Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Obama's economic plan

On this page, you will see documentation of
  • $95 billion in Justice Department fines,
  • $11 billion in fines by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,
  • $4.4 billion in fines by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission,
  • $4.2 billion in fines by the Securities and Exchange Commission,
  • $1 billion in fines by the N.H.T.S.A. on Takata
  • $675 million in fines by F.I.N.R.A.
  • $231 million in fines by the U.S. Department of Transportation
  • A $30 million fine by the U.S. Department of Education
  • more than $10 million in fines by O.S.H.A.
  • other, smaller fines by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Federal Communications Commission
This page also mentions fines by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The former President of the United States seems to be a believer in the philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, as implemented by Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin.  Both Lenin and Stalin used military force to enact their policies.  Lenin closed the building where the Russian legislature did their business, and Stalin confiscated food from the Ukraine, where a lot of the Soviet food was grown.  Link to the November 6, 1917 page of the History Channel's website.   That particular policy caused the death of more Ukrainians during the early 1930s than the number of Jews who died during the 1940s.  Link to a relevant page on the website of the History Place.

The political policies of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels are sometimes called Marxism.  Their economic policies are sometimes called Communism.  Because President Obama is a Marxist-Leninist, he believes that any individual who owns private property is a threat to the ideal of equal ownership of all property, coordinated and controlled by a very powerful central government.

The President's economic ideas, in his own words

These two videos show his view about wealth.  The first one, an audio recording, was recorded in October 1998.  Listen carefully starting at 1 minute, 5 seconds.  The second video was uploaded to YouTube in October 2008.  At that time, Obama was a presidential candidate, running against Senator John McCain.

"I actually believe in redistribution."
(I don't believe in wealth through hard work.)
"Everybody who's got a good idea has a chance to succeed." (except entrepreneurs)

These two videos were recorded ten years apart, so this is evidence of a consistent philosophy, expressed over a long period of time.

A consistent Marxist philosophy, one which doesn't allow anyone to be wealthy.

Barak Obama's idea of an equal opportunity to succeed does not involve smart, hard-working individuals exercising their right to start a small business and later, to grow it into a medium-sized business that employs many people.  Instead, Obama's idea of an equal opportunity is the U.S. Government taking money, in the form of high taxes on "wealthy" individuals, including many hard-working business owners, and then giving money, in the form of tax refunds and welfare benefits, to people whose only qualification for receiving it is that they are poor.  Corporations that are large but were once very small would be taxed as well, using corporate income taxes.

This policy creates a powerful incentive for low-income working people to stop working in order to qualify for these benefits and an equally powerful incentive for high-income hard-working people to stop working very hard because a high percentage of their income will be taken from them as taxes.

For some people and companies, there is an economic reason to move to an area that doesn't impose such high taxes.  Sometimes, this "new area" is a different state or even a different country.

When any U.S.-based corporation is very large, this fact makes Obama very angry.  In his mind, trained to think that every person should be the equal of every other person, a large corporation is always evil, so they should always be attacked simply for having more money than the poorest Muslim who begs for money on the streets of Cairo, Egypt.

The normal U.S. Government economic process

  1. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service collects taxes from individuals and corporations.  This money goes into The Treasury of the United States.

  2. The United States Congress has the Constitutional authority to decide how to spend the money that is in the United States Treasury.  A committee in each legislative body (House and Senate) called the Appropriations Committee (link to the House Appropriations Committee)(link to the Senate Appropriations Committee) makes a recommendation to the members of each group (Representatives and Senators).

  3. The U.S. House and the U.S. Senate take separate votes on how to spend the money that is in the U.S. Treasury.  If these two pieces of legislation have any differences, a special committee, called a Conference Committee, will discuss those differences and work out a compromise.

  4. When a unified piece of legislation is approved by the Conference Committee, it is then given another vote by the House and the Senate.  If it passes, this legislation, which gives the President the power to spend the money in the U.S. Treasury, is sent to him.

  5. If the President signs this legislation, he then has the authority to spend money under the terms and conditions that have been set by Congress.  This prevents any one man, even the U.S. President, from becoming a dictator, and it prevents any one man, even the U.S. President, from spending the wealth of the United States on himself, his family, and his friends.
This procedure has built-in safeguards to prevent any President from acting like a dictator by ordering his agencies to take money from the people and their businesses in order to make himself and his friends very rich.  This happens sometimes in small countries that don't have a working constitution and the determination of their people to enforce it.

Any U.S. President who obtains large amounts of money from other sources, using other procedures, must be able to show the American people that he is not a dictator.  Link to my 2012 essay Why dictatorships are always bad.

Obama's policies

In general

Link to a 17-second video interview uploaded to YouTube September 7, 2008 of U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Barak Obama by George Stephanopoulos.  In this video, he mentions his Muslim faith, and George corrects him without an explanation to the viewer.

He is a Muslim, so he will not tell unbelievers (that's 99% of the American public) the truth about his political goals or his economic policies.

As a Marxist, he doesn't understand the need for any system of government that shares power among different branches.  He believes that one man, at the top of the political pyramid, can and should exercise that power for the benefit of all of the people who live in his realm.

His economic policy contradicts the American ideal of shared governmental power.  Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address says that "Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth."  Obama demands the power to distribute money to whatever group of people he thinks deserves it, even groups whose leadership advocates violence against Americans.  Read the fourth paragraph of this Washington Examiner story, which is quoted later on this page.

In order to provide violent Muslims and others the money they need, Obama had to find a source of income that Congress cannot block.  He found it, in the form of large fines on American corporations.

One specific action he took that is based on his Marxist policies

The U.S. Attorney's Office, working with the Drug Enforcement Administration, fined the C.V.S. Health Corporation $450,000.  Link to a story dated August 10, 2015 in The Hill.

This money was paid directly to the U.S. Justice Department, which Obama oversees, and now the Justice Department can spend this money without asking for any spending authority from Congress.

It is an indisputable fact that Executive Branch agencies have spent money without any Congressional approval.  I wrote this essay in January 2013 which quoted (and linked to) a report produced by the Inspector General of the Treasury Department which documented $4.2 billion in payments to illegal aliens.

The Justice Department, which Obama oversees, can spend the $450 million that it collected from the C.V.S. Health Corporation on whatever Executive Branch program it chooses to spend the money upon, including direct aid to the Muslim Brotherhood and other organizations that advocate a violent death for Christians, Jews, and for a wide variety of people who disagree with them on social issues.

There are other similar actions, but in the following paragraphs, the payments are much higher.

$95 billion in fines, collected or pending, from the U.S. Justice Department

The following news articles are arranged in chronological order, oldest first.  The dollar amounts are totaled after the last news article.

Siemens AG, a German corporation, was fined $1.6 billion.  Link to the December 8, 2008 Press Release (a month after Obama's first election).  Half of this money went to the German Government and the other half went to the U.S. Justice Department, but the entire amount is money that this company can't use for research into new products, salaries and raises for their most productive employees.  Any company that is heavily fined can't use this money to open a branch office in order to grow their business, or for any other purpose.

Eli Lilly, a manufacturer of pharmaceutical drugs, was fined $1.4 billion.  Link to the January 15, 2009 Press Release (a week before Obama was sworn-in for the first time).  This fine is different than the $9 billion that a U.S. jury decided to award to plaintiffs in a lawsuit.  Link to the April 2014 article in the Wall Street Journal.

