The very same people who threatened government default this summer, sacrificing America's credit rating in order to preserve the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%, are now threatening to cut thousands of post office locations and Saturday postal delivery, because, they say, the post office is insolvent.
According to this 12/17/11 article from the Chillico Gazette entitled USPS can adjust to meet future goals,
"This legacy is floundering for two primary reasons. The first one is that the USPS must pay upfront all of its current pension obligations (from current cash flow), and the second one is a series of poor decisions made by successive Postmasters General (directly impacting customer service).
"Congress can correct the first of these problems. Because no other federal agency/entity (to the best of my knowledge) is under the same pension constraints, it should be a no-brainer to fix this problem. Although the pension shortfall is on the order of $5.5 billion annually, based on a $3 trillion federal budget, we are talking about less than two-tenths of one percent of federal spending per year."
House Resolution 1351, the USPS Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act, is a bipartisan piece of legislation which allows the USPS recoup nearly $7 billion in over payments to its pension fund. "The 126-page draft, which Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., will introduce sometime before Thursday's markup, includes many provisions recommended by the President's Commission on the Postal Service last July, including mandated transparency regarding the agency's finances, costs and operations.
"Like the commission's recommendations, the bill would restructure the agency's rate-setting process, establishing an inflationary rate increase cap and creating a strong regulator to monitor rates. But the bill would not give the Postal Service nearly the level of rate-setting freedom recommended by the commission, instead imposing price controls on competitive postal products. The bill would return to the Treasury the military service costs for postal retirees who served in the armed forces, but it is mostly silent on the kinds of workforce issues Senate Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, has said she will include in her bill later this month."
Problems with the postmaster general can be fixed without slashing Saturday delivery. For example, raising junk mail rates could reduce deficits and probably reduce a lot of pollution too.
From the point of view of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the postal service cuts are just another unnecessary right-wing attack on the services that keep America's middle class strong and growing.
We reject their assertion that slashing government payrolls and services will create jobs, or that a continued tax holiday for the Bush 1% will improve the economy. If the people threatening service cuts were truly concerned about the budget and the deficit, they would allow the Bush Tax Cuts to expire.
We hope you will take some time this weekend to research the truth and talk to friends about what we can all do to fix our government. There's a lot more that you can do about it than you may realize.
Remember: It's Our Government / Our Responsibility
More Information Sources
- Veracity Stew (4/4/12) Mail Bomb: The Republican Sabotage of the Post Office
- John Marcotte (President, Michigan Postal Workers Union) Post Office in crisis: the real story
- Washington Post (11/16/11) USPS to resume payments to retirement fund
- Huffington Post (12/30/11) Occupy the Post Office? Tucson Postal Workers, Supporters, Fight Back Against Threatened Job Cuts
- USA Today (12/7/11) Retailers, small businesses brace for postal cuts
- Yahoo News (12/5/11) Postal cuts to slow delivery of first-class mail
- Youtube Postal Health Care Poison Pill
- The Hill (9/13/11) Postal Service 90-day extension on retiree payments
- Federal TImes (11/27/11) 38 postal execs earn more than Cabinet members