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Postal Service Facing Default, Shutdown Without Congressional Intervention (Save yourself!)
fox news ^ | 9/5/2011 | fox news

Posted on 09/05/2011 10:57:27 AM PDT by tobyhill

The head of the U.S. Postal Service said in an interview that the organization will default -- perhaps as early as this winter -- unless Congress intervenes.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe's comments reflect a well-known reality that the Postal Service is in dire financial straits. The rise of email and online bill-paying has steadily eroded its profits over the years while labor costs soar. Donahoe is calling for a host of changes, including the elimination of Saturday delivery, to close a deficit projected to top $9 billion this year.

But he said Congress needs to step in to help keep the service alive.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 0police; 0regulators; 0socialworkers; 0teachers; benefits; default; mail; patrickdonahoe; pensions; postalservice; postoffice; usmail; usps

1 posted on 09/05/2011 10:57:29 AM PDT by tobyhill
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To: tobyhill
to default on $5.5 billion payment to pension healthcare fund:
America's mail institution will likely default on a $5.5 billion payment due at the end of this month and may have to shut completely down this winter.
source.
2 posted on 09/05/2011 11:01:40 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (non-union thug.)
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To: tobyhill

If the rise of email is hurting their profits, that means they are continuing to employ people they don’t need. If America is sending 20% of its mail via email, then the USPS needs to reduce its work force. Or is that an impossibility because of the Postal Workers Union?


3 posted on 09/05/2011 11:02:16 AM PDT by LouAvul
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To: tobyhill

I used to love postal delivery. Especially as a kid way back when before answering machines and when a phone rang like a phone, not a digital beeping machine.

The mystery of a letter traveling across multiple states to arrive in my mail box for just a few cents (10, 15, 20), was just amazing to me.

That said, if they can’t pay their bills, they either need to go out of business, or else they need to allow private enterprise to compete with them.

If Fed Ex or some other delivery service were allowed to use the postal addresses and mail boxes, perhaps they could do it better and cheaper.

Or we just need to completely overhaul the pay, benefits, and pensions of the unionized postal employees.

Or we need to give it up and reduce it to only those services that people are willing to pay the full amount to cover. If it should cost $2 to deliver a letter across state and someone is willing to pay for that voluntarily, let the transaction proceed. If it requires stealing from Paul to pay Peter’s letter delivery, shut the system down.

Why this will be a huge issue over the next year is the same reason why defunding the military is a huge issue. If you defund such a massive enterprise, it will contribute heavily to unemployment, which is why we continue to subsidize such enterprises.


4 posted on 09/05/2011 11:03:26 AM PDT by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Prepare for survival.)
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To: tobyhill

Congress really does have to step in.....I agree. They need to step in and look at bad management and union control and get rid of both.


5 posted on 09/05/2011 11:03:50 AM PDT by RC2
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To: tobyhill
Let me suggest that it would only take Congress one time to stop this nonsense.

Congress should call the USPS's bluff.

6 posted on 09/05/2011 11:04:04 AM PDT by Glenn (iamtheresistance.org)
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To: tobyhill
I've been predicting this for years. It's finally here.

I say........boo-freakin’-hoo. They used to brag about being in the black, while they carelessly blew away all their profits.

7 posted on 09/05/2011 11:07:00 AM PDT by EggsAckley ( There's an Ethiopian in the fuel supply ! !)
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To: tobyhill

Every time a USPS story is posted the apologists come out in force to defend the institution.

Which leads me to believe that a clause in the USPS union contract is to rebut any statement against the USPS that appears on any website.


8 posted on 09/05/2011 11:09:07 AM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: tobyhill

More people to line up for the dictator’s civilian army.


9 posted on 09/05/2011 11:11:06 AM PDT by crosshairs (If Sharia Law becomes the law of the land, heads are gonna roll.)
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To: tobyhill

let them re-organize under a bankruptcy judge - without the union!!

that is the only option - no more bailouts!!!


10 posted on 09/05/2011 11:12:03 AM PDT by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda" and its allies.)
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To: Presbyterian Reporter

I don’t know how all the junk bulk mail pays it’s way. Everyday I get a bunch of junk mail that is a majority of the mail. I suggest they cut Sat. delivery and raise prices on bulk mail.