Pfizer, another very large drug manufacturer, was fined $2.3 billion.  Link to the announcement dated September 2, 2009 on the Justice Department website.  Obama was sworn-in for his first term in January of that year.

Link to a May 7, 2012 press release from the U.S. Justice Department announcing a $1.5 billion fine on Abbott Laboratories, "a global health care company", quoting the press release.

GlaxoSmithKline, a very large British corporation, was fined $3 billion after the Federal Drug Administration decided that they were selling adult medications to children.  Link to the announcement dated July 2, 2012 on the Justice Department website.  Glaxo also agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and to be monitored by the Federal Drug Administration for the next five years.

HSBC Holdings PLC forfeited $1.256 billion and paid another $665 million in fines when the Justice Department accused them of laundering drug money to Mexico.  Link to a December 11, 2012 Reuters article.  This adds up to $1.921 billion.

Johnson & Johnson, a very large manufacturer of medical devices, was fined $2.2 billion.  Link to the announcement dated November 4, 2013 on the Justice Department website.

J.P. Morgan, a very large U.S.-based bank, has settled with a variety of U.S. agencies and commissions during a time period of many years.  Their total transfer of wealth, according to a story dated January 7, 2014 in the Wall Street Journal, is over $25 billion.

Toyota was fined $1.2 billion because some of their cars had mechanical problems with the accelerator pedal.  Link to a March 19, 2014 article in Forbes.

Link to a August 21, 2014 press release from the U.S. Justice Department announcing a $16.6 billion fine on the Bank of America.

Link to a April 23, 2015 New York Times article about a $2.5 billion fine of Deutsche Bank.

Five very large banks were fined a combined total of $5.6 billion.  The banks are Barclays Bank PLC, Citigroup Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase and Co., the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, and UBS Bank AG.  Link to a Wall Street Journal article dated May 20, 2015.

The U.S. Justice Department finally settled with British Petroleum.  The fine will be $20.8 billion.  Link to the October 5, 2015 announcement.

This is the first paragraph of an April 12, 2016 story in Reuters.  The link, which was included in the paragraph, shows information about Goldman Sachs stock, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) has agreed to pay $5.06 billion to settle claims that it misled mortgage bond investors during the financial crisis, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Monday.
The U.S. Department of Justice asked Deutsche Bank to settle lawsuits against it for $14 billion.  Link to a September 16, 2016 Fortune article, one of many similar articles that I could list here.  The bank announced on the same day that they refused this settlement offer, according to this September 16, 2016 Reuters story, one of many that I could list here.  This proposed settlement will not be added to the following list until the settlement negotiations are completed.  The dollar amount of the fine could be higher or lower at that time.  That is why people and companies negotiate.

These are the first two paragraphs of a Justice Department announcement made January 11, 2017.
Volkswagen AG (VW) has agreed to plead guilty to three criminal felony counts and pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty as a result of the company’s long-running scheme to sell approximately 590,000 diesel vehicles in the U.S. by using a defeat device to cheat on emissions tests mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and lying and obstructing justice to further the scheme, the Justice Department announced today.

In separate civil resolutions of environmental, customs and financial claims, VW has agreed to pay $1.5 billion.  This includes EPA’s claim for civil penalties against VW in connection with VW’s importation and sale of these cars, as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) claims for customs fraud.  In addition, the EPA agreement requires injunctive relief to prevent future violations.  The agreements also resolve alleged violations of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA).
$2.8 billion + $1.5 billion = $4.3 billion, the dollar amount that many other news articles are quoting.

Link to a January 6, 2017 article in Reuters, before the settlement was announced.

January 7, 2017 article in CNBCJanuary 10, 2017 article in the Washington Post.

This is the first paragraph of January 13, 2017 Justice Department press release.
Tokyo-based Takata Corporation, one of the world’s largest suppliers of automotive safety-related equipment, agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud and pay a total of $1 billion in criminal penalties stemming from the company’s fraudulent conduct in relation to sales of defective airbag inflators.  An indictment was also unsealed charging three Takata executives with wire fraud and conspiracy in relation to the same conduct.

$25.0 billion from J.P. Morgan (multiple fines added together)
$20.8 billion from British Petroleum (see the separate section below)
$16.6 billion from the Bank of America
$5.6 billion from five other banks
$5.0 billion from Goldman Sachs
$4.3 billion from Volkswagen (announced January 11, 2017)
$3.0 billion from GlaxoSmithKlein
$2.5 billion from Deutsche Bank
$2.2 billion from Johnson & Johnson
$2.0 billion from Pfizer
$1.9 billion from HSBC Holdings PLC
$1.6 billion from Siemens
 $1.5 billion from Abbott Laboratories
 $1.4 billion from Eli Lilly
   $1.2 billion from Toyota
+ $1.0 billion from Takata

$95.6 billion from these fifteen corporations or groups of corporations

Over $800 million in smaller fines, also collected by the Justice Dept.

These news stories are arranged in chronological order, oldest first.

This is the first paragraph of a December 19, 2012 press release.
Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, U.S. District Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr. accepted a guilty plea by American biotechnology giant Amgen Inc. (Amgen) for illegally introducing a misbranded drug into interstate commerce.  The plea is part of a global settlement with the United States in which Amgen agreed to pay $762 million to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from its sale and promotion of certain drugs.  The settlement represents the single largest criminal and civil False Claims Act settlement involving a biotechnology company in U.S. history.
These are the first two paragraphs of a September 3, 2014 announcement that was made by the Justice Department and the E.P.A.
Costco Wholesale Corporation, the nation’s second largest retailer, has agreed to cut its emissions of ozone-depleting and greenhouse gas chemicals from refrigeration equipment at more than half of its stores nationwide.

In the settlement announced today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Costco will pay $335,000 in penalties for federal Clean Air Act violations and improve refrigerant management at 274 stores at an estimated cost of $2 million over the next three years.
Hudson City Bancorp, based in New Jersey, agreed to a fine of over $30 million.  This is the first paragraph of a story dated September 24, 2015 in the Wall St. Journal.
Federal officials reached a settlement with Hudson City Bancorp Inc. over allegations that the Paramus, N.J., lender intentionally withheld mortgages from minorities, signaling renewed interest in an area that drew focus decades ago.
Link to a Dept of Justice press release dated February 10, 2015 announcing a $5.6 million fine on an Iowa home-care company called ResCare Iowa Inc.

Two Swiss banks have been fined for violating U.S. tax laws.  These three paragraphs were copied from a Department of Justice announcement dated July 23, 2015.
The Swiss Bank Program, which was announced on Aug. 29, 2013, provides a path for Swiss banks to resolve potential criminal liabilities in the United States. Swiss banks eligible to enter the program were required to advise the department by Dec. 31, 2013, that they had reason to believe that they had committed tax-related criminal offenses in connection with undeclared U.S.-related accounts. Banks already under criminal investigation related to their Swiss-banking activities and all individuals were expressly excluded from the program.

Since Aug. 1, 2008, SB Saanen maintained 110 U.S.-related accounts with a maximum aggregate value of approximately $62 million.  SB Saanen will pay a penalty of $1.365 million.

