A prime example of what’ wrong with America – ATM and overdraft fees top $6 billion at the big 3 banks

CNN reports;

America’s three biggest banks — JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC) — earned more than $6 billion just from ATM and overdraft fees last year, according to an analysis by SNL Financial and CNNMoney.

That equates to $25 for every adult in the United States.

[…]

America’s big three banks made over $5.1 billion last year from overdraft fees alone.

The Banking Industry is robbing people blind.

Instead of standing by silently, or worse, taking large campaign contributions from the Banking Industry, elected officials should be passing legislation preventing these thieves from price gouging people into poverty.

Washington can and must do better!

Please join the effort to ensure federal and state officials change their ways.

Your support and vote for my candidacy this November would send a clear and concise message about the importance of putting our nation back on track.

Your financial help would be greatly appreciated.

Jonathan Pelto
Candidate for Congress 2nd Congressional District
Green Party

To donate to Pelto 2016 go to:  Pelto for Congress 2016 or

https://pelto2016-ectgreens.nationbuilder.com/donate

The wasteful and dangerous Military-Industrial Complex

“…we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

– President Dwight Eisenhower

However, despite President Eisenhower’s powerful and historic warning, the military-industrial complex has acquired and maintained an extraordinary level of wasteful, misplaced and dangerous power.  Unchallenged, this force is inappropriately costing taxpayers billions of dollars and serves as one of the greatest threats to the United States of America, its people and our future.

Take, for example, the extraordinary waste of scarce public funds now being spent on a faulty, even useless, weapons systems.

In recent weeks, the Wait, What? blog has documented a $13 billion aircraft carrier that can’t be effectively utilized to defend the nation and the new F-35 aircraft system that that has become the most expensive weapon in history, but remains plagued by problems that experts report will keep it from being used anytime soon.  (See:  What is wrong with Washington? Well, U.S. Navy’s new $13B aircraft carrier can’t fight…  and Federal government wastes hundreds of billions on military weapons systems that don’t work…

And now CNN is reporting that a new class of US Navy combat ships are failing to perform as designed and promised.

In an article entitled, Third breakdown in year for $360M US Navy combat ships, CNN reports;

For the third time in a year, one of the US Navy’s $360 million littoral combat ships has been knocked out of action by mechanical problems.

The latest victim is the USS Freedom, which had seawater leak into one of its two main diesel propulsion systems on July 11, according to a Navy press release.

The Navy said seawater entered the engine oil lube system through a leak in a seawater pump’s mechanical seal.

[…]

The extent of the damage — rust inside the engine — wasn’t discovered until an inspection on August 3, the Navy said.

“Based on initial assessments from the inspection, Freedom’s #2 (diesel engine) will need to be removed and rebuilt or replaced.

The expected cost to fix the new ship, $23 million…

And the problem appears to be occurring across the class of ships, with CNN adding;

The mechanical mishap on the Fort Worth came shortly after a similar mistake on its sister ship, the USS Milwaukee, which broke down in the Atlantic Ocean on December 10, less than a month after it was commissioned.

The ship had to be towed 40 miles to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia.

The Navy said at the time that metallic debris was found in filter systems in the ship, causing a loss of pressure in lubricant to gears that transfer power from the ship’s diesel and gas turbine engines to its water jet propulsion system.

The citizens of the United States deserve better.

Our elected officials are failing to hold the military-industrial complex accountable and in check.

The cost of their failure is turning our country into the greatest debtor nation on earth.

Washington can and must do better!

Please join the effort to ensure federal and state officials change their ways.

Your support and vote for my candidacy this November would send a clear and concise message about the importance of putting our nation back on track.

Your financial help would be greatly appreciated.

Jonathan Pelto
Candidate for Congress 2nd Congressional District
Green Party

To donate to Pelto 2016 go to:  Pelto for Congress 2016 or

https://pelto2016-ectgreens.nationbuilder.com/donate

 Federal government wastes hundreds of billions on military weapons systems that don’t work…

The F-35 fighter jet has been called the, “most expensive weapon ever built,” but just one week after the U.S. Air Force declared the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, “ready for combat,” Bloomberg News is reporting that,

“The Pentagon’s top weapons tester warned that the aircraft is still fraught with problems.”

In a memo obtained by Bloomberg, the US Government’s top weapon’s testing expert reported that the F-35 is,

“’actually not on a path toward success but instead on a path toward failing to deliver’ the plane’s full combat capabilities on time.”

The F-35 was originally set to be ready for combat in 2011, but the independent expert reported that it won’t even be ready for successful use by the fall of 2017.

As Bloomberg News reported,

“The problem seems to be due to delays in getting the Block 3F software package, which controls much of the F-35’s most important features, ready for the entire F-35 fleet. Block 3F is known as the “full warfighting package” and having it operational is one of the key requirements of ending F-35 development. Testing now appears likely to be pushed back to later in 2017 or even 2018.

At least 15 capabilities in the 3F software package—including the ability to process enemy radar signals, track moving targets on the ground, share imagery between aircraft, use the GPS-guided GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb, and operate the plane’s 25-millimeter gun—are all still under development and at risk of not being ready for combat testing.”

The latest failure concerning the F-35 comes on the heels of the news that the,  U.S. Navy’s new $13B aircraft carrier can’t fight…

As Wait What? reported last month,

From CNN we learn;

The $13-billion USS Gerald R. Ford is already two years behind schedule, and the U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier is facing more delays after the Pentagon’s top weapons tester concluded the ship is still not ready for combat despite expectations it would be delivered to the fleet this September.

