American Fascism [Darleen Click]
The Food and Drug Administration is putting the squeeze on J.C. Newman Cigar Co. — a 119-year-old family owned company — with the rules and regulations in Florida, which could lead the company to close down.
“Founded in 1895 by Julius Caesar Newman, a Hungarian immigrant, the Tampa-based family business is the last of what was once 150 ‘Cigar City’ factories,” Watchdog.org reports.
Food for thought: the business has survived through two world wars, the Great Depression and 19 different U.S. presidents.
The FDA has deemed that J.C. Newman’s cigars do not qualify as “premium cigars” because they sell for less than $10. The cheap price is a testament to good business practices — supported by the longevity of the company — not necessarily the quality of the cigars.
In other words, the FDA is imposing a “one size fits all” regulation that literally penalizes J.C. Newman for being good at business.
What’s more, it’s a way of artificially raising prices simply to kill a business type the government doesn’t support. [...]
Despite the quality of their tobacco and their traditional hand-rolling methods, J.C. Newman’s cigars do not qualify as “premium” because they cost less than the arbitrary price threshold of $10.
In fact, the hand-rolling technique might not even be FDA approved, as per new requirements laid out in a 67-page legal proposal. The proposal will require the company “Obtain federal approval before offering any new cigar product,” “Submit every type of cigar sold to rigorous scientific review,” and “Comply with new manufacturing practices.”
Those manufacturing practices include paying a “fee in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, effectively paying the FDA to regulate it,” Watchdog.org reports, and “thousands of hours, according to an FDA analysis, to test new products before submitting an application to sell a single new brand or size of cigar.”
Just another unaccountable Federal agency joining in on the precedent set by J. Edgar Holder’s Operation Choke Point
Operation Choke Point functions as a partnership between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and various other federal agencies which deal with bank regulations, specifically the Treasury and the SEC. The objective of the project is to choke-off fraudulent businesses from accessing financial services, in an effort to protect consumers.
The controversy, however, is over allegations that the DOJ is pressuring financial institutions to decline doing business with so-called “high risk” industries which line up squarely against the political leanings of the current administration. These businesses include ammunition sales, payday loans, pornography, fireworks companies, and others—24 industries in total, as listed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
“Operation Choke Point is one of the most dangerous programs I have experienced in my 45 years of service as a bank regulator, bank attorney and consultant, and bank board member. Operating without legal authority and guided by a political agenda, unelected officials at the DOJ are discouraging banks from providing basic banking services…to lawful businesses simply because they don’t like them,” said William M. Isaac, former chairman of the FDIC. [...]
Virginia Republican Rep. Robert Goodlatte revealed that one of the more egregious examples sent in to the committee was a meeting between the DOJ and a bank regarding the continued provision of financial services to a payday loan company.
The DOJ official reportedly told the banker, “I don’t like this product, and I don’t believe it should have a place in our financial system. And if you don’t agree, there will be an immediate, unplanned audit of your entire bank.”
The Justice Department has now served over 50 subpoenas on banks, and Alabama Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus expressed considerable concern that dragging banks into a long and expensive process is just an underhanded way of encouraging banks to drop clients as an easy-out.
“Subpoenas are expensive to comply with and can bring unwanted scrutiny. The natural reaction from a financial institution might be to sever relations with the merchant and be done with it,” Bachus said Thursday in a hearing at the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law.