Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:05 PM
brentspeak (18,290 posts)
Peter Orszag, former Obama Budget Director, now Citibank stooge, wants to privatize USPS
So that the 1% can grab the USPS' 200 years-worth of accumulated property and assets for pennies-on-the-dollar.
Privatize the Postal Service? That's Just Going to Make a Small Number of People Rich
Obama's former Budget Director, vice chairman of corporate and investment banking at Citigroup thinks it's a good idea -- he may stand to benefit.
If chutzpah is killing your parents then throwing yourself on the mercy of the court because you're an orphan then Peter Orszag is the poster child for chutzpah. In his recent article in Bloomberg News he insists the best fix for the post office is to take it private. Where does the chutzpah come from? Orszag was Director of the Office of Management Budget (OMB), an agency that played a key role in crippling the USPS with a manufactured financial crisis.
Finally, in 2006 the Post Office and Congress agreed to literally buy off the CBO and OMB. Budget neutrality over a ten-year period was achieved by requiring the USPS to make ten annual payments of $5.4-5.8 billion. The level of the annual payments was not based on any actuarial determination. They were produced by the CBO to equal the amounts necessary to offset the loss of the escrow payments. Under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 the USPS was forced to prefund its future health care benefit payments to retirees for the next 75 years in ten years, something no other government agency or private corporation is required to do. The Postal Regulatory Commission noted that those payments “transformed what would have been considerable profits into significant losses.” Indeed, 90 percent or more of the current deficit is a result of these artificially created debts. The Post Office is indeed in a financial crisis, but not one of its own making.
A real world solution to the USPS fiscal crisis would be to remove the artificially generated financial noose from its neck and then build on its two most important assets: its ubiquitous physical infrastructure and the high esteem in which Americans hold it. In combination, these assets offer the post office an enviable platform upon which to generate many new revenue-producing services.
But for Peter Orszag the solution is to ignore the fraudulent financial burden imposed on the USPS and sell off and dismantle its ubiquitous infrastructure. “In addition to its 32,000 post offices, it has 461 processing facilities, monopoly access to residential mailboxes and an overfunded pension plan,” he writes. “These assets would attract bidders. Consider, for example, that many processing facilities and post offices sit on valuable real estate, and it may be smarter to sell many of them than to keep them.” Did I forget to mention that Peter Orszag is currently vice chairman of corporate and investment banking at Citigroup? Citigroup may certainly be in the running to oversee the privatization of the post office, a process that would generate tens of millions of dollars in fees and undoubtedly handsomely benefit Mr. Orszag personally. Now that’s chutzpah.
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Peter Orszag, former Obama Budget Director, now Citibank stooge, wants to privatize USPS (Original post)
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Response to brentspeak (Original post)
Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:30 AM
sigmasix (794 posts)
8. orszag's history?
When did the president appoint this guy? For how long did he serve in his appointed position? Why is he no longer at that position? Does he have a history of support for right wing privatizing schemes? Was the president aware of his support for said right wing scheme?
Response to brentspeak (Original post)
Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:56 AM
cali (114,904 posts)
11. The article he wrote is a piece of work and makes little sense, in any case
Which brings us to privatization, a path already being followed for postal services in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Japan. Despite claims to the contrary, privatized entities do not, on average, become miraculously more productive than public agencies. Indeed, privatization can sometimes turn out to be a disaster -- as has been the case with the financially troubled U.S. Enrichment Corporation, which produces enriched uranium for nuclear power plants, since it was unwisely pushed out of government by the Clinton administration’s Treasury Department during the 1990s.
In the case of the Postal Service, though, privatization has become the best path forward, mainly because it would take Congress out of the picture. As New York Times columnist Joe Nocera recently argued, “the problem is that neither the management nor the workers really control the Postal Service. Even though the post office has been self-financed since the 1980s, it remains shackled by Congress, which simply can’t bring itself to allow the service to make its own decisions.” And Congress won’t do so, as long as the post office remains part of the government.
The Postal Service has many assets that could be managed more efficiently, if Congress got out of the way. In addition to its 32,000 post offices, it has 461 processing facilities, monopoly access to residential mailboxes and an overfunded pension plan. These assets would attract bidders. Consider, for example, that many processing facilities and post offices sit on valuable real estate, and it may be smarter to sell many of them than to keep them.
Disgusting corporate shill piece of shit.