Is our Congress being "Privatized"? Sign my new petition for Congressional Reform
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is condemning the U.S. Postal Service’s move to end Saturday deliveries. After 2 years, Ed Schultz still is, as are many other Americans, when they finally learn the nasty details of this plan to eventually shut down the U.S. Post Office --- permanently and forever --- starting with Saturday deliveries.
The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA) requires that the USPS pre-fund the next 75 years of retiree health benefits by 2016. It also forces the USPS to pre-fund retirement benefits for postal employees who have not yet been born.
No other public service or private business in the entire country was every forced to operate like this.
Millions of customers -- rural, small business, elderly, disabled -- will all be harmed. But private mail carriers like UPS and FedEx will have less competition, thanks to their campaign donations made to both the Republicans and the Democrats.
This is why campaign finance reform laws need to be enacted, and very soon, or we will see more of the same.
Since the enactment of PAEA, the USPS has lost $41 billion -- nearly 80% of which can be attributed directly to PAEA pre-funding.
Congress created this mess and congress needs to fix it, but Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has no political courage. He lacks the "can-do" verve of our first Postmaster General, Benjamin Franklin.
Why has not ONE MEMBER in congress ever written a bill and brought it to the floor for a straight up-and-down vote on reversing this lousy bill?
The Democrats are blaming the Republicans, but the Democrats controlled every branch of government in 2009 and 2010, and could have fixed many things, including this travesty; but like many things, they didn't.
Instead, we got ObamaCare and a water-down version of Wall Street reform...that's it.
Again, we are reminded, just like the previous congress, the current congress is happy to print gobs of money for Wall Street bankers, but there will be no such printing of anything useful for We the People.
On September 28, 2011 a White House petition was created to Preserve 6 Day Mail Delivery:
The White House Response to the Petition:
"Thank you for signing a petition about the U.S. Postal Service. We appreciate your participation in the We the People platform on WhiteHouse.gov and your concerns about the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in a challenging economy. The Postal Service is vital to the Nation's commerce and communications, which is why we must act quickly to make the changes necessary to ensure its viability for years to come.
Postal volumes have dropped precipitously in recent years due to longer-run shifts in communication technologies and other economic factors. As a result, USPS accrued losses of $8.5 billion in 2010, and faced financial insolvency on September 30th. Without reform it is forecast to sustain greater losses this year and next.
However, the Postal Service needs more than just short term financial relief at this time; it needs a comprehensive plan for reform to ensure that it can be flexible and competitive in a changing marketplace. There are multiple ways to provide relief and reform, but the Administration's proposal in The President's Plan for Economic Growth and Job Creation represents a balanced approach for postal workers, USPS, consumers, and taxpayers. (EDITOR'S NOTE: No tax dollars are used to fund the Post Office, and no mention is ever made in this response regarding the forced pre-funding of pensions.)
More specifically, the proposal includes a set of near-term financial relief measures that will provide the Postal Service with the time necessary to restructure its operations and take advantage of flexibilities in the proposal, such as the ability to cooperate with state and local governments and modest pricing flexibility.
In the longer term, we are proposing to help the Postal Service reduce its excessive operating costs by providing the flexibility to gradually move to 5-day delivery, beginning in 2013. Under USPS' plan for how it would use this authority, post offices would still remain open on Saturdays, Express Mail deliveries would still be made 7 days a week, post office box deliveries would still be made on Saturdays, and USPS would continue to make Saturday deliveries in the busy weeks leading up to the winter Holidays. These and other cost structuring actions will ensure that the Postal Service remains viable for the medium- and longer-term.
We believe USPS' financial situation demands such reforms and the Administration's package includes provisions to reduce the impact for USPS workers and customers. We share petitioners' concern for the health and viability of the USPS and developed this plan with the best interest of this vital institution in mind.
As we work to get our Nation back on a sustainable fiscal path, the Administration is making tough choices across the Federal government and asking everyone to do their fair share. These shared sacrifices are not easy, but together with investments in our economic growth and job creation, they will make us stronger and more competitive for the future."
Let's pre-fund congressional pensions and congressional healthcare plans for the next 300 years, first, before we pay one more dime in congressional salaries or healthcare benefits to any member of congress.