Since Aug. 1, 2008, Bellerive maintained 20 U.S.-related accounts, comprising a total of $68.9 million in assets under management.  Bellerive will pay a penalty of $57,000.

Link to a February 1, 2016 Justice Department announcement of a $13 million fine on Lumber Liquidators.  The third paragraph of this announcement states that the company "pleaded guilty and was charged in October 2015 in the Eastern District of Virginia" with a federal crime.  If a company can be guilty of a crime, why can't a company use its' financial resources to support political candidates?  Link to a January 21, 2015 U.S. News story about the five-year anniversary of the Citizens United legal case.  Link to this case on the official blog of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Link to a March 1, 2016 Justice Department announcement of a $646 million fine on "the United States’ largest distributor of endoscopes and related equipment".
U.S. Attorney Fishman and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Bitkower of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division also announced that a subsidiary of the distributor will pay $22.8 million to resolve criminal charges relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in Latin America.
Link to a July 12, 2016 Justice Department announcement of an $11 million fine on a company called Value Act, "... to settle allegations that certain ValueAct entities violated the reporting and waiting period requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (the “HSR Act”)."

This is the first paragraph of a November 23, 2016 Detroit Free Press story.
U.S. Steel Corp. — without admitting wrongdoing — has agreed to pay a $2.2 million fine and spend an additional $1.9 million on facility upgrades and other environmental projects to settle alleged Clean Air Act violations with the U.S. Justice Department, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and the states of Indiana and Illinois.
The fact that the company did not admit to any wrongdoing will make it harder for lawyers to sue them.  Many other Justice Department settlements have included an admission of criminal guilt for this very reason.

It's interesting that the specific accusations involved an investment in Halliburton, a corporation that has been the frequent target of liberal criticism.  I'm certain that many of the people who worked on this case sacrificed their professional judgement in favor of a partisan attack on this company.

In a truly unbelievable bit of organizational aggression, the Justice Department, which has a mandate to enforce United States laws, fined the Denver County Sheriff's Department $10,000 for not hiring illegal immigrants.  Link to the November 21, 2016 Washington Examiner article.

The report from the Government Accountability Institute

This quote is the first sentence in the conclusion of a report called Follow the Money: How the Department of Justice funds progressive activists, which begins on page 113 of the 115-page report.
The evidence suggests that the left is using the DOJ and the power of the federal government to extract money from financial institutions for redistribution to progressive activists whose real intent is far more partisan than the housing and housing education for which they ostensibly exist.

$11 billion in fines by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

These are the first two paragraphs of a January 27, 2017 Fortune story.
Within days of being sworn in, President Donald Trump has already pledged to cut business regulations by 75%.  One way he is likely to fulfill that promise, at least in part, is by defanging a legacy of the 2008 financial crisis: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

That could mean the functional end to the consumer watchdog, which has been responsible for returning roughly $11.8 billion to some 29 million consumers since its inception in 2011, according to data from the bureau.  That's an average of $407 returned to each affected consumer, affecting roughly 9% of the U.S. population (assuming no single consumer was a victim in more than one case).

This is Paragraph number 5, titled "Consumer Relief", of a PDF-format Consent Judgement.  The C.F.P.B. and the legal representatives of 49 states, plus the legal representative for the District of Columbia, approved of the terms of this document during December 2013.
Defendant shall provide $2 billion of relief to consumers who meet the eligibility criteria in the forms and amounts described in Exhibit C, to remediate harms allegedly caused by the alleged unlawful conduct of Defendant.  Defendant shall receive credit towards such obligation as described in Exhibit C.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined the Navy Federal Credit Union $28.5 million.  Link to their October 5, 2016 announcement.  The video on the left was found with a search.

Link to a similar story on the website of the Credit Union Times, dated October 11, 2016.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also fined two of the three main credit reporting agencies a total of $23 million, of which $17.6 million is meant to be restitution.  Link to their announcement dated January 3, 2017.

$4.4 billion in fines by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission

These news stories and press releases are listed in chronological order, oldest first.

This is the first paragraph of a November 6, 2015 CFTC Press Release.
Washington, DC - The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today released the agency’s enforcement results for fiscal year (FY) 2015, which included a record $3.144 billion in civil monetary penalties ordered against wrongdoers and continued the CFTC’s unwavering commitment to the protection of customers and ensuring market integrity.
This agency fined various businesses $3.1 billion in fiscal year 2015.

These are the first three paragraphs of a May 25, 2016 Bloomberg story.
Citigroup Inc. will pay $425 million to resolve U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission claims that the bank attempted to manipulate global benchmarks for interest-rate products multiple times from 2007 to 2012.

The CFTC announced two settlements Wednesday with New York-based Citigroup over allegations involving the ISDAfix, as well as London and Tokyo benchmarks.

Citigroup will pay $250 million over allegations tied to ISDAfix, a global interest-rate benchmark used by banks, and $175 million for alleged abuses linked to the London Interbank offered rate, the regulator said in two separate statements.

This is the first paragraph of a November 21, 2016 CFTC Press Release.
Washington, DC - The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today released the agency’s enforcement results for fiscal year (FY) 2016. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the CFTC filed 68 enforcement actions, which addressed a sweeping range of misconduct and market harm, and obtained orders totaling approximately $1.29 billion in restitution, disgorgement, and penalties.
This agency fined various businesses $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2016.

These are the first four paragraphs of a December 21, 2016 Wall Street Journal story.  The link in the first paragraph was in their story.
In 2007, a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. swaps trader leaned on his broker to make sure no trades were made shortly before 11 a.m. Eastern that would move a global interest-rate swaps benchmark he wanted to nudge down.

“Have your screen guy go to the bathroom. You don’t need to move tens for the next 10 minutes,” the trader instructed on a recorded phone call, referring to products that would affect the rate for 10-year maturities, according to a settlement between Goldman and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced Wednesday.

Just before the ISDAFIX benchmark was set at 11 a.m., the Goldman trader followed up with an email to the broker, working at another firm that isn’t named in the settlement: “spend what you need, but make SURE we get the print,” or the rates captured each day at 11 a.m.

Goldman agreed to pay $120 million to settle claims that its traders worked to manipulate the benchmark to benefit the bank’s positions. It didn’t admit or deny wrongdoing.

$4.2 billion in fines by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

This is the first paragraph of a October 22, 2015 Reuters story.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement actions resulted in $4.2 billion in sanctions in fiscal 2015, the commission said on Thursday, about the same level as the penalties leveled the previous year, when it handled 52 fewer actions.
This regulatory body oversees stockbrokers, financial planners, companies that offer stock to the public, and U.S.-based stock exchanges.

The S.E.C. fined a large investment bank called Goldman Sachs $550 million.  Link to the July 15, 2010 Press Release.  This statement also shows that the S.E.C. required Goldman Sachs to admit that "its' marketing materials for the subprime product contained incomplete information."  I'm not a lawyer, but this sounds like the S.E.C. wanted the company to make itself vulnerable to multiple lawsuits.

The S.E.C. fined the Edward Jones stock brokerage house $20 million.  Link to the announcement on their website dated August 13, 2015.

