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Oversight launches website to save USPS, counts down to postal service default
The Daily Caller ^ | 09/01/2011 | Alexis Levinson

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 Service’s 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 ...


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antipostalcrybabies; government; issa; oversight; postal; postalservice; usps
Personally, I will gladly pay 80 cents for a stamp if I can avoid paying it to a quasi-government entity. Who's with me?
1 posted on 09/01/2011 7:41:00 AM PDT by martosko
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To: martosko

Dump ‘Em!

Semper Watching!
*****


2 posted on 09/01/2011 7:43:32 AM PDT by gunnyg ("A Constitution changed from Freedom, can never be restored; Liberty, once lost, is lost forever...)
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To: martosko

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...


3 posted on 09/01/2011 8:00:32 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Flush ‘Em!


4 posted on 09/01/2011 8:07:03 AM PDT by gunnyg ("A Constitution changed from Freedom, can never be restored; Liberty, once lost, is lost forever...)
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To: martosko

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:

http://www.apwu.org

>>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.


5 posted on 09/01/2011 8:11:02 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: martosko

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.


6 posted on 09/01/2011 8:11:59 AM PDT by LachlanMinnesota (Which are you? A producer, a looter, or a moocher of wealth?)
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To: martosko

It wouldn’t bother me much as I only snail mail about a dozen letters a year at best.


7 posted on 09/01/2011 8:14:09 AM PDT by Wiggins
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To: martosko

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.


8 posted on 09/01/2011 8:14:17 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: martosko

No problem just raise the price of a Stamp to$5.00\s


9 posted on 09/01/2011 8:14:25 AM PDT by Cheetahcat (Carnival commie side show, started November 4 2008 ,A date that will live in Infamy.)
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To: martosko

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?


10 posted on 09/01/2011 8:18:44 AM PDT by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: martosko

But have you seen the Post office commercial that says they are profitable?


11 posted on 09/01/2011 8:33:08 AM PDT by markmy
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To: TheBattman

“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?”
*************
***********************

BS!

One word—monopoly!

How many gubmint businesses ya know protected from competition by uncle sucker!


12 posted on 09/01/2011 8:33:40 AM PDT by gunnyg ("A Constitution changed from Freedom, can never be restored; Liberty, once lost, is lost forever...)
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To: TheBattman

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.


13 posted on 09/01/2011 8:33:50 AM PDT by LachlanMinnesota (Which are you? A producer, a looter, or a moocher of wealth?)
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To: gunnyg

It is not a monopoly, because other companies are allowed to compete, and have done so effectively, to the financial detriment of the service.


14 posted on 09/01/2011 8:35:10 AM PDT by LachlanMinnesota (Which are you? A producer, a looter, or a moocher of wealth?)
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To: LachlanMinnesota

OK call what you wish, as ya continue to grab over and bend yer ankles...


15 posted on 09/01/2011 8:42:15 AM PDT by gunnyg ("A Constitution changed from Freedom, can never be restored; Liberty, once lost, is lost forever...)
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To: martosko

Front page news in yesterdays Rapid City Journal, was the story of a small town about to lose it’s post office.

http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/reva-residents-rally-to-save-local-post-office-community/article_7fe7cc38-d374-11e0-8821-001cc4c03286.html

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.


16 posted on 09/01/2011 8:57:34 AM PDT by wita
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To: wita
I have been suggesting that they treat mail delivery like trash pick up. Each area of the city gets service once a week. By using the same staff and vehicles, you could reduce delivery expenses by nearly 75%. How much actual time sensitive mail do people get nowadays anyway? If it is truly something that needs to be delivered by a specific day, pay the extra $5.00 and have it sent 2nd day delivery.
17 posted on 09/01/2011 9:03:34 AM PDT by festusbanjo (This is what happens when you hire a guy to run the country that hadn't run anything but his mouth)
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To: LachlanMinnesota

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.


18 posted on 09/01/2011 9:04:56 AM PDT by wita
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To: LachlanMinnesota; gunnyg
It is not a monopoly, because other companies are allowed to compete,

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.

19 posted on 09/01/2011 9:07:44 AM PDT by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: wita

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.


