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Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:05 PM

How the Right Wing Destroyed the U.S. Postal Service

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Response to Galraedia (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:41 PM

1. ITs the democrats fault they

kept all bush appointees to the postal board and appointed more republican to the board that runs the post office. If john mccain can hold a press conference daily about susan rice and talk show on weeksends why cant the dem do the same about the post office?
it the post office is in the constitution on what grounds can the repukes just kill it with a partisan vote?

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Response to bonniebgood (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:42 AM

5. Not merely re-appointing Bush appointees and Republicans, but Taub and Hammond

Before his appointment to the Army, Mr. Taub served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative John M. McHugh for the preceding decade. As Chief of Staff, he oversaw the day-to-day operations of Representative McHugh’s staff and offices in Washington, D.C. and Northern New York State. In a variety of leadership roles on the U.S. House Oversight & Government Reform Committee for 12 years, Mr. Taub also worked closely with Congressman McHugh on matters relating to the nation’s postal and delivery sector. He crafted Representative McHugh’s legislation for modernizing America’s postal laws for the first time since 1970, culminating in passage of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act in 2006. Mr. Taub also helped Representative McHugh conduct hearings and investigations into postal operations that ultimately led to the enactment of a dozen other postal laws.

http://www.prc.gov/prc-pages/about/commissioners/bio.aspx?subsectionid=66


You can bet none of those laws was aimed at keeping the U.S. Post Office healthy and unprivatized. McHugh was a sponsor of the infamous 2003 bill that required the Post Office to fund its pensions 75 years in advance.


4. H.R.735 : Postal Civil Service Retirement System Funding Reform Act of 2003
Sponsor: Rep McHugh, John M. (introduced 2/12/2003) Cosponsors (80)
Committees: House Government Reform
House Reports: 108-49
Latest Major Action: 4/8/2003 House floor actions. Status: Laid on the table. See S. 380 for further action.
Note: For further action, see S. 380 , which became Public Law 108-18 on 4/23/2003.


http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d108&querybd=@FIELD%28FLD003+@4%28%28@1%28Rep+McHugh++John+M.%29%29+00773%29%29

Per the quoted paragraph about Taub at the beginning of this post, Postal Commission Chief Taub was working for McHugh then as well.




As for Hammond:

http://www.savethepostoffice.com/what-were-you-thinking-mr-president-obama-nominates-hammond-prc


The Postal Commission does a variety of things, including approving or denying requests for increases in postal rates. Lately, it has turned down a number of requests for increases, making it even harder for the U.S.P.S. to meet its obligations under the postal laws Taub/McHugh wrote.

The 2003 law is as far back as I looked. Even at that, though, blaming only one party for this requires ignoring a lot of facts.

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Response to bonniebgood (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:23 AM

11. I forgot to mention people like Peter Orszag.

Orszag is a plutocrat (Phillips Exeter, Princeton, etc.) who was Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy (1997–1998), and as Senior Economist and Senior Adviser on the Council of Economic Advisers (1995–1996) during the Clinton administration.

His economics are pro-Wall Street.

Orszag was also director of the Congressional Budget Office from January 2007 to November 2008. (Bush).

On November 25, 2008, President-elect Barack Obama announced that Orszag would be his nominee for director of the Office of Management and Budget, the arm of the White House responsible for crafting the federal budget and overseeing the effectiveness of federal programs.


Orszag resigned in 2010. He is now Vice Chair of Global Banking at Citigroup and writes a weekly column for Bloomgerg. Also a Bildergurger.

All of the above info and the quote are from Orszag's wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_R._Orszag

In July 2012, he wrote an article entitled "Best Best Fix for Postal Service Is to Take It Private."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-24/best-fix-for-postal-service-is-to-take-it-private.html

Someone posted about his privatization article at You Tube. The You Tube post in the OP of this thread is supposedly a response to the post about Orszag.

However, as my prior post says (and I hope, also shows), privatization of the post office has not been a one-party effort. Certainly, Obama's appointments to the Postal Commission give no indication that it is a one-party effort.

It's not your father's Democratic Party, Margaret.

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Response to Galraedia (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:38 AM

2. Did the Republicans do this all by themselves?

 

It's amazing the power that they have?

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Response to Galraedia (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:46 AM

3. With Democratic help.

 

How many Democrats voted for the bill? How many co-sponsored? And why, when we had control of Congress, did no Democrat attempt to change or repeal the law?

We had the numbers but did nothing.

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Response to Galraedia (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:02 AM

4. Simply following the links shows it's all by the GOP, and action can be taken now:

...But it was two events: one crafted during the Bush years and another supervised by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, that would cripple this once great institution.

Perhaps it was its booming history that first drew Congress' attention to the Postal Service in 2006 when it passed the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA), which mandated that the Postal Service would have to fully fund retiree health benefits for future retirees. That's right. Congress was demanding universal health care coverage.

