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Friday, January 18, 2019

The Post Office announced Wednesday that it has no choice but the eliminate Saturday delivery of letters to save $2 billion, putting roughly 35,000-40,000 jobs at risk. Package delivery will continue six days a week.

“Our financial condition is urgent,” said Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, who in the past had said he didn’t have the power to eliminate a day of service without congressional approval.

The rise of email has presented a persistent challenge to the Post Office, which is entirely self-funded, but the budget crisis was created purposely in 2006 by Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), which mandated the funding of 75 years of pension obligations within 10 years. The same law prevents the service from raising tax rates to fund the pensions.

“No business in the world could survive a mandate from the government to pay out $5 billion a year without the ability to raise its rates,” American Postal Workers Union President Cliff Guffey said on Ed Schultz’s radio show. “Anyone would go bankrupt.”

Before the law passed, the USPS was not in any debt. About 70 percent of its losses can be traced directly to PAEA, as the postal service works continually to deliver new gains in productivity, reports Esquire’s Jesse Lichtenstein in his must-read exposé of the war on letter carriers, “Do We Really Want to Live Without the Post Office?

Guffey believes the point of the law was to drive the Post Office out of business and force letter delivery to become privatized as it is in Germany, “where stamps are 78 cents.”

Majority FM‘s Sam Seder explains the plot against the Post Office here:

USPS covers many regions of the country that private carriers won’t serve. Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the Constitution says Congress has the power “To establish Post Offices and post Roads.”

Now Congress is continually blocking any effort the service would like to make in order to reduce costs, including closing some small post offices, raising rates and funding pensions in a reasonable way. Its losses without the costs of pensions are around are estimated around $900 million a year.

Congress could try to stop the change in service, though it failed to pass a bill designed to prevent the elimination of Saturday service late in the last Congress.

Both Speaker Boehner and the White House are calling for Congress to act. It should start by reversing the damage it did in 2006.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File

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61 responses to “Post Office Forced To Cut Saturday Delivery Due To GOP Sabotage”

  1. leadvillexp says:

    It shows the stupidy of the government. A government operation is told to at least break even. Yet you aren’t allowed to raise the price but you must maintain the service. Catch 22. Make the Postal service private or let it go out of business. It can’t survive if the politicians run it. For that matter the government won’t last much longer if they keep running it.

    • Sand_Cat says:

      The Republicans are simply trying to destroy the Post Office and its union. This has nothing to do with incompetence or ignorance: it is pure malice.

      • leadvillexp says:

        It seems everyone thinks it’s one party or the other. Both parties are destroying the system. Our government is becomming a failure thanks to them.

        • TotallyRandomName says:

          I hate people like leadvillexp that try to pretend the blame should be spread around equally. It lets everyone off the hook by holding no one more accountable. Read the article again: the USPS is being intentionally sabotaged by the GOP. There is not equal blame in this.

          • Barbara says:

            I agree. Its like the child being disciplined and says “well, so and so
            did it too”. Who cares! Just grow up and take responsibility.

          • Marv Jehoggsegetter says:

            I hate people like TotallyRandomName that try to pretend everything they read is not blatantly biased due to some hack writer’s political beef and do no further research themselves to see who should really be held accountable. Read the article again: “GOP sabotage” blames too many people rather than the individuals who shoved this through. “There is not [sic] equal blame in this.”

          • TotallyRandomName says:

            Nice try. Fail, Marv.

        • charleo1 says:

          The Post Office has endured our revolution, the civil war, and a great depression, but it’s one fatal sin seems to be it’s a union. Now, what
          political party is strangling unions, because unions largely donate
          to one Party. Do you know which one? Come on, you can do this. Look
          closely. They are all wearing suits, but they are saying completely
          different things! Both parties want you to have a nice job. But one doesn’t
          want you to get paid very much for doing it. Can you tell which one?
          I’ll give you a hint. He’s probably old, white, and snarls when he talks.

          • jebediah123 says:

            Hey, I’m “old”, white, and snarl ALL THE TIME, not just when I talk.


            In fact, if Jesus Christ came down here and said “Vote republican or I’ll send you to hell” —–my reply,” Where’s the down elevator”.

          • charleo1 says:

            Oh No! I did not mean to leave the impression that all snarling is equal. Certainly not.
            When done by a Democrat, it is regarded as one of the most sincere forms of civic expression!

      • JSquercia says:

        Wouldn’t it be nice if the Congress made Private Companies fund THEIR pension Obligations ? Instead those companies consistently underfund their Pension Funds . Many companies with Pensions are looted by Vulture Capitalists and that includes their Pension funds .They then declare Bankruptcy and stick Uncle Sam with the bill .

    • It’s not stupidity–it’s pure, simple corruption, the lobbies of Fed Ex and similar private parcel/post carriers started this.