The S.E.C. also fined a Swiss bank called UBS AG.  Link to a Reuters story dated October 13, 2015 about a $19.5 million settlement.

$1 billion in fines by the N.H.T.S.A. on Takata

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fined a Japanese manufacturer of automobile airbags $70 million.  Link to the announcement dated November 3, 2015 on the website of the Associated Press.

Link to an article in Fortune Magazine dated December 29, 2016 that says that the N.H.T.S.A. is negotiating a settlement with Takata that could reach a billion dollars and is likely to include an admission of criminal guilt, which would make the company vulnerable to many private lawsuits.  The final settlement was $1 billion, and three Japanese citizens who worked for the U.S. subsidiary did plead guilty to criminal charges.  Link to a January 13, 2017 New York Times story.

The N.H.T.S.A. also fined Fiat-Chrysler $70 million in late 2015, in addition to $126 million in total fines for 2014.  December 10, 2015 Detroit News story.

$675 million in fines by F.I.N.R.A.

The following links to press releases and news stories are arranged in chronological order, oldest first.
This is the first paragraph of a February 17, 2011 announcement on their website.
WASHINGTON — The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it has imposed fines of $450,000 against Lincoln Financial Securities, Inc. (LFS) and $150,000 against an affiliated firm, Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation (LFA), for failure to adequately protect non-public customer information.  In addition, LFS failed to require brokers working remotely to install security application software on their own personal computers used to conduct the firm's securities business.
This is the first paragraph of a May 3, 2016 announcement on their website.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it has fined MetLife Securities, Inc. (MSI) $20 million and ordered it to pay $5 million to customers for making negligent material misrepresentations and omissions on variable annuity (VA) replacement applications for tens of thousands of customers.  Each misrepresentation and omission made the replacement appear more beneficial to the customer, even though the recommended VAs were typically more expensive than customers' existing VAs.  MSI's VA replacement business constituted a substantial portion of its business, generating at least $152 million in gross dealer commission for the firm over a six-year period.
This is the first paragraph of a May 18, 2016 announcement on their website.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it has fined Raymond James & Associates, Inc. (RJA) and Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (RJFS), a total of $17 million for widespread failures related to the firms’ anti-money laundering (AML) programs.  RJA was fined $8 million and RJFS was fined $9 million for failing to establish and implement adequate AML procedures, which resulted in the firms’ failure to properly prevent or detect, investigate, and report suspicious activity for several years.  RJA’s former AML Compliance Officer, Linda L. Busby, was also fined $25,000 and suspended for three months.
FINRA August 8, 2016 press release headline: FINRA Fines Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. $12.5 Million for Inadequate Supervision of Internal Communications

Reuters October 18, 2016 headline: FINRA fines Merrill Lynch $2.8 million for reporting violations

F.I.N.R.A. press release, November 2, 2016.  They have fined eight firms a total of $6.2 million.

Reuters November 17, 2016 headline: FINRA fines Oppenheimer & Co $3.4 million for reporting violations

There is an additional $7 million fine on Merrill Lynch as of November 30, 2016.  The link.

F.I.N.R.A. fined 12 companies $14.4 million, according to this December 21, 2016 press release.

 $600 million from Lincoln Financial Securities and a subsidiary
   $20 million from MetLife Securities
   $17 million from Raymond James & Associates
   $14.4 million from 12 financial companies, including Wells Fargo Securities
   $12 million from Deutsche Bank
     $6.2 million from eight financial firms
     $3.4 million from Oppenheimer
 +  $2.8 million from Merrill Lynch
$ 675.8 million from these eight companies or groups of companies

Fined by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (N.O.A.A.)

This almost-four-minute video shows how fishermen in New England have been harassed by N.O.A.A.

The video was produced by CBS News.

Link to a summary of the findings of N.O.A.A.'s Inspector General on a website that has news about commercial fishermen.

These are the first three paragraphs of a July 1, 2010 Associated Press story that was reprinted in the Bangor Daily News.
An audit of how fishery police used millions in federal fines collected from fishermen has found they misspent it on items including cars for managers, a $300,000 luxury undercover boat and a weeklong training workshop in Norway.

The audit, released Thursday, was commissioned earlier this year after the U.S. Department of Commerce’s inspector general found mismanagement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s law enforcement office.

Inspector General Todd Zinser investigated after fishermen complained for years about arbitrary enforcement of the nation’s fishery laws, saying the fines amounted to a bounty because NOAA kept the money.

These are the first paragraphs of a February 16, 2011 CBS News story.  The link in the third paragraph was in their story.
For 37 years the waters off the coast of Mass. were a way of life for fishermen Bill Lee.  Then, without warning - it all changed.

"NOAA took a career that I enjoyed and put me out of business," Lee said.  "And laughed all the way to the bank."

NOAA is short for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - the federal agency that oversees the $3.9 billion dollar fishing industry.

CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports in 2009 NOAA fined Lee $19,000 for catching about 20 extra codfish - nearly three years after he caught them.  A fine, he says, that destroyed his one-man operation.

The unprofessional conduct of this U.S. Government agency continued for years.  These are the first three paragraphs of a June 4, 2015 Washington Examiner story.
Todd Zinser, the inspector general at the Department of Commerce, abruptly cleaned out his office Wednesday evening amid a congressional investigation and public calls from lawmakers for President Obama to remove him.

His resignation came as new allegations of whistleblower retaliation emerged from a Democrat-led House Science, Space and Technology Committee probe.

Over the past week, Zinser's office had refused to answer questions related to allegations that his human resources director improperly placed an employee on leave after her cooperation with congressional investigators became clear.
Link to a similar story, dated June 4, 2015 in the Federal Times.

Link to a similar story, dated June 5, 2015 in the New York Post.

Link to a similar story, dated June 4, 2015 on the official website for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

These are the first four paragraphs of a February 23, 2017 article on the website of Americans for Prosperity.  Their Twitter account, and the individual Twitter accounts for about 10 of their statewide branches, follows my Twitter account.
In New England and Mid-Atlantic states, fishing isn’t just one of the oldest industries of the region; it’s also a way of life.  Unfortunately, the industry older than America itself is being caught up and killed by government regulation.

Starting in May of 2010, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has required a federal observers on board fishing vessels in order to ensure that federal regulations are not violated and quotas are not exceeded.

As you can imagine, hiring this additional personnel to ensure fishing compliance is an expensive proposition.  The program was funded by NOAA through March 2016, but now funding has run out, placing the burden of paying the observers onto the fishermen themselves, costing about $18,000 per year, or $710 per trip.

While large fishing operations may be able to shoulder these costs, independent fishermen cannot do so as easily.  According to a government study, these costs will put 60% of the New England fishing industry out of business.

$231 million in fines by the U.S. Department of Transportation

These announcements are listed in chronological order, oldest first.

These are the first three paragraphs of a May 9, 2011 blog article (not mine).
The U.S. Department of Transportation handed down $175,000 in fines last week to five online travel sellers for failing to properly disclose code-share flights.

Consent orders were issued May 6 to Fareportal ($50,000), American Travel Solutions ($45,000), Wholesale Travel Center ($30,000), AirGorilla ($30,000) and Automobile Club of New York ($20,000).

