Skip to comments.Oversight launches website to save USPS, counts down to postal service default
Posted on 09/01/2011 7:40:54 AM PDT by martosko
U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has said that the United States Postal Service will default on its obligations to the federal government on September 30, at the end of the current fiscal year.
Now the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has launched a website to educate the public about the Postal Services financial troubles and some possible solutions. The Postal Service lost $8.5 billion in the last fiscal year.
Oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, Republican from California, and other committee members have said the result will likely be a taxpayer bailout.
(Excerpt) Read more at thedc.com ...
One of the very few flaws in our Constitution is that it does require the Federal Government to maintain a postal service.
This raises the specter of a taxpayer bailout, ordered by Federal judges.
And the Black Caucus thinks THEY’RE going to have a mob out in the streets...
Amer Postal Workers Union saying that (in ads they run) USPS doesn’t get a penny of taxpayer money but they are required by law to prefund retirements etc.; they say that a different bill should be passed:
>>The USPS is asking Congress to enact legislation to remove postal workers and retirees from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and federal retirement plans; allow management to lay off 120,000 employees, and effectively eliminate our right to collective bargaining. In September, the Postal Service will default on a $5.5 billion payment to the Treasury.
>>Some members of Congress are using the budget crisis to attack our rights, while ignoring other methods of fixing the problem...On the other hand, H.R. 1351, introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), would allow the USPS to use the billions of dollars in pension overpayments to meet its financial obligations. It would address the cause of the USPS financial crisis without cutting pay, reducing benefits, eliminating collective bargaining rights, or slashing service. However, word on Capitol Hill is that Rep. Issa is blocking consideration of H.R. 1351.
Up to now, the post office has always been self-financing, one of the few government agencies to do this. Only now are they going into default, and it is in part due to the transmission of data and communications electronically, rather than by snail mail.
It wouldn’t bother me much as I only snail mail about a dozen letters a year at best.
The USPS needs to continue to exist, but almost exclusively because of very old treaty obligations. We bent over backwards to get about every country on the planet to agree to an international mail system, something that has never been seen before or duplicated. It took two different empires, the British and American, to make it happen.
However, that being said, the USPS as it exists today, can be both significantly downgraded, and opened up to competition. But still emphasizing some unique qualities which it has as a para-government operation.
The most important of these would be “secure and certified” mail. That is, the legal part of mail delivery, as the equivalent of a bonded courier backed by the force of law. For example, they could deliver secure mail to a person or their representative that would require a fingerprint and digital picture (camera in the pad), along with a signature for release.
This could include process service, notarization, sworn statements, legal documents, high value items like jewelry, etc.
The USPS would give up on advertisement mail, and would also have to compete for 1st class mail. This would require variable costs for postage in the US, even if international mail costs had to stay the same.
No problem just raise the price of a Stamp to$5.00\s
Ok - time for a reality check:
What IS the United States Postal Service? I have used the USPS as an example of how “great” government-run anything is (intentional sarcasm). But some I know say that is a bad example because the USPS is NOT owned or run by the Federal Government.
So what’s the REAL story?
But have you seen the Post office commercial that says they are profitable?
“But some I know say that is a bad example because the USPS is NOT owned or run by the Federal Government.
So whats the REAL story?”
How many gubmint businesses ya know protected from competition by uncle sucker!
It is a part of the Federal Government, established by Congress, and the employees are federal employees. The main difference is that it has not, up to now, ever dipped into the public money from taxes to pay for any of its operations, because it always generated enough revenue from operations to fund itself. with the decline in revenues from loss of volume due to technology advances, it no longer can support its infrastructure or operations.
The Unions have been good for the employees, but like everything else, if the operations do not support the benefit package, then something needs to change.
The retirement funds have been conservatively administered, requiring more funding than in the private sector, and the unions are now, in my opinion, asking for the postal service to rob from Peter to pay Paul like they have in the private sector. A big mistake. It has remained solvent to now because of the conservative accounting principles. However, there is insufficient revenue to continue the past practices, and the solution is not to rob the pension plans of their funds to continue the benefits.
Just my $0.02.
It is not a monopoly, because other companies are allowed to compete, and have done so effectively, to the financial detriment of the service.
OK call what you wish, as ya continue to grab over and bend yer ankles...
Front page news in yesterdays Rapid City Journal, was the story of a small town about to lose it’s post office.
There are a ton of solutions to the PO problems. A couple of my suggestions would be get out of the package business and give that operation to those who get the job done without too much duplication of effort.
Mail delivery once a week in rural locations. Maybe even once or twice a week in urban locations. I’m sure one of the overriding issues with a shrinking PO would be their pension system, which probably would collapse with a shrinking PO.
A whole lot more is going to collapse if WE THE PEOPLE don’t get a handle on our master the US Government.
BS, others are not allowed to compete in the letter business which is where the big drop in participation has come. The package business is another story and the PO has been literally shown the door as the competition has proven they do it better and cheaper.
Really? So it's legal for me to carry mail back with me from Japan on the airplane and walk through my neighborhood placing it in appropriate mailboxes?
Horsepuckey. I can't even legally put a neighborhood watch notice in my neighbor's mail box.
The USPS isn’t in reality losing money. In 2006 Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. In that law they required the USPS to prefund it’s retiree health care benefits for the next 50 years. No private company, and no other governmental agency, is required to do that. All others are pay as you go. That fund comes out to $75 billion dollars to be funded in a 10 year span.