Feb 072013
 

This is not the first time I have covered this story, but in light of recent developments, it is time to revisit what the Republican Party is doing to the US Postal Service.  To be brief, the post office is under assault by Republicans, who are trying to destroy it for their own political ends, which as usual, conflict with the best interest of the American people.

7usps-logoThe U.S. Postal Service announced on Wednesday that it will discontinue first class Saturday mail delivery, marking another milestone in the decline of the once-ubiquitous government service. But it isn’t a switch to online mail that’s causing the postal demise — it’s Congress.

Under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, Congress has for years forced the USPS to pre-fund 75 years’ worth of pensions for its employees, a requirement not made of any other public or private institution. That means that the Postal Service is footing the bill for employees it hasn’t even hired yet.

The USPS doesn’t actually receive money from the government, but still needs Congressional approval to make any changes to its structure. An analysis in July showed that the USPS, without its pension requirement, would have a $1.5 billion surplus

Inserted from <Think Progress>

Ed Schultz detailed how the Post Office problems are the result of Republican sabotage.

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If Republicans can destroy USPS they also kill one of the largest unions in the nation and privatize mail delivery for commercial carriers, who will charge much higher rates, especially in rural areas that USPS services for the same prices as urban areas.

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  16 Responses to “How Republicans Went Postal”

  1. Another prime example of St. Ronnie's legacy. He wanted to destroy the unions and started with air traffic controllers. It seems to be snowballing lately.

  2. Perhaps the announcement of the discontinuation of Sat mail , just might call attention to what is going on ?? Ya think maybe?

  3. President Regan and Republicans have made every effort to destroy the only safety check to keep for profit business honest… :mrgreen:

  4. So, let me get this straight — USPS has to pre fund its pension by 75 years courtesy of the 2006 bill.  In order to do that it has to pay $5.5 billion every three months (?) to the Treasury.  However, as a result of making these ridiculous payments, they are showing a $16 billion loss, that would otherwise be a surplus of $1.5 billion.

    From FoxNews (I can't believe I'm quoting Faux Noise!) "For the past 30 years, Congress — which oversees the otherwise independent agency — has included a provision insisting on Saturday delivery. That provision still stands, …"

    Yet in order to make it closer to solvent, Saturday delivery of 1st class mail has to go.

    "But Donahoe [CEO USPS] said "we think we're on good footing with this." He noted that the law governing the agency's operations expires at the end of March, and said if there's any disagreement it can be resolved by then."

    It sounds like Donahoe is trying to make a squeeze play — with Congress being the player squeezed.  Whatever the case, Congress, like usual, is playing games with the USPS.  To fund pensions 75 years hence is absolutely ridiculous and only serves to tie the hands of the USPS.  To further tie their hands by mandating Saturday delivery is equally ridiculous.  What is the justification for Congress to do this? … union busting? … because they can? (power struggle) or … ?

    Perhaps it is time to put a 'cancelled' stamp on Congress for ineffectual and incompetent performance!  Where is the petition directed at the Congress to say "No more funding of pensions 75 years in advance"?  I'll sign! 
     

     

  5. You understand it perfectly,  Republicans got it in at the very tail end of a lame duck session at a time when everyone would rather agree than read the bill, so Democrats foolishly did not realize the impact until later.  Since then, Republicans have filibustered every attempt to chabge it.

  6. If Republicans had done nothing in 2006 wouldn't the USPS be under pressure from technology (email) and competition? Isn't the reduction in service a response to the message package delivery market realities? Wouldn't a response  be necessary in any case? Didn't the annoucement state that the change was instead of another rate increase from USPS?

    • Welcome John.  :-)

      Perhaps they might, but even so, they would be 1.5 billion per year in the black, were it not for this extraordinary pension prefunding requirement, in which case, neither a cutback nor a rate increase would be needed.

  7. Left to their own devices the republicans would privatize, and thus screw, the poor and the middle class, while enriching the wealthy.

  8. The USPS has to prefund its pensions by 75 years??!!!  I wonder if the Repuglicons who thought of that had the idea of stripping pension funds (stealing by any other name) – as was done in so many places both over here and in the US for many years after Reagan and Thatcher and their acolytes.  I smell not just a rat, but lots of rats!

     

  9. The postal service was the only self-supporting agency in government, of couse they couldn't leave it alone!  My mother's small rural post office has been reduced to being open only 4 hrs per day, from 10am to 2pm.  This makes it very difficult for those who have jobs to get their mail.  It also makes it hard for the person working there to get the job done.  She is supposed to do 8 hrs work in 4 hrs.  When this is not successful, (how could it be) they will have to close this post office.  There is no home delivery where Mom lives.  That means those people, who are mostly elderly, will have to drive 15 to 20 minutes to get their mail.  This won't sound like a hardship to most of us, but it will be for them.