The latest fines follow a DOT consent order about the code-share issued served April 26 on Airtrade International, which was fined $50,000.
Note. The D.O.T. link in the first paragraph goes to the home page of their website, not to the announcement of the fine.

The Transportation Department fined a ticket agent $60,000.  Link to the May 23, 2013 announcement.

The Transportation Department fined three other ticket agents a total of $140,000.  Link to the August 29, 2013 announcement.

These are the first two paragraphs of a May 16, 2014 announcement on their website.  They fined General Motors $35 million.
WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced that General Motors (GM) has agreed to pay a record $35 million civil penalty and to take part in unprecedented oversight requirements as a result of findings from NHTSA’s timeliness investigation regarding the Chevrolet Cobalt and the automaker’s failure to report a safety defect in the vehicle to the federal government in a timely manner.  The defect resulted in the non-deployment of airbags in certain Chevrolet Cobalt and other GM models.  This action represents the single highest civil penalty amount ever paid as a result of a NHTSA investigation of violations stemming from a recall.

As part of today’s agreement, set forth in a Consent Order signed with NHTSA, the agency also ordered GM to make significant and wide-ranging internal changes to its review of safety-related issues in the United States, and to improve its ability to take into account the possible consequences of potential safety-related defects.  GM will also pay additional civil penalties for failing to respond on time to the agency’s document demands during NHTSA’s investigation.

They fined the combined Fiat-Chrysler corporation $105 million.  Link to a D.O.T. press release dated July 26, 2015.  Link to a Detroit News story dated December 10, 2015.  This news story also mentions $126 million in civil fines during 2014.

Three non-U.S. airlines were fined a total of $550,000 for not responding in time to complaints from disabled passengers.  Link to the April 14, 2016 D.O.T. announcement.

They fined Qatar Airways $185,000.  Link to the November 11, 2016 announcement on the D.O.T. website.

$126 million + $105 million = $231 million (plus the smaller fines)

Fined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.)

In late 2012, the E.P.A. was still fighting in court with British Petroleum over an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that happened in April 2010.  U.S. prosecutors are asking for a fine of $34 billion, but smaller fines have already been agreed by the company.  Link to a press release dated November 15, 2012 on the EPA website.

The EPA and the Justice Department also fined British Petroleum (B.P.) $15 million for violations of the Clean Air Act at B.P.'s Texas City location.  Link to a Washington Post story dated September 30, 2010.

In January 2015, a Federal District Court reduced the number of gallons of oil that B.P. is legally responsible for.  The judge made this ruling because B.P. had made serious efforts to clean up the oil that was spilled.  Link to a story dated January 15, 2015 in the New York Times.  This ruling also reduced the fine that B.P. will pay, because the fine is based on the number of barrels of oil for which B.P. is legally responsible.

These are the first two paragraphs of a December 3, 2015 story in Russia Today.
Two BP supervisors onboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 will not serve any jail time after manslaughter charges against them have been dropped against.  The disaster killed 11 employees.

The move, agreed upon by federal prosecutors and a New Orleans judge on Wednesday, relieves rig supervisors Donald Vidrine and Robert Kaluza – the highest ranking supervisors onboard the rig – of the 11 counts of involuntary manslaughter they were each previously facing.

The EPA also fines other oil companies, too.  These are the first two paragraphs of an EPA press release dated January 23, 2015.
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice announced the settlement reached with Anadarko and Kerr-McGee is now final, allowing funds to be disbursed for cleanups across the country.

The settlement secures payments of $5.15 billion to resolve claims that the defendants fraudulently transferred assets in part to evade their liability for contamination at toxic sites around the country. Of this total, approximately $4.4 billion will be used to clean the environment. This is the largest sum ever awarded in this type of a bankruptcy-related environmental settlement with the federal government.
Anadarko Petroleum is a large oil producer.  It bought the Kerr-McGee Corporation and another company called Western Gas Resources in 2006.  Anadarko spent $21 billion to buy these two smaller oil companies.  Link to a story dated June 23, 2006 in USA Today.  When the purchase was made, Anadarko accepted and continued the litigation involving Kerr-McGee.  Link to the settlement announcement, dated April 7, 2014, on the website of the Oil and Gas Journal

Partly as a result of this litigation, Anadarko lost money during 2014.  The amount of their annual loss was $1.75 billion.  Link to the announcement of Anadarko Petroleum's financial results for 2014.  This fine will not make it easy for them to have a profit during 2015, but Obama hates American businesses, just because they're all unequal to the poorest Muslim who begs for money in Cairo.  That's his baseline frame of reference as a Muslim.  Unfortunately for America, he just doesn't understand that a company that cannot make profits cannot stay in business.

Updated February 19, 2015.  A U.S. District Judge in New Orleans has ruled that the fine that British Petroleum must pay is $4,300 per barrel of oil.  This means that the total fine could be $13.7 billion.

Link to a similar story on the website

Updated October 6, 2015.  The British Petroleum corporation has settled with the U.S. Government and with some states.  The total fine will be $18.7 billion, according to this article in the U.K. Guardian dated July 2, 2015.

Updated March 27, 2017.  This October 5, 2015 Justice Department press release says that the amount of the fine is $20.8 billion.

In mid-September 2015, a Consent Decree was made in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana between this corporation, the E.P.A., and various Governors and Attorneys General of the states that border the Gulf of Mexico.  This 357-page PDF document includes signatures from many of these people.  The last page of this document is a short proposed order.  This is the text of this proposed order.
The United States, the five Gulf States, and the BP Entities have lodged a proposed settlement resolving the Clean Water Act and OPA claims asserted by the United States and the States.  This proposed settlement is subject to review and comment by the public for a sixty day period, after which (absent comments which persuade any of the sovereigns to withdraw their consent), the parties will seek to enter the Consent Decree as a final settlement.  A hearing on any such motion to enter will be held on March 23, 2015 at a time to be specified later.
As of August 26, 2016, I am searching for any documentation of this hearing.  If I find it, the result of this hearing will be added here.

Updated January 6, 2016.  The E.P.A. fined a Hawaii-based ship repair company $710,000.  Link to a March 28, 2013 article in Hawaii News Now.

Updated January 15, 2016.  The E.P.A. fined the owners of a Nevada gold mine $105,000 for filing incomplete inventory reports for the years 2005, 2006, and 2007.  This is the third paragraph of their announcement of the fine.
“The chemicals used at the Florida Canyon Mine and Standard Gold Mine facility have the potential to pose a danger to employees, the surrounding community and the environment,” said Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.  “The EPA has been collecting information from facilities nationwide for 25 years to arm citizens and local governments with information about toxics in their area.”
"The chemicals used ... have the potential to pose a danger to employees, the surrounding community and the environment."

The E.P.A. caused toxic chemicals to spill out of a mine in Colorado on August 5, 2015, which were (in their own words) "a danger to employees, the surrounding community and the environment.”  The toxic chemicals included arsenic, which is a deadly poison.

Link to an October 22, 2015 article in U.S. News and World Report.

On the right is a birds-eye view of the Animus River in Colorado, containing the toxic chemicals that were spilled by the E.P.A.

The State of New Mexico plans to sue the E.P.A. and the state of Colorado because of the toxic chemicals that the E.P.A. spilled in Colorado.

Link to a January 14, 2016 story in the Denver Post.