It was an impossible order, and strangely, a task unshared by any other government service, agency, corporation or organization within the United States. The act meant that every September 30th, the USPS had to cough up $5.5 billion to the Treasury for the pre-funding of future retirees' health benefits, meaning the Postal Service pays for employees 75 years into the future. The USPS is funding the retirement packages of people who haven't even been born yet...


People who want to take action to save the USPS can support this bill by a Democrat by calling representatives, and not giving up:

H.R. 1351, the United States Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011, is a piece of legislation sponsored by Massachusetts Congressman Stephen Lynch. The act calls for the Office of Personal Management to do the definitive audit, come up with the actual figure of overpayment and then apply that to the ridiculous system of prepayment funding expenses. The Postal Service would then have that $5.5 billion a year to use for running its services and improving mail delivery.

http://truth-out.org/news/item/3190-postal-workers-the-last-union?tmpl=component&print=1

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Response to freshwest (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:59 AM

6. I disagree that it is all by the GOP.

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Response to merrily (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:12 AM

9. Show the bill by a Republican to save the USPS.

And do you care enought to call your representative to change the law?

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Response to freshwest (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:19 AM

10. Never said that the Republicans filed a bill to save the USPS.

And why are you trying to make this about me?

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Response to merrily (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:48 AM

16. I gave you a solution and asked for support for it.

Anything I write on this board is not about you, and never will be.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:24 AM

13. Thank you for this information. More info about the bill:

Rep. Lynch, the only Blue Dog in the Massachusetts delegation, has been in Congress since October, 2001.

As you probably know, the onerous postal pension bill was enacted in 2003.

Throughout his entire career in the U.S. House, Lynch has sat on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, formerly called the Government Reform Committee. He also chaired the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Post Office, and the District of Columbia from 2009 to 2010. On this subcommittee he has dealt with federal employee recruitment, salary, and benefits.

Democrats controlled the house from January 2006 through January 2007 to January 2011, four years.

It's too bad that Rep. Lynch did not get to file this relatively short bill until two to three months after Republicans took control of the house, after the likelihood of passage decreased significantly. It does have some bipartisan support, though, and hopefully that will increase since Republicans at least seem as though they are waking up.

The bill, which is reproduced below in its entirety is apparently still in Committee. It changes the method of calculation for the pensions. Still, the pension issue is very important for the Post Office and the unions back it. I hope it passes, but I wish it were more sweeping and, of course, wish it had been filed at least a few months sooner.

April 4, 2011

Mr. LYNCH (for himself and Mr. CUMMINGS) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

A BILL

To amend the provisions of title 5, United States Code, relating to the methodology for calculating the amount of any Postal surplus or supplemental liability under the Civil Service Retirement System, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `United States Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011'.

SEC. 2. MODIFIED METHODOLOGY.

(a) In General- Section 8348(h) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(4)(A) To the extent that a determination under paragraph (1), relating to benefits attributable to civilian employment with the United States Postal Service, is based on any provision of law under subparagraph (C), such determination shall be made in accordance with such provision and any otherwise applicable provisions of law, subject to the following:

`(i) The `average pay' used in the case of any individual shall be a single amount, determined in accordance with section 8331(4), taking into account the rates of basic pay in effect for such individual during the periods of creditable service performed by such individual. Nothing in this subsection shall be considered to permit or require--

`(I) one determination of average pay with respect to service performed with the United States Postal Service; and

`(II) a separate determination of average pay with respect to service performed with its predecessor entity in function.

`(ii) To determine the portion of an annuity attributable to civilian employment with the United States Postal Service, the appropriate percentage to apply under any provision of law under subparagraph (C) with respect to such employment is, in the case of--

`(I) any period of employment with the United States Postal Service which follows

`(II) any other period of employment creditable under section 8332 (whether with the entity referred to in clause (i)(II) or otherwise),

the applicable percentage under such provision, determined after taking into account any periods of employment described in subclause (II) which precede the period of employment (described in subclause (I)) as to which the determination of the appropriate percentage to apply under such provision is being made.

`(B)(i) Not later than the date which occurs 6 months after the date of enactment of this paragraph, the Office shall determine (or, if applicable, redetermine) the amount of the Postal surplus or supplemental liability as of the close of the fiscal year most recently ending before such date of enactment, in conformance with the methodology required under subparagraph (A).

`(ii)(I) If the result of the determination (or redetermination) under clause (i) is a surplus, the Office shall transfer the amount of such surplus to the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund within 15 days after the date of such determination (or redetermination).

`(II) If a determination under clause (i) is made before a determination under paragraph (2)(B) is made with respect to the same fiscal year, no determination shall be made with respect to such fiscal year under paragraph (2)(B).

