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Hard test for postal service
Waterbury Republican-American ^ | September 15, 2011 | Editorial

Posted on 09/15/2011 1:36:08 PM PDT by Graybeard58

The real issue surrounding the U.S. Postal Service's financial crunch is not whether payroll, benefits and services should be cut, but whether they can be cut. The crisis in the postal service, an independent agency, portends deeper and equally intractable problems in the larger federal behemoth.

Like most government agencies and many businesses, the postal service is trying to confront a perfect storm of diminishing revenue and rising costs. It expects to save $20 million this year by curbing what the postal service calls "standby time," in which workers have to be paid under their union contract for not working. (The less charitable term commonly used in describing this practice is "rubber rooms.")

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe's prescription, as described Sept. 6 by Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, is to "save $20 billion and return to solvency by 2015 if it eliminates Saturday delivery; closes approximately 3,700 post offices; shrinks its workforce by 220,000; pulls out of the federal employee health care plan and creates its own; does away with a defined benefit retirement plan for new employees, offering them instead a defined contribution plan; and requests the return of $6.9 billion in overpayments to the Federal Employee Retirement System."

Forcefully blocking this approach are politics and public-employee unionism.

Politicians object to post-office closings, as Rep. Selim Noujaim, R-Waterbury,~CT~ did after learning two offices serving his East End district were on the list. His posture was almost identical to that of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who opposed a plan to close a post office on remote Cliff Island.

If there is a single local, state or federal politician in a single district where a post office is to be closed who actually supports this aspect of the plan, he or she has yet to be heard from.

For their part, public-employee unions reflexively oppose changes to their benefits and job security. That's their role.

So, for Mr. Donahoe and Sen. Lieberman to talk in facile terms about laying off or forcing into retirement nearly a quarter million workers, and tampering with their health and retirement benefits, borders on embracing the impossible.

Does anyone suppose a President Romney or President Perry will have an easier time paring the bureaucratic monstrosity the federal government has become? They will not.

Ninety years ago, President Harding and the 67th Congress confronted a similar crisis in a much smaller federal government whose budget was just $6.3 billion — $70.9 billion in today's dollars, or one-fiftieth of current federal spending — by slashing nearly half the budget in two years.

Thanks in large part to public-employee unionism, which promises to obstruct and in some instances block needed reductions, such speedy right-sizing of the government likely can't be accomplished today. The fact Mr. Harding, a Republican, was able to succeed where all of his GOP successors have failed vindicates Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt's assertion in 1937 that "All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management.

The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress."

The postal service's struggle to survive therefore is more than a mere question of which post offices will be closed or which services will be curtailed. Rather, it's a test case for the larger government restructuring on which the nation's future prosperity and even survival may hinge.


TOPICS: Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: postal; usps
Reformatted, with added paragraph breaks, to keep you from going blind.

Also added in the fifth paragraph, the letters ~CT~, for clarity. It's a Connecticut newspaper and not everybody knows where "Waterbury" is.

On topic:

I just mailed a check to Ameren Illinois for my electric and gas bill, it and my water bill are the only payments. I make that can't be paid on line. The water company is convenient for me and I pay that in person. Ameren's nearest drop box is in a nearby town about 5 miles away, not so convenient.

I've always considered the cost of a postage stamp as a bargain, not everyone has computer access. Could ordinary letters be delivered by private companies at anywhere near 44¢ per? Maybe so, I don't know.

Postal employees, like probably all federal employees, are surely over compensated for the work they do. It's time to crack down on government unions, even the communist Roosevelt knew that.

1 posted on 09/15/2011 1:36:09 PM PDT by Graybeard58
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To: gogogodzilla; Bockscar; Loud Mime; 4Liberty; ColdOne; JPG; Pining_4_TX; jamndad5; Biggirl; ...

Ping to a Republican-American Editorial.

If you want on or off this ping list, let me know


2 posted on 09/15/2011 1:38:12 PM PDT by Graybeard58
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To: Graybeard58
The postal crisis would largely fade away if Congress would eliminate the requirement for the USPS to overfund their pension obligations and ease that requirement to the level of private companies. And we all want the USPS run like a provate business.

http://www.dmnews.com/inspector-general-pension-payment-reform-could-cure-postal-service-financial-woes/article/180412/

3 posted on 09/15/2011 1:48:34 PM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: Graybeard58
Could ordinary letters be delivered by private companies at anywhere near 44¢ per?

