Don’t Let Congress Kill the Post Office!

Via elephant journal
on Feb 15, 2013
get elephant's newsletter


Photo by Ian Britton
Photo by Ian Britton

The Post Office isn’t going broke; it’s being robbed.

From Credo Action:

Dear Friend,

The United States Postal Service announced last week that due to budget shortfalls, mail will no longer be delivered on Saturdays starting in August.

It’s true the post office faces financial challenges. But the financial problems are in large part a direct result of an onerous and ill-considered 2006 law called the “Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act” (PAEA) that mandates pre-funding the postal service retiree health care and pension benefits for 75 years—something that no other government agency or private company is forced to do.

The vast majority—85 percent—of the budget red ink comes from this pre-funding mandate despite the fact that, according to the post office Inspector General, the pension is over-funded and reserves for retiree health care are far higher than the federal government as a whole, the military and almost all Fortune 1000 companies.1

Tell Congress: Don’t let Republicans kill the post office. Click here to sign this petition automatically.

Even with the declining levels of “snail mail,” the post office still manages to deliver to every household in America a total of 563 million pieces of mail for an incredibly low cost. It does it efficiently, and without a penny of taxpayer money.2

But it’s that very self-sufficiency that drove Congressional Republicans to hatch a long-term plan to destroy the agency by starving it of the ability to maintain services. By forcing the USPS to save an outrageous and unneeded nest-egg, the agency has been increasingly removed from revenues which would help it keep pace with the innovation of FedEx and UPS.

As a result, the post office has closed branches in some of the most rural areas, where it was the only government-affiliated location for miles around.

Rural post offices in particular are important institutions. Closing them, especially in areas with little or no access to broadband internet service, could have a major impact on the communities they serve. And closing them won’t save much money.

Tell Congress: Don’t let Republicans kill the post office. Click here to sign this petition automatically.

Undermining public services is exactly what Republicans have been doing since the Reagan-era, by cutting off normal, healthy revenues for any reason they can find—even if it requires doing something that in any other circumstance would be branded as total lunacy. FedEx and UPS would never be required to meet the same savings requirements as the USPS.

By making the public believe that government services are underfunded and poorly managed, Republicans can force more cuts, and eventually privatize services altogether, handing over public goods to private corporations that enrich a select few at the expense of many.

And if the USPS dies, FedEx and UPS will have been delivered an entire, centuries-old industry at wholesale cost.

But all of this can be avoided by making simple and popular reforms to the postal service like those proposed last year in a bill by Delaware Senator Thomas Carper. His bill would have allowed the USPS to stretch out payments for future retirees for the next 40 years, while recouping $11 billion the government has overcharged the postal service.3

If Congress can’t get its act together and implement these necessary and simple reforms, the postal service will be forced to continue cutting staff and services. Legislators must act now to repeal the PAEA and put the post office back on equal footing.

Tell Congress: Don’t let Republicans kill the post office.

Thank you for standing up for the post office.

Jordan Krueger, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets


Like enlightened society on Facebook.


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive—and get your name/business/fave non-profit on every page of Questions? Send to [email protected]


16 Responses to “Don’t Let Congress Kill the Post Office!”

  1. Brian says:

    Why is social security not good enough for government employees? Our government is terribly ill with no treatment available.

  2. Joshua Scott Onysko says:

    Waylon, the only reason the post office still exists is "junk mail" junk mail accounts for 75% of the mail delivered in this country….so shall we deforest our planet just to send some love letters,….?

  3. female Connell says:

    The ONLY reason the USPS is being attacked is because of it's assets and the profits that Republicans will make from privatizing it. Like other takeovers, the corporate raiders never put their own money into the takeover. They also, like vampires, force the employees to pay for their own pensions demise. They use their pension funds to finance the takeover.

  4. female Connell says:

    The USPS employees are being made to fund all pensions for 70 years into the future…and forced to do it within 10 years. ANd then, if ANYTHING is left of their pensions (which there never has been but a fraction of them left), the taxpayer funded entity of the PBGC, Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, will "manage" those funds. It happened with Eastern Airlines when the appointed CEO of Eastern, Frank Lorenzo, sat also on the board of Continental Air Lines, and assets of Eastern were transferred, the state of the art computer system was sold for a fraction of it's value, routes were similarly "sold" and the employees that were all stockholders were ripped off. Evidence of violations of the SEC, FAA and OSHA fomented a bill that was passed by our elected representatives in congress. GHW Bush vetoed the bill and crushed truth and the Eastern employees futures and robbed them of their pensions. It was never about a "union", as 2 other huge unions went on strike in support….the pillts and the flight attendants. It was a crime!