Link to a similar story, with the same date, in the Washington Times.

This is one paragraph of the E.P.A.'s undated statement of the toxic chemical spill.
While excavating above the old adit, pressurized water began leaking above the mine tunnel, spilling about three million gallons of water stored behind the collapsed material into Cement Creek, a tributary of the Animas River.

"... water began leaking ...." is, grammatically speaking, the passive form of the verb "to leak".  The passive form of any verb takes attention away from the subject of the verb, the name of the person who performed the action identified by the verb.  In contrast, a sentence that uses the active form of the verb "to leak" would be phrased something like this:
Two of the E.P.A. employees who were at the Gold King mine leaked toxic chemicals.

The E.P.A. has worded their announcement this way because it is desperate to protect itself and its' employees from criminal charges, civil liability (a lawsuit), and Congressional oversight.

This sentence is on the E.P.A.'s collection of press releases about this spill of toxic chemicals.
October 23, 2015: EPA requested an independent technical evaluation of the Gold King Mine incident by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The U.S. Department of the Interior cannot be called independent.  It and the E.P.A. both answer to the President of the United States, who is one of the most anti-business presidents in American history.

Updated August 25, 2016.  The E.P.A. took $15 million from Harley-Davidson.  This is the first paragraph of the August 18th announcement on the E.P.A. website.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) today announced a settlement with Harley-Davidson, Inc., Harley-Davidson Motor Company Group, LLC, Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company, Inc., and Harley-Davidson Motor Company Operations, Inc. (collectively Harley-Davidson), that requires the companies to stop selling and to buy back and destroy illegal tuning devices that increase air pollution from their motorcycles, and to sell only tuning devices that are certified to meet Clean Air Act emissions standards.  Harley-Davidson will also pay a $12 million civil penalty and spend $3 million on a project to mitigate air pollution through a project to replace conventional woodstoves with cleaner-burning stoves in local communities.

A $30 million fine by the U.S. Department of Education

These are the first three paragraphs of an April 14, 2015 announcement on their website.
The U.S. Department of Education took additional steps today to protect students and taxpayers and crack down on abuses within the for-profit sector by continuing its enforcement actions against Corinthian Colleges Inc.  After a comprehensive review, the U.S. Department of Education has confirmed cases of misrepresentation of job placement rates to current and prospective students in Corinthian's Heald College system.  The Department found 947 misstated placement rates and informed the company it is being fined about $30 million.

Specifically, the Department has determined that Heald College's inaccurate or incomplete disclosures were misleading to students; that they overstated the employment prospects of graduates of Heald's programs; and that current and prospective students of Heald could have relied upon that information as they were choosing whether to attend the school.  Heald College provided the Department and its accreditors this inaccurate information as well.

The Department has also notified Corinthian it intends to deny Corinthian's pending applications to continue to participate in the Title IV federal student aid programs at its Heald Salinas and Stockton locations.  Corinthian has 14 days to respond to the Department's notice, after which the Department will issue its final decision.  Moreover, the Department has determined that Heald College is no longer allowed to enroll students and must prepare to help its current students either complete their education or continue it elsewhere.
The Wall Street Journal reported this story, on the same date.

There are smaller fines, too.  The Education Department fined Penn State University $2.4 million.  Link to the November 3, 2016 announcement.  This fine is discussed in this USA Today story with the same date.

November 3, 2016 Politico storyNovember 3, 2016 Wall Street Journal story.

$10 million in fines by O.S.H.A.

O.S.H.A. is the acronym for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  This agency is part of the U.S. Department of Labor.  Link to the home page of the U.S. Department of Labor.  Link to the O.S.H.A. home page.  The following list of large-dollar fines are totaled after the last article.  The grand total of all of these fines on sixteen named companies is currently more than $10 million.  I may add more large-dollar fines later.

O.S.H.A. fined Sunfield Inc., an Ohio auto parts' manufacturer, $3,42 million.  Link to the June 29, 2016 O.S.H.A. announcement.

O.S.H.A. fined Fraser Shipyards Inc. $1,395,000. Link to the August 1, 2016 O.S.H.A. announcement.

O.S.H.A. fined a Wisconsin furniture manufacturer $1.76 million.  Link to the undated announcement on the O.S.H.A. website.  The PDF citation is dated January 29, 2015.

The other O.S.H.A. announcements of fines and penalties that are listed below were found here.

$704,610 from H.P. Pelzer Automotive Systems
$344,960 from J.C. Stucco & Stone
$342,059 from The United States Postal Service !
$317,477 from Birdsboro Kosher Farms
$308,000 from Aluminum Shapes
$256,545 from A-Brite Plating, Cleveland, OH
$249,920 from Flintlock Construction Services LLC
$226,937 from Fuyao Glass America Inc.
$218,244 from an Ohio aluminum foundry
$214,633 from Wayne Lumber and Mulch
$199,107 from Chris Sawdo Construction Co.
$124,709 from Carlson Tool & Manufacturing
+ $121,343 from two Texas construction companies

$3,628,544 from these thirteen corporations or groups of corporations

Now let's add three very large fines on companies to this subtotal and get a grand total.  All three of these very large fines were mentioned above with links to the O.S.H.A. announcements of those fines.

   $3,628,544 from the thirteen companies named and linked above
   $3,420,000 from Sunfield, Inc.
   $1,395,000 from Fraser Shipyards Inc.
+ $1,766,000 from the Wisconsin furniture manufacturer
 $10,209,544 from sixteen companies

Other U.S. Government Agencies

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation settled a case with Honeywell and Amphenol Corporation.  These two companies agreed to pay a combined total of $400,000.  Link to the press release on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife website.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.) is trying to make AT & T pay a $100 million fine, but the company will fight it in court.  Link to a June 17, 2015 story in the Washington Post.  The story makes it clear that this commission doesn't understand the technical aspects of communications.  There are limits on the speed of voice and data traffic that various broadband equipment can handle.  If too many users ask for high-speed internet services at the same moment, they can not all get the speed that they want.  It is a physical impossibility unless the service companies upgrade the communications hardware.  Link to the page on the FCC website that tracks their merger with DirectTV.

The F.C.C. did fine a cable company called Comcast $2.3 million.  Link to an October 12, 2016 CNN-Money story.

These are the first two paragraphs of a December 17, 2015 article in The Hill.  The link in the second paragraph was in their story.
Identity theft protection firm LifeLock has agreed to pay a record $100 million fine to settle a government lawsuit that it had deceived customers about how secure their data was.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) brought its suit against LifeLock, which has over 3 million subscribers, in July, alleging the company had violated a $12 million 2010 settlement it made with the agency and 35 states.

20,000 lost jobs and 23,000,000,000 lost dollars ($23 billion)

When any large company goes out of business, it hurts the consumers of that business.  If you don't believe me, ask a General Motors dealer how easy it was for them to stay in business when General Motors filed for bankruptcy.  Link to a story dated June 2, 2009 on the CNN Money website.  This bankruptcy happened during Obama's first year as president, and it resulted in GM's assets being given to their primary union, the United Auto Workers instead of the company's creditors, also known as bondholders.

