The media reports that the United States Postal Service is a dying business. The media propagates that technology has replaced “snail mail” and as a result the United States Postal Service is facing a projected $14B deficit next year. This ladies and gentlemen is what I would refer to as a half truth. While it’s true that the quantity of mail that circulates throughout the United States has declined (see note 1) this is not the sole cause of the $14B deficit United States Postal Service faces today.
In 2006 under a Republican Congress and George W. Bush as POTUS, a bill was passed that would inevitably destroy the financial security of the United States Postal Service. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 required the USPS to prepay pensions for all employees for 75 years in advance within 10 years. How’s that for your daily dose of fucking ridiculous with a side of absolutely absurd? This is something that no other government agency or corporation has to do or has ever had to do. Furthermore it is estimated that if this bill were never passed United States Postal Service would have a $1.5 B surplus today. (See Note 2)
Let’s get back to the truth. A hell of a lot of people still use and need “snail mail”. An estimated 563 million pieces of mail are sent each day. Yet this summer, to deal with the growing deficit and avoid bankruptcy the United States Postal Service will close and consolidate 50% of their processing centers nationwide and cut 35,000 jobs by March 2012. Additional changes they have proposed to cut the deficit and avoid bankruptcy include —cutting delivery from 6 days to 5 days, cutting pensions, and closing another 3,700 post offices nationwide. I cannot emphasize this next statement enough: THIS IS A HUGE MOTHERFUCKING PROBLEM. These changes will impact all of us, individuals and small businesses alike.
Congress needs to step in right now and undo the damage they have done. I must commend Bernie Sanders of Vermont who introduced a bill to Congress, The Postal Service Protection Act that would rectify some of the financial ailments USPS is currently facing:
Some highlights of this bill:
1. The bill would eliminate the unique requirement that the USPS pre-fund 75 years worth of future retiree health benefits in just 10 years.
2. Allow USPS to recover the overpayments it made to its retiree pension funds — both the $7 billion overpayment to the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and the $50 billion to $75 billion overpayment to the Civil Service Retirement System.
See full details of the bill here: http://postalemployeenetwork.com/news/2011/11/sen-sanders-bill-addresses-usps-crisis/
Yet Congress, half of whom are millionaires, do not know the definition of a hard day’s work, cannot relate to the pitiful woes of the average worker and has done NOTHING. Congress who sits on their piles of money will only pass legislation to the highest bidder.
Congress, you disgust me.
Note 1: For USPS, the decline in mail in circulation from 2006-2009 was about 12 billion pieces a year, 213 billion pieces down to 177 billion. It is projected by analysts (we know how accurate they are) to drop down to 150 billion pieces by 2020. http://www.businessinsider.com/post-office-bailout-2011-5
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