    • Tom_P says:

      Why does a public service need to turn a profit? Granted that they should avoid wasting money, but nobody expects the military to turn a profit, so why should the post-office – a constitutionally protected institution of the exact same originating authorization as the army and navy – have to do so?
      That said, the game is to close them down so they get rid of public employees and (perhaps) can raid all that money they were required to put by.

      • johninPCFL says:

        The army was not Constitutionally founded. In fact, the Constitution specifically prevents any funding bill for the army lasting more than two years. The founding fathers didn’t want the country to have a standing army.

    • Robbie C says:

      If that’s what you gleaned from this information, your reading comprehension skills are sorely lacking.

    • mah101 says:

      But Congress must remember it relies on the postal service. Without the postal service, what would Congress do? The only thing they seem capable of accomplishing these days is naming post offices – take those away and Congress (read: GOP in House) is completely incapable of doing anything.

  2. AntieQ says:

    So, the party that complains that our president is shredding our Constitution is attempting to dismantle a Constitutionally mandated institution? Hypocrite much?

    • Plznnn says:

      The constitution states that they provide post offices & postal roads, but didn’t state that there be unfunded mandates and other problems to make this a problem. If we are to maintain a Post Office, we need to keep it more efficient, maybe more cluster boxes, etc. The Constitution doesn’t say that there needs to be everyday delivery to every single home & business in America, and paying unfunded payouts to postal workers.

      • ralphkr says:

        Unfunded payouts to postal workers??? Just what unfunded payouts are you talking about? Their hourly pay? Certainly not their retirement as it had such a large reserve that SS tried take it over a few decades ago (long before anyone spoke of a SS crisis). I found it interesting that the postal employees had to go to court (after USPS was made a quasi-independent entity that was mandated to be self-supporting) to get the US gov’t to cough up the matching funds that it owed to the fund. PO employees were paying 7% into the pension fund long before the SS raised its rate to 6.2% in 1990. The big problem is that the Republicans (& some Democrats) want to put USPS out of business so that they can cherry pick the lucrative areas to service with private outfits and they are doing that by saddling USPS with the requirement that the USPS fully fund retirement & medical benefits for the next 75 years within ten years. Just how many employees (active & retired) alive ten years from now shall still be alive for another 65 years??

        • onedonewong says:

          The USPS problem is simple to fix ban the unions. There are more USPS on disability than the US Military some are into their 90’s and still drawing disability

          • ralphkr says:

            You have a point there, onedonewong, but you missed the real problem with retirement costs. It used to be that a postal clerk lived less than 5 years after retiring because of the extremely dusty working conditions while carriers averaged 15 years drawing retirement because of the better conditions working outside the office. Now the offices are mechanized and the air is much cleaner plus improved medical care all retired employees are surviving much longer. This could easily be cured by automatically cutting off all pensions upon reaching 80 or 20 years after initial retirement payment. Just think how much money SS and the few businesses that still have retirement plans could save by adopting this plan. I applaud your attitude that no one should be allowed to live too long.

          • onedonewong says:

            Its PHONEY disability is the problem.95% of USPS emplyees on disability can’t qualify for SS disability its nothing but a CON

          • ralphkr says:

            Well, onedungwrong, that is a very interesting theory. I am left wondering why on earth anyone would want to give up their USPS disability and switch to SSI since USPS disability pays as if the person had completed 30 years on the job and had reached normal retirement age while SSI pays far less. As far as qualifying for SSI vs. USPS I must say that I have seen that SSI qualification is a breeze compared to USPS disability. In the 1970s I knew 2 men who qualified for SS disability because one had broken a leg and the other a broken arm (and we all know that an injury such as that is permanent) and I know postal employees on disability who had to turn in tons of paper work, various doctor’s reports, and see the USPS doctor more than once before they qualified. One was a letter carrier who was now confined to a wheel chair and had a partially paralyzed right arm (hard to walk a route in a wheel chair) and it took him nearly a year to qualify for USPS disability.

          • onedonewong says:

            Ralph you need to wake up…no one and I mean no one qualifies for SSI based on a broken arm or leg. They must be INcapable of doing any work, while federal disability is granted if you can’t do your present job which means that anyone wanting a fed disability qualifies.

          • ralphkr says:

            I am and was wide awake and I know both of those construction workers who got SS disability for a broken arm and the other with a broken leg in the 1960s. Admittedly, they did get their disability in an appeals court where I was because I had wheeled in a friend of ours (paralyzed from the waist down) to appeal being denied disability. She was denied because she was a woman and, to quote the judge, “she should marry someone who could support her or get a job as a secretary or receptionist where she would not be required to walk.” You are also mistaken about how one keeps a Federal disability because if you go to work at any type of job and reach 75% of your former full duty pay your disability retirement is cancelled unless you have reached normal retirement age. Anyone on a USPS disability can be called in to work at any time at any job the USPS deems them able to perform as determined by the USPS doctor and the paperwork in their file and I have seen more than one carrier who was no longer able to drive called in to answer phones or sweep floors. Depending upon how much they earn it may have no effect upon their disability check and just be bonus money.

