Maybe what's got Wal-Mart (WMT) and Consumer Staples (XLP) so down in the dumps relative to the general market over the last month is the payroll tax hike allowed by the fiscal cliff deal. A FRBNY study finds workers spent 28-43% of 2011's payroll tax cut - that's money now going to D.C. instead of retailers. "We continue to be baffled that politicians on both sides agreed ... this was a good idea," writes Cardiff Garcia.
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