w-mart seeing poor sales Wal-Mart shares are tanking after the company's executives called February sales a "total disaster." “Have you ever had one of those weeks where your best-prepared plans weren’t good enough to accomplish everything you set out to do?” Wal-Mart exec Cameron Geiger wrote in one of the emails reported by Renee Dudley at Bloomberg. “Well, we just had one of those weeks here at Walmart U.S. Where are all the customers? And where’s their money?” Geiger asked. Wal-Mart is facing a scary reality: the ailing finances of its core customers, Brian Sozzi, chief equities analyst at NBG Productions, told us. "Wal-Mart shoppers are the barometer of the U.S. consumer, and these emails reflect common sense about customers," Sozzi told us. "The consumer isn't mentally or physically ready to spend on discretionary inventory and there's no reason to be optimistic." Wal-Mart's strategy has always been to lure in customers with really low prices, undercut the competition and effectively corner the market. It looks like that strategy has back-fired on them: they have become bottom feeders, and there is just not that much left at the bottom of the barrel. Mostly just dregs. So what do they say the problem is?The Wal-Mart executives blamed the hike in payroll taxes and a delay in tax returns for why customers aren't shopping, according to Dudley's story. "When a payroll-tax break expired Dec. 31, Americans began paying 2 percentage points more in Social Security taxes on their first $113,700 in wages," Dudley reported. "For a person making $40,000 a year, that is about $15 a week." No, it is not their scorched-earth-drain-the-local-economy practices, it has to be taxes. Always blame your problems on someone else. Always.