According to a June 28, 20916 memo from the Department of Defense;

…the most expensive warship in history continues to struggle launching and recovering aircraft, moving onboard munitions, conducting air traffic control and with ship self-defense.

[…]

Commanders said delays to the USS Gerald R. Ford have resulted in extended deployments for the operational carriers in order for the Navy to meet its commitments around the world, placing additional stress on sailors and crew members.

[…]

The USS Gerald Ford is the first of three Ford-class carriers ordered by the Navy with combined cost expected close to $42 billion.

Needless to say, new leadership is needed in Washington…

Please join the effort to ensure federal and state officials change their ways.

Your support and vote for my candidacy this November would send a clear and concise message about the importance of putting our nation back on track.

Your financial help would be greatly appreciated.

Jonathan Pelto
Candidate for Congress 2nd Congressional District
Green Party

To donate to Pelto 2016 go to:  Pelto for Congress 2016 Or

https://pelto2016-ectgreens.nationbuilder.com/donate

Washington and Hartford FAILING on college affordability

In Connecticut, and across the country, public universities and colleges have traditionally served as the primary vehicle for ensuring the state’s children get a quality college degree.  However, a new study conducted by ProPublica reveals that the dream of a college education has become prohibitively expense for more and more students and their families.

As a result of inadequate public funding, failed student financial aid programs and increasing costs, soaring tuition is making college unaffordable for many.

ProPublica reports that from 2000 to 2014, the average cost of in-state tuition and fees at the University of Connecticut rose by more than 66 percent.

However, during that same time period, the median income for Connecticut residents increased only 2 percent.  Take out the Wall Street executives who live in lower Fairfield Country and Connecticut’s household income has remained flat for 15 years while tuition and fees at public colleges and universities have skyrocketed.

The rate of increase at the universities of the Connecticut State University System is even higher, with tuition and fees up nearly 75 percent, all while Connecticut’s families struggle to simply make ends meet.

Add in the cost of room, board and textbooks and the cost of attending one of Connecticut’s public institutions of education is getting more out of reach for thousands of Connecticut students.

The long-term impact of unaffordable higher education will be catastrophic

But unfortunately, the response to this crisis by Federal and state officials has been revolting.

Instead of doing more to ensure that college is affordable, the national and state governments have actually been cutting support for public education and student financial aid.

This election is a unique opportunity to send Washington and Hartford a powerful message about the importance of making a college education more accessible and affordable.

Enough is enough!

Instead of expanding barriers to getting a college education, elected officials can and must do more to help Connecticut’s Middle Class and working families send their children to college.

Please join the effort to ensure federal and state officials change their ways.

Your support and vote this November would send a clear and concise message about the importance of putting our nation back on track.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Jonathan Pelto
Candidate for Congress 2nd Congressional District
Green Party

To donate to Pelto 2016 go to:  Pelto for Congress 2016

Or https://pelto2016-ectgreens.nationbuilder.com/donate

When it comes to Governor Dannel Malloy, Connecticut voters are rightfully angry

From the Quinnipiac University Public Opinion Poll;

Connecticut voters disapprove 58 – 32 percent of the job Gov. Dannel Malloy is doing, his lowest approval rating ever and the lowest score for any governor in the nine states surveyed this year by the independent Quinnipiac University Poll. The governor gets 4-1 negative scores for the way he his handling taxes and the state budget.

“Gov. Dannel Malloy’s job approval rating has plummeted to 32 percent, close to the historic 24 percent low hit by disgraced former Gov. John Rowland in January 2004, and Gov. Malloy is not in the middle of a corruption scandal,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, PhD.

“Only 36 percent of voters are satisfied with the way things are going in the state, one of the lowest scores since Quinnipiac University started asking this question in 1997.”

Three in four Connecticut voters disapprove of the way Malloy is handling the state budget.

When running for re-election last year, Dannel Malloy said that the state budget was balanced and that if he was re-elected he wouldn’t raise taxes, wouldn’t make cuts to vital services and wouldn’t need to demand concessions from state employees.

But after being sworn back into office this past January, Malloy raised taxes, cut vital services and has turned his back on Connecticut’s state employees.

Even after increasing taxes in the first year of his first term and the first year of his second term, when this present state budget cycle is over on June 30, 2017, Connecticut will be facing a two-year General Fund Budget Deficit of $1.6 Billion …  YES, A DEFICIT OF $1.6 BILLION … [A deficit of $927 million in FY 2018 and $831 million in FY 2019.]

And most importantly, this fiscal disaster should not come as a surprise to anyone;

Pelto: State budget deficit reveals a broken fiscal system (CT Mirror 7-14-2014)

The Train Wreck of the Democrats’ State Budget (Wait, What? 6-3-2015)

 Political Footnote:

In just a few months, Governor Dannel Malloy will become Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA).  In that capacity, Malloy is supposed to be spending the 2016 campaign year crisscrossing the nation building public support for the Democratic candidates who are running for governor.  But with a 32 percent approval rating, Malloy may very well have the lowest public support of any Democratic governor in the nation.  By comparison, Governor Gerry Brown of California has a 55 percent approval rating from his state’s voters.  The DGA might do well to reconsider who they want to carry their banner in next year’s election.