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Thursday, September 29, 2016

What does 50 cents buy these days? Not a cuppa joe, a pack of gum or a newspaper. But you can get a steal of deal for a 50-cent piece: a first-class stamp. Plus a nickel in change.

Each day, six days a week, letter carriers traverse 4 million miles toting an average of 563 million pieces of mail, reaching the very doorsteps of our individual homes and workplaces in every single community in America. From the gated enclaves and penthouses of the uber-wealthy to the inner-city ghettos and rural colonias of America’s poorest families, the U.S. Postal Service literally delivers. All for 45 cents. The USPS is an unmatched bargain, a civic treasure, a genuine public good that links all people and communities into one nation.

So, naturally, it must be destroyed.

For the past several months, the laissez-fairyland blogosphere, assorted corporate front groups, a howling pack of congressional right-wingers and a bunch of lazy mass media sources have been pounding out a steadily rising drumbeat to warn that our postal service faces impending doom. It’s “broke,” they exclaim; USPS “nears collapse”; it’s “a full-blown financial crisis!”

These gloomsayers claim the national mail agency is bogged down with too many overpaid workers and costly brick-and-mortar facilities, so it can’t keep up with the instant messaging of Internet services and such nimble corporate competitors as FedEx. Thus, say these contrivers of their own conventional wisdom, the Postal Service is unprofitable and is costing taxpayers billions of dollars a year in losses. Wrong.

  • It figures, the wienies in DC are always trying to screw up something that already works. No matter what it is. The people of this great nation need to take this great nation BACK from all the gov’t wienies.

  • Albert Hicks

    Perhaps a review and rearrangement of the requirement to pre-fund USPS retirements would be in the best interest of both the USPS and Americans or make it applicable to all corporations and businesses. That would seem fair. Also, reimbursement of the funds that were taken by mistake would also fix USPS financial problems and stop all this nonsense about doing away with the USPS. Of course, then Congress would have another problem finding the money to repay the USPS. Again we come back to the same problem that exists for so much of our current daily issues, The Congress. An absolute stupid body of politicians that do not have a clue what they should be doing on America’s behalf but are only focused on their own selfish re-elections.

  • you forget that congress was controlled by democrats and the pension funding was passed as a payback to the union thugs that got them elected.

    • Phil, HR6407 the Postal Accountability act was passed into law by the 109th Congress. The make up of which was in the Senate 55 GOP and 44 Demo and 1 Ind. In the House the make up was 232 GOP, 201 Demos and 1 Ind. The period of time of the 109th Congress was Jan 3, 2005 to Jan 3, 2007. The final voting share in the Congress was for the Senate 55% GOP and 45% Demo. In the House the final voting share was 53% GOP and 47% Demo.

      Clearly the Congress was not controlled by the Democrats and the bill had nothing to do with, as you so eloquently put it, payback to union thugs who got them elected.

      Which party was ultimately responsibility for passng HR6407 is irrelevant today, but what is important is that the law is a disgrace and something must be done to correct tht mistaken piece of legislation. Rep. Lynch (D-MA) along with 193 co-sponsors are trying to change HR6407. Rep. Issa (R-CA) is pushing hard for massive layoffs to break the back of the postal workers union. All of this twaddle is designed to just break another union…pure and simple.

      If the House could stop attacking public radio, Planned Parenthood and the uterus for a few minutes they could correct HR6407 with a show of hands.

  • montanabill

    A ‘howling pack of congressional right-wingers’? Discourse is hard enough without the likes Hightower writing adjective filled junk.

    • Bill Mason

      Are statements of fact included in your definition of junk? Fact #1 -The postal service is required to prefund health insurance for employees to the tune of $5 billion per year! Fact #2-No other agency in the private sector has this requirement! Fact #3 – There is an required payment to “government” to fund the CSRS retirement system which is an over payment resulting in revenue due the postal service being used for government operations! Fact #4- The US Postal service receives no funding from the “government” for operations since 1970-71! Fact #5- There would be no “debt” in the USPS except for Fact #s 1,2,and 3! And a related fact #6- Postal CSRS retirees do not receive a full Social Security benefit even though they have the required 40 quarters of contributions removed from their pay checks over their working years! Now try “discouse” with facts rather than being a howler.