These are the first two paragraphs of an opinion piece dated June 13, 2012 on the website of the Wall Street Journal.
President Obama touts the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler as one of the signature successes of his administration.  He argues that the estimated $23 billion the taxpayers lost was worth paying to avoid massive job losses.  However, our research finds that the president could have both kept the auto makers running and avoided losing money.

The preferential treatment given to the United Auto Workers accounts for the American taxpayers' entire losses from the bailout.  Had the UAW received normal treatment in standard bankruptcy proceedings, the Treasury would have recouped its entire investment.  Three irregularities in the bankruptcy case resulted in a windfall to the UAW.
The opinion piece then named those three irregularities.  Under the terms of decades of bankruptcy law, whenever a company files for bankruptcy, its' creditors are the first people to receive whatever assets the bankrupt company owns.

Creditors, not unions, receive the assets, but Marxists like Obama believe that the employees of a company, specifically employee unions, represent the only legitimate owners of any company, not the creditors, and certainly not the shareholders.  This is what Karl Marx, Freiedrich Engels, and Vladimir Lenin believed, and this is what President Obama believes, too.

These are the first two paragraphs of a July 1, 2014 Reuters article.
Wall Street's self-funded regulator fined a unit of Goldman Sachs (GS.N) on Tuesday over pricing rule violations stemming from its "dark pool," marking the latest in a string of recent enforcement actions targeting anonymous trading platforms.

Goldman Sachs Execution & Clearing L.P. agreed to pay an $800,000 fine and settle the case with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, without admitting or denying the charges.

What did Obama's agencies do with the money?

This is the first paragraph of a July 22, 2013 Forbes op-ed.
Egypt is a disaster veering toward catastrophe.  President Barack Obama’s decision to ignore U.S. law by continuing financial aid will only exacerbate the situation.  The administration’s signal achievement is that almost everyone in Egypt now blames America, which has provided almost $75 billion in financial assistance to Cairo over the years.

I also wrote this essay in August 2013 which quotes (and links to) a story in Politico which mentioned the $75 billion payment to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt at a time when there were wildfires in Idaho.

Any money transferred to the U.S. Government by a corporation is money that the corporation can't spend growing or paying it's employees for the work that they do.

This is the first paragraph of an October 30, 2015 CNBC story.
U.S. banks have crossed a significant post-financial crisis milestone, tallying more $200 billion in fines paid out regarding questionable behavior.
A chart in their article says that the Bank of America has been involved in 34 separate settlements and that their total fine is $77 billion.  This is much more than the $40 billion in fines from J.P. Morgan in 26 settlements, also mentioned in their chart.

Liberals love jobs but hate employers

This section was added October 1, 2015.

These are the first three paragraphs of an article that was posted today by the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.  All of the links in these paragraphs were in their paragraphs.
The editors at Investor’s Business Daily are sounding the alarm as the EPA today is scheduled to release final regulations revising the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone.  The revisions to the current ozone standard are expected to threaten jobs and economic growth across the country.  The editors write, “A study sponsored by NERA Economic Consulting, a nonpartisan research group, found that about 4 million jobs would be jeopardized by the new rules over the next 25 years — equal to putting every worker in Ohio out of work.  The National Association of Manufacturers estimates GDP losses would be $140 billion a year lower through 2040.”

The editors also highlight, “This is the third in a trifecta of hypercostly regulation imposed on our energy producers in just three months.  The first was aimed at coal plants and the second at natural gas production.”  But EPA’s own data suggests that ozone levels have declined over 30 percent and will continue to decline under the existing standard.   Hundreds of national and multi-state organizations have also written in favor of retaining the existing ozone standard.

The old saying that liberals love jobs but hate employers is borne out as President Obama implements new air standards.  Industry will bear the brunt, but consumers and blue-collar workers will feel a pinch, too.
The Energy and Commerce web page also links to this editorial on the website of Investor's Business Daily dated September 30, 2015.

Medium-sized U.S. corporations made involuntary contributions, too

Link to a story on the website of Food Safety News dated July 19, 2010.  A company called American Seafoods was fined $279,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Labor.   Unfortunately for this company, NOAA also fined them $2.7 million.  Link to a story dated June 2, 2013 in The Spokesman-Review, a newspaper based in Spokane, Washington.  Both fines are based on a misunderstanding of the fact that it's very difficult to weigh large amounts of fish on a boat that moves in many different directions due to the motion of the waves on the open ocean.

Link to an OSHA press release dated June 5, 2014.  They announced a fine of $217,000 for a chain of retail stores called Dollar Tree.

Small companies made involuntary contributions, too

These are the first two paragraphs of a press release dated July 8, 2014.  The quotes in the second paragraph were in the press release.
On July 8, 2014, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrative Law Judge upheld a fine issued by NOAA’s Office of General Counsel, Enforcement Section, and assessed a civil penalty of $4,500 on a Panama City business and its boat captain for their role in feeding wild dolphins.

The incident occurred off of Panama City’s Shell Island, an area long known as a hotbed of illegal interactions with wild dolphins. This issue has been a concern for decades and NOAA first prosecuted a commercial operator in 1999 for similar violations. Over the past 2 years, NOAA has charged numerous other operators and their staff for feeding and harassing dolphins.
That's right. One tour boat company was fined in 1999, but from July 2012 to July 2014 (during the Obama presidency), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has charged many other tour boat operators with crimes (and fined them, of course).

NOAA's Pacific Regional Office says that recreational fishermen in Hawaii are required to register themselves.  These are not people who are in the business of producing thousands of pounds of fish for commercial sale.  These are ordinary men and women who just like going fishing using their private small boats and their fishing rods.  Link to the National Saltwater Angler Registry page on the website of the Pacific Regional Office.  Of course, any resident of Hawaii who is caught catching a fish without registering with this U.S. government agency can and likely will be fined.

These fines are more money for the friends of Barak Obama, all taken from American businesses.

The personal vendetta against Nancy Black

These are the first five paragraphs of a Fox News story dated January 17, 2014. The photo of her was included in the story.

A Marine biologist who for seven years was hounded by federal authorities – after she made the mistake of feeding killer whales in the wild -- has finally seen her case come to an end, pleading guilty earlier this week to a misdemeanor.

But her case has caught the attention of advocates who say this is another example of heavy-handed prosecution, making criminals out of otherwise law-abiding people while sidelining their careers.

“I never thought I would spend seven years of my life fighting the government over my devotion to researching marine animals,” Nancy Black, the defendant, told in an e-mail Thursday.

Black, who lives in California, landed on the feds’ radar in 2004, when prosecutors accused her of endangering the lives of humans by feeding killer whales in the wild.  In a separate incident a year later, they accused her of doctoring a videotape that showed members of her crew harassing an endangered humpback whale in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and then lying about it.

Although similar instances in the past with other people had yielded fines, the government apparently was determined to make an example out of Black -- and so they went after her.  Hard.  Before she eventually pleaded down to a misdemeanor, the original charges carried 27 years in prison.
"Before she eventually pleaded down to a misdemeanor, the original charges carried 27 years in prison."

This company paid the Federal Trade Commission $100 million

These are the first five paragraphs of a July 21, 2015 story in The Hill.
Federal regulators are going after identity fraud protection firm LifeLock for allegedly deceiving customers about how secure their data is.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Tuesday accused LifeLock, which has over 3 million subscribers, of violating a $12 million 2010 settlement with the agency and 35 state attorneys general.

