Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:56 PM
Redfairen (1,276 posts)
Postal Cuts Are Austerity on Steroids
The austerity agenda that would cut services for working Americans in order to maintain tax breaks for the wealthy—and promote the privatization of public services—has many faces. Most Americans recognize the threats to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as pieces of the austerity plan advanced by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), and the rest of the Ayn Rand–reading wrecking crew that has taken over the Republican Party. But it is important to recognize that the austerity agenda extends in every direction: from threats to Food Stamps and Pell Grants, to education cuts, to the squeezing of transportation funding.
But the current frontline of the austerity agenda is the assault on the US Postal Service, a vital public service that is older than the country. And it is advancing rapidly. On Wednesday, the Postal Service announced that Saturday first-class mail delivery is scheduled for elimination at the beginning of August—the latest and deepest in a series of cuts that threatens to so undermine the service that it will be ripe for bartering off to the private delivery corporations that have long coveted high-end components of the service.
"The postmaster general cannot save the Postal Service by ending one of its major competitive advantages. Cutting six-day delivery is not a viable plan for the future. It will lead to a death spiral that will harm rural America while doing very little to improve the financial condition of the Postal Service," says U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who has worked with some success in the Senate to avert deep cuts to the Postal Service. "Providing fewer services and less quality will cause more customers to seek other options. Rural Americans, businesses, senior citizens and veterans will be hurt by ending Saturday mail."
The plan to end key Saturday services, which has been correctly described by the National Association of Letter Carriers as “a disastrous idea that would have a profoundly negative effect on the Postal Service and on millions of customers,” is not necessary. Ryan and his fellow proponents of austerity manufactured the current crisis in USPS funding, when they enacted the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA). The PAEA forced the Postal Service to prefund its future healthcare benefit payments to retirees for the next seventy-five years. That’s something no major corporation could or would do, as it required the service to divert more than $5 billion annually to pre-pay the health benefits of retirees who have not yet been hired.
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Postal Cuts Are Austerity on Steroids (Original post)
Response to Redfairen (Original post)
Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:11 PM
tk2kewl (17,813 posts)
1. they want to kill it because it represents an alternative to their 1% world
and they're afraid people might finally start to realize that public and cooperative services can compete in the market place and provide good wages and benefits for all while enriching no one. It doesn't fit their wealth extraction model.