  5. Female Connell says:

    And at Eastern Atlanta reservations office, boxes of printouts of mere RESERVATION holders from the post bankrupt Air Atlanta passengers appeared. Reservationists were made to call those people and offer them FREE travel on Eastern Airlines "as a courtesy" …was the verbage we were told to use. One agent ended up arguing with someone they called on the phone because the person didn't believe them as they told the agent they never bought a ticket. The agents response, "Look lady, I was told to call you and offer this. Do you want it or not?!"
    It's not fun when you see seats being given away to people, and not just Air Atlanta reservation holders, without any revenue being made from them.
    The overbooked flights of which there was a near riot in South Florida, produced a "profit" by handing out DBC's, Denied Boarding Coupons, for free flights that were written off as business expenses. Taxpayers indirectly robbed of the carrier's tax revenue.

  6. female Connell says:

    The former head of Air Atlanta called the P3 desk of reservation to use flight coupons. The P3 desk is where pilots and flight crews called to book a seat to get back to their home or base. It was a special line that was not publicly known.
    Delta Air Lines which received an near monopoly on carriage of commercial airliine passengers after Eastern went out, refused to hire excellent former, NON-UNION, employees….like the RESERVATIONISTS…no matter what their work history was. VERY, VERY few of the experienced and knowledgable reservationists from EAL were hired by Delta. The EAL pilots were not either. However they did hire inexperienced people with no airline experience.
    Considering the loss of taxes and employment for the federal government, the city and the county….tell me how that appears.

  7. female Connell says:

    Thanks 8>)

  8. female Connell says:

    And lets not forget that the government has already ordered extremely costly modernized equipment to handle mail.
    I guess those pension funds for 70 years into the future are actually paying for that equipment.
    The USPS has enjoyed an unprecedented amount of employee attrition. The new hires are hired in at much lower rates.
    The management always does what they are told by those that will profit from the demise. They cannibalize their own people because they wanted the MONEY. Their masters called.

  9. female Connell says:

    If the USPS is privatized, as it appears that is the point of all of this, try sending a certified or registered letter….a document you need the recepient to sign for and for you to have proof it was delivered. Currently, you can do that for $5.00. See what sort of cost that would be through either of the other two letter/package delivery services that exist in our country…you know, the privately owned companies. If you ever need to engage in a legal engagement….the cost of communication alone will limit your ability to seek justice. I suppose you will be happy with sub-contracted employees that throw packages over fences or do not get signatures when the services paid for required it.
    You are apparently young and haven't been faced with any adversity. Good luck, sonny.

  10. female Connell says:

    Don't let that tree block you from seeing the forest.

  11. female Connell says:

    Apologies, Waylon.
    It struck a nerve.

  12. female Connell says:

    I was wondering where the copies went……..
    Everyone would do well to read this link..

  13. female Connell says:

    Another way the Republicans and their party are dismantling and disenfranchising the PEOPLE of this country and their way of getting information and communicating. From a person that is old enough to have been able to watch the Watergate hearings on television that you did not have to pay to view via cable, satellite or dvd. Also the Iran-Contra hearings ….all which are episodes of the egregious Republican Party activitives they would rather not have the PEOPLE know about.
    Orwell's 1984 was "Ned and the first reader" compared to what is happening.

  14. bryan bird says:

    Congress has turned non-action into an art form ….. but the article is right on the money and Congress needs to clean up the mess they created …..

  15. Heaven forbid the USPS take Saturday off for their daily garbage delivery to my door step. I totally agree with Joshua above. I consider myself a liberal, but I would happily pay extra through a privatized company to send the rare packages or letters ("what's a letter grandma?"), if it meant that my daily trash delivery would cease. The USPS is a waste of time and money. Just because an institution is old and historical, doesn't mean it's relevant anymore, no matter how many jobs it provides. We don't communicate through this tired and dead medium any more. It's not a government conspiracy, it's a fact of life. Get rid of the Post Office!