11 posted on 09/05/2011 11:12:47 AM PDT by Oldexpat
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To: Presbyterian Reporter
Which leads me to believe that a clause in the USPS union contract is to rebut any statement against the USPS that appears on any website.

Hey, what do you think the other two clerks are doing while the one clerk is handling all the customers? They're surfing the web and responding to posts complaining that postal workers have nothing better to do than surf the web!

12 posted on 09/05/2011 11:13:15 AM PDT by COBOL2Java (Obama is the least qualified guy in whatever room he walks into.)
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To: COBOL2Java

It certainly does seem that some of the 547,000 postal workers are employed to surf the net to rebut any commentary that is negative towards the post office.


13 posted on 09/05/2011 11:17:13 AM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: COBOL2Java

Clerks ought to be be all business and all available whenever a queue begins to form. No gabbing about the weather while patrons wait. It should be what do you want to mail and do you need any stamps, thank you good bye next.


14 posted on 09/05/2011 11:19:39 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (There's gonna be a Redneck Revolution! (See my freep page) [rednecks come in many colors])
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To: RC2
At 44 cents a stamp and about the same price as Fed Ex, there is no reason they can't survive on their own. The only reason they are not surviving on their own is the unions have continued the same working and retirement conditions while outside conditions have changed.
15 posted on 09/05/2011 11:20:22 AM PDT by tobyhill (A Democrat that doesn't lie would be a lie)
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To: Presbyterian Reporter

No apologist here, they need to clean up their pension and benefits, but there’s no denying the USPS is specifically authorized by the Constitution.


16 posted on 09/05/2011 11:23:53 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Will racist demagogue Andre Carson be censured by the House?)
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To: LouAvul
Congress is the problem. The Postal Reorganization Act that established USPS recognized the unions, required a no strike clause, and imposed "binding arbitration" on unions and management.

The arbitrators over the years have burdened USPS with a wide variety of restrictions on dealing with personnel, so they can't just lay off large numbers of surplus workers.

Then, there are the 30,000 or so excess small post offices ~ Congress said USPS couldn't close a post office just because it wasn't making a profit.

Well, NONE of the 30,000 small post offices ever made a profit. But none of them can be closed except by going through excessively difficult regulations established by the Postal Rate Commission.

More recently USPS went to the Rate Commission with a request for a rate increase. It was denied.

Here's a solution for you ~ give the unions the right to strike; eliminate legislative protection for small post offices (or unprofitable post offices); exterminate the Postal Rate Commission.

I think USPS would be able to deal with that environment.

As far as unionization is concerned, it was necessary to include "recognition" in the legislation because the federal government doesn't negotiate with unions about anything ~ never did ~ never will ~ but the Postal Service is the exception.

They even name the unions in the legislation, so it's not like anyone is free to chose other representation.

17 posted on 09/05/2011 11:24:20 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Presbyterian Reporter
You are paranoic. There's actually very little effort expended to squarsh critics like bugs ~ that's because they are almost all hopelessly ignorant of the reality of the situation or they work for beneficiaries of some sort of internal cross-subsidization (nonprofit mailers, periodical mailers for example).

UPS actually has employees on the rolls whose job is to seek out postal situations and add their criticism. They even go to rate commission hearings and testify against USPS requests for rate increases that result in prices lower than UPS.

18 posted on 09/05/2011 11:28:32 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: tobyhill

Step 1 - go to 2 day a week mail service, cut the number of employees by 2/3.

Step 2 - set up local delivery points; free post office boxes there; folks can pay a monthly charge for home delivery.

Step 3 - cut to government standard benefits (still more generous than most of the folks here get, but much more miserly than the post office).

Step 4 - cut to competitive pay and benefits.


19 posted on 09/05/2011 11:30:03 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: Glenn
You can't be serious. There's no bluff. If there are surplus employees Congress will need to pass legislation that allows USPS to lay them off.

Binding arbitration created that situation.

If USPS can't get high enough rates to pay the cost of handling any particular class of mail Congress will have to pass legislation that allows USPS to IGNORE the Postal Rate Commission (which has of late denied any rate increases or changes).

If USPS can't come up with the money to pay 75 years in advance for future retiree health insurance premiums, Congress, which imposed that remarkable rule, will have to pass legislation that brings USPS back into line with the rest of the government and with the private sector.

