaller paychecks seen by the end of the payroll tax cut and a sudden rise in fuel prices impact the middle and lower income class most. Families living paycheck to paycheck who suddenly see a decrease of $40-50 per month, while spending more at the gas pump, have to rethink their shopping habits.

Unlike the federal government, families cannot just print more money to pay for groceries.

Some will argue that the payroll tax cuts would have been eliminated by both parties. But Democrats could have forewarned of this ‘surprise’ decrease in paychecks. Ownership must go to the Obama administration.