Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Going postal, yea verily

The USPS has announced the end of Saturday mail delivery starting in August. It's not clear that they can legally do this, since Congress has oversight of the Constitutionally mandated service, and they havn't approved such a move. The Republicans are loving it, so you know this is bad national policy on its face. The simple fact is that the Republicans want to destroy the postal unions and privatize still more of the public infrastructure.

The financial problems the Postal Service have were entirely manufactured by the Republican lame duck Congress in 2006 when they mandated 75 years worth of pension and medical benefits to be paid in just 10 years. Workers that are yet to be born are having their retirements paid for, otherwise the semi-autonomous agency would have been averaging a more than 2 billion dollar annual surplus.

The big lie is that the PO is suffering from lack of volume, they are still moving more mail than 25 years ago when they were making money. People who study these things aren't predicting volume to decrease by any substantial amount from this point. Some things simply need to physically delivered, why do you think the Republicans want to privatize it? Do you think they intend to lose money? Do you know where the big commission is for a car salesman? It's not from selling you a new car, it's from 'stealing' your trade-in (that's what they call it at the dealership, 'stealing'). The Republicans are telling you how bad your 'used' Post Office is, but they'll take it off your hands. You'll soon be driving a shiny new lemon you can't afford to buy stamps for.

Another lie is that Postal Service has a high cost of operations, in fact postage in the US is far lower than the rest of the world. Postage rates are set by a commission, but the Congressional restrictions on increases are making it impossible for the rates to be set properly.

There is a long list of goods and services that Post Offices could sell that would be beneficial to the public and make money, but Congress restricts what they can do by law. Privatized mail delivery would eventually mean no delivery in rural areas or even in so-called urban areas. We've got to run it like a 'business', don't you know.

Laying off the carriers who do Saturday deliveries, who are mostly part-time employees, will in theory save $2 billion. It will also create a $2 billion hole in the economy for no good reason and make life more difficult for the average citizen. There is a reason they put the Postal Service in the Constitution. Originally the framers wanted to encourage newspaper delivery as well as commerce, but it's already to the point where a newspaper can take two days to arrive, and weekly 'news' magazines are more like historical journals by the time they get to your mailbox. Further cuts are simply going to make that worse and bring the system crashing down.

If the Republicans get their way we will return to a period before the Constitution when there was no Postal Service. But that would be consistent with their goal of making everything 'pre-Constitutional', and 'pre-Manga Carta' for that matter. Habeas Corpus? 'Nay, I thinketh not'. Those English Common Law concepts in our legal system need to go too, those are so 400 AD. - Leviticus though, that's a keeper. Stoning for everything and we mean everything. Except witchcraft, then only burning will do. We are Republicans, and we know with certainty that a witch is heavier than a wooden duck. Yea verily.


Doghouse said...

Did any one else notice what the Postmaster General actually said that

the Postal Service is unable to make a scheduled $5.6 billion payment to the U.S. Treasury.

One has to ask why if this is to pre-fund their healthcare and retirement costs for the next 75 years, they are giving it to the U.S. Treasury.

But why give it to the U.S. Treasury? If done this way the problem becomes, when the money is actually needed for funding the healthcare and retirement costs, the U.S. Treasury must give the money back to the Postal Service, and last I checked they weren't exactly rolling is cash.

So to pay the money back to the Postal Service taxes will have to be raised or more debt must be issued by the U.S. Treasury.

prairie2 said...

"Why give it the the US Treasury?" that would be because the lame duck Republican Congress in 2006 said so. What part of 'poison pill' are you not catching on to? - no offense intended - but WTF? I don't mean to be hard on you, but don't you get that we are at war? The 0.001 are the enemy, and the rest of us are being wiped out.... Please pay attention to the blood on the floor, and come over to our side, before it's too late.

Doghouse said...

"Why give it the the US Treasury?"The Treasury doesn't provide healthcare of retirement benefits. The ONLY reason to give to the US Treasury is to lower the federal deficit.
Maybe I'm not seeing the big picture here but this is a pet peeve of mine, that pre-funding programs like Social Security to the tune of 2.6 trillion dollars and now this, is used to lower the TRUE deficit. And when any congressmen are asked about the excess funding of the SSI program they don't want to talk about it, because when that pre-funded money needs to be payed back, taxes must be raised, and the republicans have already said they will not raise any more taxes or increase the deficit.

So what do I call someone who borrows lots of money with NO intention of paying it back....

Some people call them republicans,I just call them thieves.

prairie2 said...

Let's be clear, the movement of 'money' is just to create the illusion that the billionaires want you to see. The PO is solvent and can't be any other way. All this nonsense about deficits and debt is to create an illusion that makes you think giving up democracy makes sense to you.