I suspect most private companies would deliver locally for less, and at the far reaches of the country for more. Most of my mailing (what little I do) is local. If it has to go elsewhere, I don't trust USPS to deliver it anyway.

Most private businesses have this funny obsession with prices reflecting underlying costs - something government agencies have yet to grasp.
4 posted on 09/15/2011 1:54:35 PM PDT by chrisser (Starve the Monkeys!)
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To: Graybeard58
Hmm ~ all?

Was General Petreus overpaid? How about Dwight Eisenhower as Supreme Allied Commander?

Just a couple of cases for you to think about.

Now, about a "drop box"? Just leave it in your mailbox out at the curb for your carrier to pick up.

5 posted on 09/15/2011 2:05:37 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Graybeard58
I've always considered the cost of a postage stamp as a bargain, not everyone has computer access. Could ordinary letters be delivered by private companies at anywhere near 44¢ per? Maybe so, I don't know.

When the USPS was formed along with the country, there was no competition.

There was no Fed-Ex, UPS, internet, email nor ipad, just good old Joe, through rain and snow and sleet etal.

There was no reason to consider price/performance the Postal Service was the only game in the country.

They are now trapped by the union rules and regulations and are being protected by gutless, ball-less politicians.

The problem can be solved, but not by the current gutless group of communists. Workers of the world ... Unite.

Marx & Engles

Wait we're missing one...


6 posted on 09/15/2011 2:11:19 PM PDT by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorist savages.)
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To: Graybeard58

I live in Waterbury,Ct...........


7 posted on 09/15/2011 2:13:08 PM PDT by brivette
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To: muawiyah

I have read different numbers for General Petraeus, ranging from 200k to 280k a year. Did we get good value for that? I’d say yes. On principle, as a govt. employee, is that too much? I’d rather see no one in government make more than 200k.


8 posted on 09/15/2011 2:20:58 PM PDT by MrShoop
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To: Graybeard58

Imagine the savings from cutting Tuesday and Thursday delivery too. I won’t miss the garbage in my mailbox. Even better, deliver the mail on trash day. Let the postman ride along on the garbage trucks.


9 posted on 09/15/2011 2:21:06 PM PDT by Mr. Blond
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To: Graybeard58
We should sell the USPS to Fed-Ex for a dollar and call the new company Fed-UPS.

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

10 posted on 09/15/2011 2:29:27 PM PDT by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: Graybeard58

It’s important to point out that USPS derives its revenue over the counter instead from the taxpayers’ pocket.


11 posted on 09/15/2011 2:31:42 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Your Hope has been Redistributed. Here's your damn Change!)
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To: muawiyah
Was General Petreus overpaid? How about Dwight Eisenhower as Supreme Allied Commander?

That's why I qualified it with the word "probably", there's always a nit picker lurking somewhere.

For you personally, I'll add the word, "almost", next time.

Now, about a "drop box"? Just leave it in your mailbox out at the curb for your carrier to pick up.

That was my entire point, concerning my utility bill, that U.S.P.S. was the best option, for me, in that case.

Have you ever added anything substantive to a discussion? Are you here for the sole purpose of dissecting and nit picking others posts, looking for some failure on others parts, to validate yourself? You do it constantly.

Answer me with some witty, nit picking reply, I'd be disappointed if you didn't.

12 posted on 09/15/2011 2:58:23 PM PDT by Graybeard58
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To: Graybeard58

When it comes to federal pay or postal service I have a certain degree of expertise that just SCREECHES to get out in the face of substantive error!


13 posted on 09/15/2011 3:49:06 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Graybeard58

Besides, I’ve been here 7 years longer than you ~


14 posted on 09/15/2011 3:50:07 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Gene Eric

Yes, it does derive revenue from over the counter sales. READ and you will learn they do not generate sufficient revenue from their operations to pay for all their costs.

WHO DO YOU THINK PICKS UP THE BALANCE, the tooth fairy???

There is no government operation that pays for it self or we would not have the current problem. What do you not understand about the fact that this government has spent much more than it has generated, ie stolen from the taxpayers you and me.

In the real world this is called bankruptcy and reality has now hit home.