  3. The main objective followed by the GOP the past several decades is to dismantle all our Social programs, privatize government institutions. and deregulate. To accomplish the transition without revealing the financial impact of their decision to replace affordable services with expensive private sector services is to starve the beast. Instead overt moves to shut down the USPS, MEDICARE and other government institutions they deny them the funding they need to function, while extending subsidies to the private sector entities they plan to replace them with. To make their Machiavellian goal more circumspect they extend irresponsible tax rates that make it virtually impossible to cover outlays, and leave no choice but to move towards smaller government.
    In the interest of fairness, the plight of the USPS is caused, largely, by new technologies, especially the Internet, e-mails, and e-cards; and the inability of the USPS to adapt to their current circumstances.

    • TheSkalawag929 says:

      I agree with all that you say up to “the inability of the USPS to adapt to their current circumstances.”

      The Post Office’s ability to adapt is intentionally being obstructed by the republican party purely for partisan political reasons.

    • jnap says:

      Raise the cost of a stamp, which is a real bargain, and the problem is solved. Eliminating one day of delivery is going to cost businesses billions in delayed payments. “The check is in the mail” will have a whole new meaning.

    • Yappy2 says:

      Did you not read about requiring the postal service to fund the healthcare and retirement 75 years in advance and having to do that in ten years time? They are attacking unions and, after all the people are put out of work, which will cause a recession, they will blame it on President Obama. The United States citizens are being held hostage by greedy Republican polititions and their wealthy donors. I can’t understand how everyday hard working people ,who vote republican, can buy into this. The state I live in, the rural areas vote mostly republican and they are the ones that are going to be hit the hardest by closing down post offices.

  4. adler56 says:

    More people need to be aware of the damage the Republicans have done to our country
    by stealing from our own government (even though the post office is not run by the government Congress sure has a lot of say about how it’s run) to enrich their wealthy backers. The UPS sellout was thought to be enough but the post office fought that off- e-mail and online bill paying has really hurt the Post Office profits-privatizing it would really hurt the rest of us.

  5. turtlewoman1039 says:

    The postal service is being sabotaged by the republicans for the same reason that they want to destroy/de-fund SS, Medicare, public education, etc. They want everything to be privatized, screw the common good. Why should the majority of us have access to reasonable, accessible shipping, public education, a ‘safe’ amount for retirement that is protected from the vagaries of wall st – fill in the blank… – when they have corporate buddies waiting in the wings to make an obscene profit from it? What has happened to prisons, what is happening to public education, the plans that republicans continue to hatch for the rest of us, is an obscenity.

  6. It’s a double-sided sword for Congress. On one side, they get to kill a government service to the benefit of their private donors, and on the other side, they get to point at the post office and call it proof that the government can’t do jack right so they should be allowed to end even more government programs.

    I’m surprised how many people are surprised that Congress turns out to be directly responsible for the post office’s ineptness. Most of these pricks rode into Congress waving the libertarian flag, and nothing is more damaging to the libertarian rhetoric than when the government gets anything right.

  7. jabber1 says:

    We need to push the red states out of the union. They don’t want to be a part of the U.S. anymore and we don’t want them.

  8. Ed says:

    Actually the republican party is dedicated to turning the country over to the corporations. That is what “drowning the governent in a bathtub” is all about.

  9. Reportedly, the average Postal Worker makes the equivalent of about $80K a year. I believe that this is more than twice the wages paid to FedEx and UPS workers. Both of these companies are profitable. Hmmmm? I think I see a possible solution to the Post Office negative cash flow.

  10. montanabill says:

    Before the loonies jump all over this, go read up on PAEA and PRC. The Postal Rate Commission is composed of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats.

  11. artist123 says:

    Look to the GOP. It’s failure as a party is being supported by private funding, much like they would like the rest of the country to be!

  12. Plznnn says:

    This is just more mis-information that doesn’t help solve this problem. Decades of very generous unfunded retirement benefits, with taxpayer’s money, has finally showed up with many retirees drawing it, and not enough funds to keep the system going. Plus the fact of competition for packages from UPS and Fed Ex, plus email, the Postal Service is outdated and bloated. Why didn’t they at least quit Wednesday delivery, not Saturday, so there will be many days with 3 days of no mail delivery because of the 11 Federal Holidays that are on Monday.

