Thursday, May 12, 2011

States Shortchange The Unemployed With Junk Debit Card Fees: Study

Tennessee stands out for having the card with the most "junk fees," the study says. Tennessee's card, provided by JPMorgan Chase, charges $1 for initial ATM withdrawals, 40 cents for balance inquiries, and 25 cents whenever someone swipes the card at checkout. It's one of just four states that doesn't provide even one free ATM withdrawal per deposit.

Tennessee doesn't think its card's fees are junk.

"I’m not sure calling them 'junk fees' is a fair statement," said Jeff Hentschell, a spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Workforce Development, which distributes Tennessee Automated Payment cards for jobless benefits. "When you look at the context of where we were and where we are today, the fees are actually minimal compared to where people were going to cash paper checks before."

Indeed: The NCLC study itself points out that for people without bank accounts, "getting cash from a UC prepaid card will usually be cheaper than paying a check casher to cash a paper check."

Roe, GOP are peddling snake oil

Rep. Phil Roe is selling snake oil by comparing vouchers to his benefits since most seniors don’t have his retirement income. Congress members, who are mostly wealthy, can draw full pension at age 62 after just five years of service, at age 50 with 20 years service, as compared to the average senior whose retirement consists mostly of Social Security. Under the GOP plan, seniors would have high premiums, high deductibles, no guarantee of coverage, and no guarantee of a Social Security check, since this plan also begins the privatization of Social Security. They’re guaranteed the possibility of running out of voucher money before the year is up, with the result of no health care at all. They also say those of us over 55 shouldn’t be concerned since it won’t affect us, assuming this will pacify seniors. They would be wrong.

No one should be thrown to the wolves so for-profit insurance companies can make millions off senior citizens, whether it’s now or 50 years from now. This profit motive is the real reason behind this roadmap. Their claim of saving Medicare is belied by the $4 trillion in tax cuts they want to give millionaires and corporations.

Here’s a simple plan to reduce the deficit, though reducing debt is certainly a new concern to GOP members, who took a balanced budget and ran up trillions on the credit card. Roll back the Bush millionaire tax cuts, end subsidies for record-profit oil companies, raise the income cap on SS payments, allow anyone that wants to sign on the option of buying into Medicare (Medicare currently consists only of old and sick people, guaranteeing financial problems) and end the wars. Also, let’s cut back on congressional pensions and medical plans. Give them a taste of their own snake oil.

Mary Acito


Wonder; I second that, Give them a taste of their own snake oil. I've also wondered why John A Boehner seemed to use his emotions as a political tool, he is sincerely crying for himself I believe is his emotional crisis.

Critical Letter by Catholics Cites Boehner on Policies

More than 75 professors at Catholic University and other prominent Catholic colleges have written a pointed letter to Mr. Boehner saying that the Republican-supported budget he shepherded through the House will hurt the poor, the elderly and the vulnerable, and that he therefore has failed to uphold basic Catholic moral teachings.

“Mr. Speaker, your voting record is at variance from one of the church’s most ancient moral teachings,” the letter says. “From the apostles to the present, the magisterium of the church has insisted that those in power are morally obliged to preference the needs of the poor. Your record in support of legislation to address the desperate needs of the poor is among the worst in Congress. This fundamental concern should have great urgency for Catholic policy makers. Yet, even now, you work in opposition to it.”

The letter writers criticize Mr. Boehner’s support for a budget that cut financing for Medicare, Medicaid and the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program, while granting tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations. They call such policies “anti-life,” a particularly biting reference because the phrase is usually applied to politicians and others who support the right to abortion.

Michael Steel, a spokesman for Mr. Boehner, responded by e-mail: “The speaker will be delivering a personal, nonpolitical message at the Catholic University of America that he hopes will speak to all members of the graduating class, regardless of their backgrounds or affiliations. He is deeply honored to have been invited by C.U.A. to address the school’s graduating class, and is looking forward to receiving an honorary degree from the only Catholic college in our country that is chartered by Catholic bishops.”


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