15 posted on 09/15/2011 4:17:03 PM PDT by pcpa
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To: pcpa

>> READ and you will learn...
>> the tooth fairy???
>> What do you not understand ...

All that for my comment regarding “counter sales”?

Are you familiar with my position on USPS?


16 posted on 09/15/2011 4:27:05 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Your Hope has been Redistributed. Here's your damn Change!)
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To: Graybeard58

“Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe’s prescription, as described Sept. 6 by Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, is to “save $20 billion and return to solvency by 2015 if it eliminates Saturday delivery; closes approximately 3,700 post offices; shrinks its workforce by 220,000; pulls out of the federal employee health care plan and creates its own; does away with a defined benefit retirement plan for new employees, offering them instead a defined contribution plan; and requests the return of $6.9 billion in overpayments to the Federal Employee Retirement System, install pay toilets, make the printing smaller on stamps, make everyone come to one of our hub citis to pick up their mail, stop giving change at the post office”.

O.K., Ok, that last part I added but who know?


17 posted on 09/15/2011 5:01:52 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: muawiyah
Besides, I’ve been here 7 years longer than you ~

I'm glad that you have a sense of humor, as I'm not usually as caustic as I was with you.

As for this:

Besides, I’ve been here 7 years longer than you

I'll play.

According to our sign up dates, it's 5 years & a few months longer. Furthermore, I'm one of those posters who was here before under a different screen name in 1997 I was posting as "JimRob" and some poser came along and stole my screen name.

18 posted on 09/15/2011 5:30:05 PM PDT by Graybeard58
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To: Graybeard58
We used to have a case logging system at the office that depending on your initials. We made a guy change his name because otherwise his initials would duplicate those of the boss.

However, I was here before they made everybody resign up ~ so my time is FAR LONGER than that date.

19 posted on 09/15/2011 5:36:13 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Graybeard58

I don’t open up 95% of the mail I receive. It goes strait into the trash can. Some of the 5% I do send and receive gets chewed up the mail gremlins.


20 posted on 09/15/2011 5:50:59 PM PDT by kempo
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To: brivette

Love your buttons. I’ve found many in Charleston.


21 posted on 09/15/2011 5:54:12 PM PDT by AndrewB (FUBO)
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To: Graybeard58

The PO lost me with all their petty little rules to mail somthing......................


22 posted on 09/15/2011 6:07:06 PM PDT by PeterPrinciple ( getting closer to the truth.................)
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To: Graybeard58

The PO lost me with all their petty little rules to mail somthing......................


23 posted on 09/15/2011 6:07:12 PM PDT by PeterPrinciple ( getting closer to the truth.................)
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To: Gene Eric

I’ll pipe up as a processing clerk. An argument could be made that a sizeable chunk of revenue is derived from taxpayers. Nearly a quarter to a third of first class mail is government-generated.


24 posted on 09/15/2011 6:24:10 PM PDT by Crazieman (Feb 7, 2008 http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1966675/posts?page=28#28)
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To: AndrewB

buttons?


25 posted on 09/15/2011 6:24:10 PM PDT by brivette
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To: AndrewB

buttons?


26 posted on 09/15/2011 6:24:27 PM PDT by brivette
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To: AndrewB

buttons?


27 posted on 09/15/2011 6:24:34 PM PDT by brivette
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To: brivette

Waterbury Button Co. Oldest in America.


28 posted on 09/15/2011 7:51:01 PM PDT by AndrewB (FUBO)
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To: PeterPrinciple

“The PO lost me with all their petty little rules to mail “

Those are aviation security rules that began after 9-11. Another way that Islam has complicated our lives.


29 posted on 09/15/2011 7:53:02 PM PDT by Pelham (Islam. The original Evil Empire)
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To: Crazieman
How can I opt out?
Serious question.
Well over 90% of the mail I receive at home is “junk mail/unsolicited advertisements”.
Over 75% of the mail received at my company post office box is the exact same crap.

If the USPS ditched their tiered bulk rate discount for nuisance, unsolicited junk mail, and charged a flat 1st class rate, the USPS might regain a competitive edge in the long range.
Yes, the USPS might have to implement a “do not deliver junk mail” list.
Regardless, Saturday home delivery must be cut.
Actually, two or three more days for each delivery route should be cut.

30 posted on 09/15/2011 8:17:17 PM PDT by sarasmom
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