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Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:35 PM

Congress Fiddles While the Post Office Burns - The Nation


John Nichols points in this article from last August that -- But the real story of Wednesday’s default by the postal service was never one of declining mail volume or inefficiency.

Also, the volume issue is partially related to the recession, standard mail is consistent in volume, first class dipped. It's mostly right wing talking points hammering on about that, there are solutions but not if the Post Office is ripped to pieces now.

--- snip

In 2006, a Republican Congress—acting at the behest of the Bush-Cheney administration—enacted a law that required the postal service to “pre-fund” retiree health benefits 75 years into the future. No major private-sector corporation or public-sector agency could do that. It’s an untenable demand. “(The) Postal Service in the short term should be released from an onerous and unprecedented burden to pre-fund 75 years of future retiree health benefits over a 10-year period,” says US Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont. “With $44 billion now in the fund, the Postal Service inspector general has said that program is already stronger than any other equivalent government or private-sector fund in the country. There already is more than enough in the account to meet all obligations to retirees.”

“The Postal Service should also be allowed to recover more than $13 billion in overpayments it has made to its pension plans,” adds Sanders. “With these changes alone, the Postal Service would be back in the black and posting profits.”

Sanders and other concerned legislators have gotten the Senate to take some steps toward addressing what is, in reality, a Congressional crisis—not a postal crisis. But the disengaged and dysfunctional Republican leadership in the House has failed to act in an even minimally responsible manner.

The Post Office will need to make changes. It will need to evolve as the ways in which Americans communicate change. But it can and should remain the vital source of community and connection that it has been since the nation’s founding. For that to happen, however, the USPS must be allowed by maintain staffing and infrastructure, to expand services, to operate in a fiscally responsible and fiscally sane manner—not required to default.

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Reply Congress Fiddles While the Post Office Burns - The Nation (Original post)
flamingdem Feb 2013 OP
ProfessionalLeftist Feb 2013 #1
FrodosPet Feb 2013 #2

Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:14 AM

1. The post office is burning BECAUSE of congress. n/t

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Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:28 AM

2. What about a tax on texts, e-mails and online bill paying?

And perhaps an end to people requesting that they don't receive "junk" mail.

10 cents per e-mail, 5 cents per SMS message, and 50 cents per online payment, earmarked straight for the post office, could help save, and even ADD a lot of jobs and Saturday service. Perhaps even add Sunday service. Not to mention how much it would cut down on e-mail spam.

As well, Congress should fund a big push to remind people that failure to utilize postal services whenever possible is un-American. Push the nostalgia aspect, the slow down your hectic life, aspect, whatever works.

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