  • 113121

    Thugs? That means someone here is a RWNJ.

  • It’s rather telling that UPS and FedEx concentrate their efforts on where the money is, parcels. I wonder what they would charge compared to the USPS to deliver a single letter or postcard 50 miles to some rural Wyoming or Montana mailbox. I could bet it wouldn’t be for 45 cents. When someone skims off the meat and gravy and leaves the bones, one would expect some difficult financial circumstances for the bone toters. On top of that, throw in the impact of email and instant messaging cutting into their shrunken revenues and what would you expect?

  • jbandelli

    WHAT CAN WE DO TO STOP THIS THEFT OF FUNDS FROM THE USPS. UNHINDERED BY CONGRESS’ RULE WOULD ALLOW THE USPS TO BE QUITE PROFITABLE AND NOT HAVE TO CLOSE OFFICES, REDUCE HOURS, LAYOFF EMPLOYEES AND EITHER HOLD THE LINE OR POSSIBLY REDUCE POSTAGE RATES.
    OUR PROBLEM IS WITH CONGRESS BEING OVERPAID.THEY SHOULD HAVE TERM LIMITS, NOT BE ABLE TO MAKE THEIR OWN RAISES SHOULD HAVE TO BUY THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE IN THE MARKET PLACE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.
    WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?

  • Its time we as a block of American stand up to Congress (and their corporate benefactors) and say enough. Funding health care plans and retirements for the next 75 years!? Good lord! Well, if this is such a grand idea, then each Congressperson doesn’t need funds for their postal accounts, now do they? I wonder how much of that gets siphoned off for “other uses”? If they want to privatize the postal system, then they can pay for the privelege out of their own pockets rather than the tax-payer……

  • Hightower…is WRONG!! Making it all about RACE…and LOW INCOME people. Not the fact tht they have bankrupted themselves……their pensions are unsustainable…..They job security
    is protected. They are outdated…..overspent and past due…..
    FEDERAL EXPRESS is the perfect example of PRIVATE enterprise….working, and workng well.! Goverment involvement in anything means…..OUR DAYS are numbered.
    They can’t do anything cost effective.!

    • ObozoMustGo

      Right on drama! Someone gets the point of the article!

    • 1234heythere5

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Up3CW85q-c

      Wages and benefits had nothing to do with the financial problems of the Post Office. The 5.5 Billion payments to the Treasury for 10 years to fund retire health benefits was the decision of Congress to bulk up the Treasury, and some have even pointed to this extra burden as the first step to privatize the Post Office. In addition the Post Office delivers parcels that Fed-Ex drops off at Post Offices to places Fed-Ex won’t.
      You are right about government involvement in this case as the Post Office was doing just fine until the law requiring pre payment of 75 years of health benefits in 10 was enacted in 2006.
      As for private enterprise the banks and Wall St. got a hefty bailout from the government, something the USPS has NEVER asked for nor received

  • montanabill

    There were no statements of fact in Hightower’s writing. Just the usual liberal name calling.

    • Bill Mason

      Still can’t recognize a fact if it was on the end of your nose. Please state me one FACT in this or your previous post

    • 1234heythere5

      Which facts are you referring to?
      563 pieces of mail delivered daily?
      45 cents for a stamp?
      Not supported by taxes?
      700 million in profit?
      Congresses’ mandate to pay 75 years of retire health benefits in 10 at 5.5 Billion a year?
      That a small group of those with power and wealth are working to privatize the Post Office at the expense to the workers and public?