    • charleo1 says:

      If you are a long time postal employee, you should be aware USPS is not a tax funded
      entity. And if all companies were required to fund their pensions, and benefits 70 years
      in advance, there would be no company funded retirement benefits for anyone. Which would suit Republicans just fine. So, as the article correctly states, on their way out, in
      the ’06 lame duck session, Republicans felt compelled to take a parting swipe at unions, and an iconic American institution at the same time. And, mark my words. The results
      will be the creation of another 2 to 3 hundred thousand low paid, private sector workers,
      as Fed-X, and UPS without the competition from the postal union, will lower their wages. And the price to mail a first class letter will be a dollar in 5 years. In who’s world is this
      a win-win?

  13. Mr President GET OFF YOUR DUFF AND SAVE OUR POST OFFICES . Hell you saved the auto industry now you need to save our postal service it is in DIRE STRAIGHTS. and needs your help NOW.

  14. Pamby50 says:

    The republicans have been trying to privatize the Postal Service for a long time. So get ready everyone. If a package is to small or the area to remote, UPS & FED-EX won’t deliver it. They hand that off to the Postal Service. Why? Because the Postal Service is require to go everywhere. Private companies, not so. So UPS & FED-EX get paid and the Postal Service does not. Republicans keep saying that small businesses are the job creators. These small businesses rely on the Post Office.
    What a bunch of hypocrites.

  15. jstsyn says:

    When will Americans get tired enough of this fascist B.S. and do something about it?

  16. fidel says:

    Is The GOP Sabotage the USPS is Good ,because are 500.000 Voters more for The Democratic Party,They are self Destroying with the Tea Party and The Obsolete Ideology what they had per Decades.Is True The Elephant Wake Up and we are going to help to The GOP to Destroy Complete including with the Tea Party.When the Voice of The Real American People say YES is YES and When Say NOT is NOT. We are going to move more FORWARD in 2014.

  17. jazznj says:


    • Unfortunately, the Dems don’t have a super majority in either house to get things done that need to be done. The GOP in the Senate is too willing to use the filibuster rules – more than 400 times in 2 years!!!

  18. jnap says:

    When businesses have to wait several more day to receive the payments, by mail, from their customers the shi is going to hit the fan.

  19. Mem says:

    Just one more example of a once great nation unable toperform its basic functions.. Our unwillingness to pay taxes will become our downfall. We get what we pay for.

  20. BlueFlag says:

    How much $$$$$$$ is UPS & FedEx contributing to GOP committee leaders who are driving
    the US Postal Service into the ditch. I thought they required each GOP member to read the constitution…….. what a wierd bunch of in-describables.

  21. ralphkr says:

    I was working for the USPS many decades ago when gasoline skyrocketed to over $0.60 and I submitted a proposal to my boss, an industrial engineer, that we should switch to alternate delivery days with each carrier servicing two routes (Route 1: M-W-F; Route 2: Tu-Th-Sat). There would be a slight saving in manpower since each route would have to be shorter than the current routes but there would be a huge savings in fuel costs (over 40%) and in capital outlay since fewer vehicles would be needed. I then received a rocket from someone far up the chain of command stating that A) Congress considered daily delivery constitutionally mandate (strange, I know of some people in remote areas that are lucky to get weekly delivery) and Congress would never allow such a change even though they aren’t funding USPS and B) it was far beyond my pay grade to be making such radical suggestions. There was even a faint hint that they suspected that I was an agent of a foreign power). Consider just how long UPS or FedEx would stay in business if THEY were required to drive by every house and business every day whether they had an item to deliver there or not.

  22. Shipoopi says:

    The GOP leadership used to be noble, but have become purely evil. They put profit and corporate power over human life and comfort. What makes it even worse is that they do it while covering themselves in the robe of “Christianity” which has caused millions of poorly educated conservatives (mostly from the SE states) to change their definitions of what it means to be a Christian. Love your neighbor? Help immigrants? Feed, house and clothe the poor? Not anymore because now the “Christian” GOP leadership say it is “liberal” to do those things. While I believe that a politician is a politician regardless of political ideology or party, nevertheless the GOP leadership of our time are evil and need to be removed from power immediately lest they destroy our country. Their hands are dripping with blood – literally and figuratively.

  23. onedonewong says:

    Prior to 2006 the USPS just like the rest of govt didn’t prefund a dime of their future liabilities something that no business in the private sector could get away with. The USPS provides free medical coverage for their employees and their families through out retirement. For a family of 4 it costs them over $30,000 a year.
    Of course the article neglects to mention that the legislation was 100% supported by the unions. Now if only the union will support eliminating the 100,000 employees that come to work and have nothing to do and end up sitting in the conference rooms all day just in case they are needed

  24. Donald says:

    isnt it conveneint to blame the UPS problems on republicans and an arcane bipartisan bill from seven years ago? has anyone heard of the internet? the postmaster is taking charge because no one in congress, including the beloved democrats, has the guts to address the union member impact of a logical, long overdue business decision

  25. Nate says:

    The post office is the best example of why government should not operate anything for profit. Let G.M. operate for profit not Uncle Sam

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