20 posted on 09/01/2011 9:11:31 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: martosko

Fund to aid injured postal workers at risk if USPS defaults

August 29, 2011

A fund that compensates federal employees for work-related injuries will run out of cash in the last quarter of 2012 if the U.S. Postal Service defaults on an upcoming $1.2 billion payment, according to the Labor Department.

The mail carrier, which has been losing billions of dollars each year, has more than 560,000 full-time employees, the largest pool of workers covered by the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-fund-to-aid-injured-postal-workers-at-risk-if-usps-defaults-20110829,0,1278274.story


21 posted on 09/01/2011 9:16:25 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: festusbanjo

Agreed!


22 posted on 09/01/2011 9:17:01 AM PDT by wita
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To: martosko

U.S. Postal Service Wants to Cut 220K Jobs; Seeks Approval From Congress

August 12, 2011

The U.S. Postal Service wants approval for a plan to eliminate 220,000 full-time jobs and 300 processing centers by 2015 and will seek approval from Congress for the move.

The agency is trying to move fast to shore up its money-losing business, avoiding default in late September.

The postal service receives no taxpayer funds and expects to lose $8 billion or more this year, as its business declines amid more people using online bill pay and e-mail. The postal service needs to cut its payroll to 425,000 jobs and take over its retirement and health benefits instead of participating in federal programs, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told Reuters.

But Congressional approval is needed for either step. Donahoe saaid the agency hopes to reach a deal with Congress by the end of September to give the agency more control over its finances.

The postal service has threatened to default by the end of September if Congress does not step in with help.

If Congress does address the issue — as the USPS is asking — it is expected to be politically sensitive, since both plans including the job cuts and benefits change would face severe opposition from postal worker unions which have contracts that ban layoffs.

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/197124/20110812/us-postal-service-lwants-to-cut-220k-jobs-seeks-permission-from-congress.htm


23 posted on 09/01/2011 9:18:46 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: kcvl

Thanks for the reminder, I have heard of this issue, and it sure is another example of that old government saying, “we are here to help”.


24 posted on 09/01/2011 9:31:29 AM PDT by wita
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To: martosko

Writing on the wall has been there for the USPS for a while now.. but let me ask this...

When I grew up, the postman ALWAYS was in their full uniform, shirts button, tucked in, they, on the surface at least, appeared to take pride in themselves and their appearance.

Today, most postmen I see look like slobs, rarely have a full uniform, or if they do its not work properly, shirts unbutton, untucked, etc etc etc. Now I am sure that if I looked at the wages and benefits they make today its more even adjusted for inflation than it was in the 70s...

So why are they allowed to look so damned unprofessional?


25 posted on 09/01/2011 9:32:06 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: martosko

Yes...this, indeed, is how this once great country ended up with the prince of fools in the driver’s seat...

THINK!

Semper Watching!
*****


26 posted on 09/01/2011 9:34:49 AM PDT by gunnyg ("A Constitution changed from Freedom, can never be restored; Liberty, once lost, is lost forever...)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Agreed,

The USPS cannot cease to exist, and while EMAIL and online bill pay have reduced the volume and use of the system, it is still a lifeline and will never be able to be completely eliminated for reasons you have mentioned and others.

Its a neccessary system, and it should NOT EVER be allowed to not exist, what it needs to do is restructure its spending, and get rid of the union nonsense. Not opposed to a living wage, but compensation is completely out of whack with the private sector equivalent.. like a LOT of “government” jobs.


27 posted on 09/01/2011 9:35:32 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: Buckeye McFrog

One could argue that the constitutional requirement is not as great as that:
“To establish Post Offices and post Roads;” need not mean all that it seems to entail today. Perhaps we could pare down on the carrier routes. Want daily delivery, pay for a po box at the Post Office and go get it on your own.
Daily delivery, or a delivery person for every possible route are not mentioned, for instance.
We do need mail service for international relations as well, but again, not necessarily what we currently have.


28 posted on 09/01/2011 9:36:04 AM PDT by Apogee
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To: HamiltonJay

“So why are they allowed to look so damned unprofessional?”

No pride in the job or themselves.

We have three or four different people bringing our mail to the office. You never know who is going to show up these days. Use to be the same person always with consistency, no longer. And a couple of them are filthy.


29 posted on 09/01/2011 10:03:13 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: sam_paine

Maybe I don’t know what a monopoly is...I thought it was a situation in which there was only one entity able to provide the service. I’ll have to go back and check my vocabulary.

