Thursday, February 7, 2013

Rural Republicans Whine about losing Saturday Deliveries, all the while trying to Destroy the Post Office.

Republicans refuse to let the post office make its own decisions, because the plan is to make them collapse sooner if they’re prevented from doing so. That’s the truth. And forget the constitutional guarantee of the post office. Will it still be a federal crime to commit postal abuses, or will it be just a private internal decision by a for profit company?
The Hill: Sam Graves (R-Mo.) noted in a Wednesday letter to the Postmaster that postal officials had previously asked lawmakers to give them the legal authority to switch to five-day delivery … clear acknowledgement that, absent Congressional action, USPS lacks the statutory authority to do so.”

The change would save about $2 billion a year. USPS lost roughly $16 billion in fiscal 2012, around 70 percent of it due to defaults on required prepayments for retiree healthcare.
That loss is due to the Republican efforts to destroy the post office through outrageous pre-payments to their pension fund.
USA Today: The agency's biggest problem -- and the majority of the red ink in 2012 -- was not due to reduced mail flow but rather to mounting mandatory costs for future retiree health benefits, which made up $11.1 billion of the losses. Without that and other related labor expenses, the mail agency sustained an operating loss of $2.4 billion, lower than the previous year.
Congressional Republicans, who hate the post office and want it closed down, have not taken the responsible steps to stop the ridiculous overpayments. Bellicose as usual:
House Speaker John Boehner called postal overhaul a "pretty difficult" issue, "Congress needs to act. There's no question about that, and I hope that we'll act soon," he said.
"I hope we'll act soon?" Good god.

Even when the post office tries to make sensible money saving changes, guys like Representative James Sensenbrenner and Rep. Paul Ryan stop them cold when their own rural conservative voters complain.

My favorite response comes from Investor Place, where the columnist spews all the Republican privatization talking points, longing for a Dickensian future. "Are there no prisons, are there no workhouses?" 

Since we know Fed Ex and UPS rely on the post office for delivery, I wonder how these two giant services will like daily deliveries. And how will the public like mailing a birthday card at $2 or $3 a pop? Profit, profit, profit:
It’s getting better and better to be a shareholder of Federal Express (NYSE:FDX) and UPS (NYSE:UPS) these days. The U.S. Postal Service will cease delivering first-class mail on Saturdays. You can practically see the ads coming: “They don’t deliver on Saturdays. We do!” … one can see annual results back to 2003 … when the USPS managed a $3.87 billion profit. Since then, that profit dwindled to $900 million in 2006 and then to massive multibillion-dollar annual losses every year thereafter. Defenders will assert that this loss was the result of having to pre-fund employee pensions. First, that’s not the whole truth …
But pre-funding is mostly the “whole truth."

But the worst and most costly thing the post office provides, brings us back to that pre-funding problem ; providing a pension for its workers. Retirement savings? But that’s not profitable.
Second, the fundamental flaw in government-driven businesses is providing taxpayer-funded, defined-benefit pensions to government workers at all. Why should a government worker get a guaranteed pension when private sector workers have to contribute to their own retirement plans?
And we wouldn't want private sector employees putting money away for retirement, would we? Republican voters have bought into that idea, because they hate it when someone has something they don't, even though they should be demanding pensions from their private employers.

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