`(C) The provisions of law under this subparagraph are--

`(i) the first sentence of section 8339(a); and

`(ii) section 8339(d)(1).

`(5) For purposes of this subsection--

`(A) the term `Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund' refers to the fund described in section 8909a; and

`(B) the term `Postal Service Fund' refers to the fund described in section 2003 of title 39.'.

(b) Coordination Provisions- (1) Section 8909a of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the amount payable by the Postal Service under subsection (d) in any fiscal year ending on or before September 30, 2021, shall be determined as if section 2(a) of the United States Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011 had never been enacted.'.

(2) Nothing in this Act shall affect the amount of any benefits otherwise payable from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund to any individual.

(c) Technical Amendment- The heading for section 8909a of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking `Benefit' and inserting `Benefits'.

SEC. 3. ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS.

(a) In General- Section 8348(h)(2) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(F) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection, for purposes of determining the Postal surplus or supplemental liability for each of fiscal years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, any determination under paragraph (1) shall be made by disregarding paragraph (4)(A) and by instead applying the methodology that was used to carry out this paragraph with respect to the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year referred to in paragraph (4)(B)(i).'.

(b) Relating to a Postal Surplus- Section 8348(h)(2)(C) of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

(1) by inserting `2021,' after `2015,'; and

(2) by striking `if the result is' and all that follows through `terminated.' and inserting the following: `if the result is a surplus--

`(i) that amount shall be transferred--

`(I) to the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund, except as provided in subclause (II); and

`(II) if the surplus is for fiscal year 2021 or a subsequent fiscal year, to the Postal Service Fund; and

`(ii) any prior amortization schedule for payments shall be terminated.'.

SEC. 4. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN SURPLUS RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTIONS.

Section 8423(b) of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

(1) by redesignating paragraph (5) as paragraph (6); and

(2) by inserting after paragraph (4) the following:

`(5) If, for fiscal year 2010, the amount computed under paragraph (1)(B) is less than zero (in this section referred to as `surplus postal contributions'), the amount of those surplus postal contributions shall be transferred--

`(A) to the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund to pay any liability to the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund for fiscal year 2011;

`(B) if all liability to the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund for fiscal year 2011 has been paid, to the Employees' Compensation Fund (as established under section 8147); and

`(C) if all liability of the United States Postal Service to the Employees' Compensation Fund (as so established) has been paid, to the United States Postal Service for the repayment of any obligation issued under section 2005 of title 39.'.

SEC. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE.

(a) In General- This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act.

(b) Intent of Congress- It is the intent of Congress that this Act apply with respect to the allocation of past, present, and future benefit liabilities between the United States Postal Service and the Treasury of the United States.



http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.1351:

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Response to Galraedia (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:04 AM

7. k/r

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Response to Galraedia (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:08 AM

8. .

.

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Response to Galraedia (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:50 AM

12. The Post Office is one of a number of subjects on which both major Parties seem to agree.

Not as to every detail and particular, of course, but both seem to want to burden the Post Office and head toward privatization.

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Response to Galraedia (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:14 AM

14. Oh yeah, lots of money to be made without the USPS as a competitor for UPS et al.

The elites (and want to be's) on capitol hill voted to destroy the post office in 2006 and keep trying.
This is a vital service for all of us non-elites. Even though "they" have made the prices much higher than they need to be, it is still cheaper than the for-profits, who do not fund (or probably have) retirements for their employees (75 years!!).
Congress- cut the bullshit, let the USPS operate like other federal services. Fuck those who were (are) pissed because the USPS was not screwing Americans for profit. Now they cannot compete because of the onerous rule imposed on them and no other business.

We are tired of Robber Barons and profit made to keep the wealthy comfortable. Release our USPS to serve us at the cheap prices that they can, without the profiteering motive...NOW!

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Response to Galraedia (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:19 AM

15. I have been aware of this for some time. Knowing this, it was still a shock when my letter carrier

handed me my mail one day and Obama was on the cover of Time magazine. He made some disparaging comment about Obama to the extent I could tell he was a right wing Koolaid drinker. Here is a member of a union which is under siege and the Repugs are trying to take his job, and he supports them! This is the way they have butted unions. Not all at once, but trapping them in the Fox News bubble. I live in ground zero for the refinery industry. Many of the plants here are still union but many of the members are like this postman. I don't think that they even know or care what their union predessors had to go through to give them the sweetheart deal they have (40 hour work week, benefits, safety...). Many of these guys make over 6 figures and are loading the gun to shoot themselves in the foot. All of the unions in the country need to put on a push to bring the jobs back and support fledgling attempts to unionize Walmart! Walmart needs to start carrying some American made goods. They used to be proud to sell only made in America products, now it is all Chinese.

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