  • ObozoMustGo

    I’m not for and I’m not against the USPS. They provide a service that some use and some dont. (I think I only use them once a year to mail my taxes) But why do they have to be government subsidised and controlled? I know a few Postal employees and they all would love to be able to compete in a free market with the other companies. Fact is, with their reach and delivery mechanism, they would probably kick a$$. But when they have to rely on politicians and bureacrats to approve or not approve much of how they run their business, including the price of their service, they are held back like they have a ball and chain on their feet. For example, what kind of law forces a business to prefund 70 years of healthcare? It seems foolish at face value. Maybe they had a good reason then, but it just doesnt sound right.

    I think you lefties on here over dramatize and romanticize this issue like you do everything else. (sidebar: what an emotional roller coaster it must be to be a leftist nutjob… yuck!) I understand the leftists attachment, and religious like faith, with anything government, but history and the facts just simply are not on your side. Government screws EVERYTHING up! The USPS would actually be better off as a private business instead of a government enterprise fund. No question about it.

    Have a nice day!

  • progressiveandproud

    The Constitution you repubs love to cite requires a post office and post roads.

    They are not funded by the government they are controlled by the government. Unfortunately, the right has purposely bankrupted the post office in order to privatize it. If you think the system is bad now, wait until it is privatized.

    This idea that the government ruins everything? You should be ashamed of your treasonous thoughts. We have the best system on earth, we just need to take it back from the rich and big business.

    • You’re wrong on that. I looked it up. Section 8 reads : ” The Congress shall have Power: ……. To establish Post Offices and post Roads.” This is an empowerment by the Constitution, not a requirement.

    • 1234heythere5

      waiting in the wings are corporations tp profit from the privatization of the Post Office

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9waCzteWwXs

  • Bill Mason

    Many probably do not know that UPS drops many of their parcels at Post Offices to be delivered to a final destination because of the mileage between residences. These are rural communities that are significant distances from the UPS terminals and sorting centers. Without the Post Offices in those rural areas customers would be charged additional costs to have their parcels delivered by UPS and FedEX to outlying areas of the country. I would think that would have a negative impact on those sparsely populated states in the west and midwest particularly. Remember delivery vehicles of UPS and FEDex still run on a gas. Have you seen the price at the pump going down lately and gas is a cost of doing business for them now and in the future. Don’t expect their fees to drop if the Post Offices are no longer providing the services they do.

  • The Post Office has operated since the pony express delivered mail on horseback. The republicans want to destroy everything that is good and working in this country. Let us destroy the repoublican party they don’t want this country to succede. They hate Obama so bad they will do anything to get him out of office. Still the party of NO.

  • It is a nessary service to insure privicy in comunications.

  • as a postal worker I see that this is a moment in time when human beings individually can make a differance. not picket lines but internet picket lines. if everyone contacts their senators and informs them of what they want from their post office. they cant get anything else done , can they? complaining to the post office isnt enough. its like complaining to your mirror. the senate controls the post office. people, individuals have to set down and email, call write until they are bombarded with our demands of our govermant. .. this is the time

  • hybrid80

    You know ever since the possibility of a Commy type disturbance or even revolution was averted by the disintegration of the USSR , the Conservatives have lost their restraining fears.

    Now they are emboldened to discredit all government social programs and to replace them private enterprize, emphasis on the prize.

    To this end

  • hybrid80

    You know ever since the possibility of a Commy type disturbance or even revolution was averted by the disintegration of the USSR , the Conservatives have lost their restraining fears.

    Now they are emboldened to discredit all government social programs and to replace them private enterprize, emphasis on the prize.

    To this end they have worked to dismantle even Congress itself with political tricks and lies, and confrontations from which they hope the public will conclude and concede that the august body is powerless to enact any of the nation’s laws and social programs.
    Thus leaving the door open for market inspired legislation though it’s lobbyists.

    No Republican playbook is required for this activity, since even the dumbest representative knows how to say no to anything proposed by the Liberals