Congress could also help out by passing beneficial legislation to require USPS to pay retirement deposits at the same rate as the other government agencies (rather than at a higher rate).

Congress is the problem. Congress will have to act.

20 posted on 09/05/2011 11:33:26 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe
Why not allow USPS to get rid of excess buildings, excess employees, rates that are too low to cover attributable costs......?

Eliminate the Postal Rate Commission. Eliminate binding arbitration.

All of those things will require Congressional action.

21 posted on 09/05/2011 11:37:27 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: RC2

Congress IS the bad management. They only thing they can step in and do is their own cr*p.


22 posted on 09/05/2011 11:39:20 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

That’s essentially what I was arguing. Force them to become competitive. If they are so confident that they can be successful, privatize them and allow them to go public.

But do you really think that’s what the government has in mind for them?

All they want is to infuse some stimulus to the tune of 50 or a 100 billion dollars or whatever magic number they can convince people is “the fix.”


23 posted on 09/05/2011 11:46:39 AM PDT by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Prepare for survival.)
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To: muawiyah
You can't be serious. There's no bluff.

Do you really thing the USPS is so fragile that it absolutely MUST be rescued? I think that is hogwash. They have cash flow. They have assets.

The idea that it is "either/or" is ridiculous. They have options like every other business. They are too stupid or lazy to examine them because they can talk Congress into "mo money".

24 posted on 09/05/2011 11:51:10 AM PDT by Glenn (iamtheresistance.org)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe
It doesn't matter if they are "forced to be competitive" because the rules in the laws REQUIRE them to be non-competitive!

USPS is not allowed to make a profit.

End of story in that regard.

Frankly what's happened is the senior members of Issa's committee who knew anything at all about USPS all retired. Now he's got no one there who knows anything.

I'd be happy to help him out but only on a contract basis ~ and that starts at ONE HALF MIL per year and goes up if I get threatened physically.

There are organizations who do business with USPS who are quite intimidating and dangerous. When I retired I gave up messing with that crowd, but they're still there.

25 posted on 09/05/2011 11:51:16 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Glenn
They have assets ~ like?

BTW, I want to find out what you think are saleable postal assets first, then we'll talk.

26 posted on 09/05/2011 11:52:46 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
They have assets ~ like?

Vehicles. Real Estate. Mail processing equipment by the mile. Fork lifts. Data.

They'd all make great collateral.

27 posted on 09/05/2011 11:57:39 AM PDT by Glenn (iamtheresistance.org)
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To: Glenn
Come on ~ vehicles? Did you ever check out the market for Long Life Vehicles designed to look like a postal truck?

And real estate? How much real estate do you think they own? $1 billion, $2 billon, $3 billion? It's a lot less than you imagine. They don't have a land bank for future expansion.

Used forklifts ~ all battery powered. You have to build a battery room with a blowout wall to use the forklifts USPS uses.

Mail processing equipment ~ while you're selling off postal assets what do they use to sort mail?

And finally, "data" ~ like what other people are mailing?

To start with most postal real estate is RENTED. USPS has leases up the ying yang. I suppose you could sell some of them in the Great Obama Recession (/s). BTW, the large HCR vehicles ~ tractor trailer combos ~ those are all private property. Then there are the national landmark buildings ~ they are not for sale.

28 posted on 09/05/2011 12:09:38 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Glenn
they built five post offices around here ten years ago and they are all on leased property...
29 posted on 09/05/2011 12:52:51 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: tobyhill

Keep your postal service going. Fire the income recipients of public schools and planning and building regulators.


30 posted on 09/05/2011 1:35:24 PM PDT by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), Army NG, '89-' 96)
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To: tobyhill
What many don't know is that the PO doesn't even deliver most of our governments mail.

The Dept of Commerce uses FedEx exclusively, even for letters.

Departments are allowed to subcontract and the PO lost out because they were so expensive.

The public unions will take the PO to its grave, can't be stopped.

If the PO couldn't eliminate Saturday delivery, that has been proposed for over 20 years, they are obviously unable to save themselves.

31 posted on 09/06/2011 12:57:09 PM PDT by gandalftb (11th MEU TRAP force)
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