“It is essential that companies live up to their obligations under orders obtained by the FTC,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “If a company continues with practices that violate orders and harm consumers, we will act.”

In a statement, LifeLock said it refused to settle with regulators again because “we disagree with the substance of the FTC’s contention.” The company will take the FTC to court.

LifeLock offers a variety of services that alert customers of suspicious activity on their bank account and data breaches that may affect their information.

This is the first paragraph of the December 17, 2015 update to this story.
Identity theft protection firm LifeLock has agreed to pay a record $100 million fine to settle a government lawsuit that it had deceived customers about how secure their data was.

Strong evidence that the U.S. Government is run by a Marxist

These are the first three paragraphs of a June 1, 2016 Washington Examiner story.
Bank of America has been able to reduce a multi-billion dollar mortgage fraud penalty imposed by the Justice Department by giving millions of dollars to liberal groups approved by the Obama administration.

The bank has wiped about $194 million off its record $16.6 billion 2014 mortgage settlement by donating to nonprofits and legal groups.  Thanks to little-known provisions in the settlement, the bank only had to make $84 million in donations to do that.

The bank wasn't exploiting any loophole.  It's a key part of the deal the Justice Department offered to get it to settle in the first place.  For every dollar the bank has given the nonprofits — none of which were victims of fraud themselves — it has claimed at least two dollars off the settlement.  The deal ensured the Obama administration that a certain part of the settlement funds would go to friendly liberal groups, bypassing the normal congressional appropriations.
As I said at the beginning of this essay, Obama is unhappy with "the normal congressional appropriations", as mentioned in the last sentence of this quoted story.  He wants a radically different form of government, based on the Marxist ideal of every person having an equal financial status.  He is implementing this policy by reducing the dollar amount of the fines if companies make contributions to radical groups.

This is the fourth paragraph of the same June  2016 article.
Among the groups receiving the money were Hispanic civil rights group the National Council of La Raza ($1.5 million), the National Urban League ($1.1 million) and the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America ($750,000).
Don't expect any of these groups to show any support for the Oath of Office that the President takes when he is sworn-in at the beginning of his term, which includes a duty to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Tactics against this unconventional economic policy

Follow the money.  The groups that are currently receiving money from Obama's fines cannot continue to receive this money if the corporations win their court cases.

These are the first four paragraphs of a May 23, 2016 Wall Street Journal story.  All of the links in these paragraphs were in their story.
An appeals court dealt the Obama administration a major setback in its efforts to levy tough fines on corporations and executives, overturning a civil mortgage-fraud case against Bank of America Corp. tied to the financial crisis.

The court on Monday also tossed out a $1 million civil penalty against Rebecca Mairone , a former executive at Countrywide Financial Corp., who was one of the few individuals fined for alleged misdeeds during the crisis.

The ruling by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York raises the bar for the government to prove fraud against companies and individuals, weakening a weapon the Justice Department has used to push Wall Street to agree to big mortgage settlements.

If it stands, the three-judge panel’s unanimous decision could affect the remaining investigations into crisis-era mortgage securities, some observers said, including those into European lenders Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and UBS Group AG.  The decision also could encourage other firms to push back against prosecutions.
"The (three-judge panel’s unanimous) decision also could encourage other firms to push back against prosecutions."

Link to a similar story, dated May 23, 2016, in Fortune.

Link to a similar story, dated May 23, 2016, in the New York Times.

Another alternative is for executives in an agency to overrule the decisions by lower-ranking people in that same agency.  These are the first two paragraphs of an announcement dated May 17, 2011 on NOAA's website.  The link in the first paragraph was on the web page.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced today that $649,527 in fisheries enforcement penalties will be returned to 11 individuals or businesses after an independent review of their cases concluded the NOAA enforcement program had in some instances “overstepped the bounds of propriety and fairness.” In his decision memo issued today, Secretary Locke acted on 30 cases reviewed by the Special Master, Judge Charles Swartwood III, accepting all of his recommendations that the law allows and taking additional actions in several cases. Secretary Locke appointed Judge Swartwood to conduct the independent review of cases identified by the Department of Commerce’s Inspector General as problematic. The individuals and businesses will receive their remittances within 30 days of receipt of payment information.

“As a former prosecutor, I expect our entire law enforcement program to uphold high standards and maintain the public’s trust. Enforcement has to be fair, uniform and consistent. I accepted all of the Special Master's recommendations in every instance where I have authority to do so under Magnuson-Stevens Act, and in some cases I went beyond the Special Master’s recommendation,” said Secretary Locke. “In addition, we are implementing additional reforms to make regulations and enforcement more fair and effective. We inherited this decades-old problem, but it’s ending on my watch.”

Still another alternative is for journalists or a member of Congress to put some pressure on abusive Federal Government agencies (like the Department of Justice, the E.P.A., and N.O.A.A.) to stop harassing companies that are producing things that the public needs.

This is the first paragraph of a letter dated December 2, 2010 and signed by U.S. Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina. (PDF, 2 pages)
I am writing to you today regarding the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Proposed Policy on Prohibited and Authorized Uses of the Asset Seizure and Forfeiture Fund (RIN 0648-XZ29).  As you know, a recent Inspector General-commissioned audit of the NOAA Fisheries Asset Forfeiture Fund (AFF) found extensive waste, fraud, and abuse by the agency.  It also proved what fishermen have long suspected: allowing NOAA Fisheries to retain the proceeds from forfeitures, seizures, fines, and penalties against fishermen gives the agency a perverse incentive to continue its abusive enforcement practices.  This conflict of interest must be eliminated.  While the draft policy includes encouraging elements, it unfortunately falls short of that goal.
This is proof of the systemic failure of President Obama's radical economic policy.  The prosecutors who work for him in his agencies don't know the difference between justice and vengeance.

True justice requires prosecutors to know the limits of their own authority.

Confirmation of my facts

This section was added March 13, 2017 and updated March 15, 2017.

These are the first five paragraphs of a December 21, 2016 Daily Caller article.  The link in the fourth paragraph was in their story.  It is a link to a report produced by the House Oversight Committee, dated November 30, 2016.
Federal agencies increased their spending by collecting more than $83 billion worth from fines, penalties and settlements with individuals and corporations between 2010 and 2015, then spent the funds without prior congressional approval, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Republicans on the panel analyzed how 34 federal agencies collected and spent the money in a report titled “Restoring the Power of the Purse: Shining Light on Federal Agencies Billion Dollar Fines Collections.”  The report was made public Wednesday.

Twenty-two of the 34 analyzed agencies kept fees they collected, while the remaining 12 sent such funds to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

“In pursuing these collections, the administration serves as the judge, jury and regulator,” committee Republicans, led by Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah, wrote.

Seven agencies seized more than $1 billion between 2010 and 2015, according to the report.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) collected nearly $64 billion of the $83 billion received.
Note: The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform mentions "more than $83 billion worth from fines, penalties and settlements with individuals and corporations between 2010 and 2015".   This page documents $92 billion in fines from the Justice Department alone.

The House Committee isn't wrong, they just stopped counting fines at the end of 2015.  I continued to count them in 2016.  That is why my total is different than theirs.

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