The mail boxes are part of the services provided by the post office, so you cannot put non-US mail in those boxes. But you could certainly walk up to the house with your Japanese mail and put it in an alternate box if you wished to do so. Newspapers around the country with rural routes do this all the time.

I have no idea what the neighborhood watch thingy has to do with monopolies...I’m stumped.


30 posted on 09/01/2011 12:06:37 PM PDT by LachlanMinnesota (Which are you? A producer, a looter, or a moocher of wealth?)
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To: LachlanMinnesota

So - the last decade +, the reported red ink/deficits the USPS has been running have been funded by what? Loans? From who? That money doesn’t just come from nowhere.


31 posted on 09/01/2011 3:07:21 PM PDT by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

The Constitution requires a postal service??? What article?


32 posted on 09/01/2011 3:14:07 PM PDT by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: TheBattman

Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution, known as the Postal Clause or the Postal Power, empowers Congress “To establish Post Offices and post Roads”.


33 posted on 09/01/2011 3:15:36 PM PDT by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we engrave in marble. J Huett 1658)
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To: LachlanMinnesota
The mail boxes are part of the services provided by the post office, so you cannot put non-US mail in those boxes.

Aren't you just too cute by half, bless your heart?!

By your definition, AT&T was not a monopoly. And at least with AT&T, "their" infrastructure was not protected by the threat of a felony conviction.

34 posted on 09/01/2011 3:30:30 PM PDT by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: sam_paine

“Too cute by half????”

Well, those are the postal regs...I don’t understand the anger here...you folks must have lost a lot of mail.

Apparently trying to explain how the postal system was administered makes you angry. Have you a felony conviction?

The entire Postal service has always been funded by its sales of postage. They are only now going in the red because the sales are not there, and they will have to make major changes. They needed to apply for permission to set their rates, as they do now.

I have no idea what you are talking about, because ATT was broken up by court order because it was a monopoly. The high cost of capitalization and the constant undercutting and buyout of any competing system made competition impossible. The court ordered that the competitors could use the infrastructure. The situation is not analogous to the postal service, which have as their only exclusive space the box. If you don’t believe me, the regs are there for you to look up.

Have a nice day, and don’t let the post office ruin your day - life is too short.


35 posted on 09/01/2011 4:33:48 PM PDT by LachlanMinnesota (Which are you? A producer, a looter, or a moocher of wealth?)
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To: sam_paine

“Too cute by half????”

Well, those are the postal regs...I don’t understand the anger here...you folks must have lost a lot of mail.

Apparently trying to explain how the postal system was administered makes you angry. Have you a felony conviction?

The entire Postal service has always been funded by its sales of postage. They are only now going in the red because the sales are not there, and they will have to make major changes. They needed to apply for permission to set their rates, as they do now.

I have no idea what you are talking about, because ATT was broken up by court order because it was a monopoly. The high cost of capitalization and the constant undercutting and buyout of any competing system made competition impossible. The court ordered that the competitors could use the infrastructure. The situation is not analogous to the postal service, which have as their only exclusive space the box. If you don’t believe me, the regs are there for you to look up.

Have a nice day, and don’t let the post office ruin your day - life is too short.


36 posted on 09/01/2011 4:34:35 PM PDT by LachlanMinnesota (Which are you? A producer, a looter, or a moocher of wealth?)
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To: TheBattman

They were stated as prospective debts, funded by a timely increase in postal rates and budget adjustments.

I know it is hard to accept, but this is one of those anomalies that actually funded itself until this year, when the raising of rates is unlikely to make up the shortfall. It will be interesting to see if Obama will fund the shortfall.


37 posted on 09/01/2011 4:37:10 PM PDT by LachlanMinnesota (Which are you? A producer, a looter, or a moocher of wealth?)
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To: wita

I regularly use private delivery services. Didn’t know they were all illegal.


38 posted on 09/01/2011 4:39:57 PM PDT by LachlanMinnesota (Which are you? A producer, a looter, or a moocher of wealth?)
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To: LachlanMinnesota
Have you a felony conviction?

Wow. When did you stop beating your wife?

39 posted on 09/03/2011 3:18:48 PM PDT by sam_paine (X .................................)
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