Fact: USPS doesn't take one dollar of taxpayer money for its services. Instead, USPS supports itself through payment for postage - not from taxpayers.
Fact: We do need USPS - fully one-fifth of Americans don't have email or any other web access. Twice that many people only have dial-up internet - 14.4kb, 28.8kb, 56kb speeds.
Fact: The unjustified 2006 PAEA caused at least 85% of the deficit, with no mitigation method to help absorb that sudden $5.5 billion annual debit. Without it, USPS would be, as usual, slightly profitable this year.
Fact: US Treasury owes USPS billions upon billions of dollars. Pay back money owed USPS and recalculate the PAEA burden = no more crisis.
Fact: Had Congress allowed USPS to compete, ALL AMERICANS could get online with affordable internet. But USPS isn't allowed to compete - they took away its air fleet, they're closing the post offices whose profits support the costly ones - they're tearing down a perfectly balanced, self-supporting system.
Fact: Postal banks served Americans from 1911-1967 and helped support the Post Office. Why can't our most trusted public service open Postal Banks instead of closing post offices? Who is preventing this smart choice?
End the anti-democratic scheme to destroy our country's only universal communication medium.
It's up to us: Tell your Congressperson to oppose HR2309 and support HR3591. Tell your Senators to recall S.1789 and pass S.1853. Do it now.”
“The answer is technically simple, but it has a history: Beginning with the name-change to U.S. "Postal Service," the agency has been planned for privatization, which will serve fewer people while driving up the cost of communication (cf the internet, another government invention). Current de facto service reductions result from top-down resource removals pursuant to the original plans - not from existing infrastructure inefficiencies, but from squeezing the turnip until it bleeds.
After nearly forty years of efforts, USPS still had plenty of revenue-positive public services that were attractive to private carriers. Enter the 2006 PAEA, with its radical $5.5 billion per year pre-funding requirement.
Off with its head! The uniquely severe pre-funding drove a revenue-balanced USPS directly into paper debt, with subsequent desperate scrambling for every "cost-saving" measure it could scare up.
USPS isn't throttled by inefficiency; it's being throttled by strangulation.
Creating jobs during the New Deal era wasn't considered inefficient, and it kept a lot of people alive. Win-win.
In any event, whom would you prefer to bail out - a handful of evil stockbrokers and hedge funders or hundreds of thousands of hardworking Americans?”
“Regrettably, ending door-to-door service is already in one of the proposed plans. The big problem here is that the "repairs" are designed to decrease the agency's ability to process mail. Closing factories is no way to run an expanding company - especially when the outfit's only mission is to make sure that every American, regardless of location, has affordable access to information.
Besides, buried beneath the recession-driven downturn numbers is the fact that USPS must meet an annual demand increase the size of Chicago's population.
The exorbitantly-paid consultants advising USPS how to slowly shutter the service are the same ones who advised European countries on privatization - ask those folks about their great successes. BTW, one of these guys worked in Treasury when we bailed out Chrysler in the early 1980s - he fired the analyst who reported that the auto company was failing to provide timely reports, and that the reports they provided were fantastic - as in utter fantasy.
Then he went to work for Aiacocca and back to Wall Street before starting a career in downsizing governments. These are the guys dismantling USPS, and they couldn't care less about public service - they know that a new sucker is born every minute, and that they'll be long gone before we figure out who's been robbing us blind.
So while it couldn't hurt to put a mailbox at the sidewalk, door-to-door delivery should remain. USPS is a win-win agency.”
jhuffington on Jul 2, 2012 at 09:12:38
“Look I'm a huge fan of the Post Office, but I'm not sure what your objection is. Are you are saying that we shouldn't make it more efficient because we will lose jobs? Let me know.”
“Was there a quorum call on that vote taken on the eve of the December holiday?
When the most "liberal" Congressman in the House supports a bill whose design is to bankrupt our most trusted public service, you know that Congress has been thoroughly infiltrated by deep-pocketed PACs and bank bailout-mongers.
The real answer here is simple: Campaign finance reform. While we wait for that act of justice to bring all voters into agreement, we can fix the Postal Service now:
Call Congress today. Tell your Senators to recall S.1789 and to pass S.1853. Tell your House representative to oppose HR2309 and to pass HR3591. Do it today.”
“Interesting point. Let's take a look: Is this about indirect subsidies necessitated by neglecting modernization and subsequent severance of USPS from the bosom of its federal mandate while employing federal workers or the direct subsidies that provide preferred customers with lower rates than they would have to pay if they hired commercial carriers to deliver their circulars?
Who's being subsidized here? Let's look closer: On the one hand, you're correct: The federal government is SUPPOSED to fund 100% of mail delivery. And on the other, you're also correct: The federal government is NOT SUPPOSED to provide cut-rate services to mass mailers just because they fund political campaigns.
Normalize stamp prices? Agreed - without profit margin and bonuses, they'll remain low. Allow USPS to compete on a level playing field? Agreed - let USPS buy aircraft, stop subsidizing commercial carrier boxes on federal property, rent real estate, charge market rates for bulk mail. Yeah, man, if USPS should go corporate, let it compete like a company.
But it's not a company. It's a promise.
No, it's not simple. The simple part is our government's job of providing equal access. No "best effort;" it's about results. Until commercial carriers serve everyone, everywhere, affordably, USPS is the only game in town.
Recall S.1789. Pass S.1853. Pass HR3591. Call your reps today.”
“The facts indicate otherwise. The first one is that USPS, as a break-even entity, is required not to profit from its services.
On skills: Facts indicate that commercial carriers are so "efficient" that they hire USPS to go where they can't. They're so "efficient" that they fund political campaigns instead of improving their footprint. They're so "efficient" that they rely on their financial influence to block every USPS innovation instead of facing the ogre of competition from a profit-free government agency.
Instead of improving services, they use profits to strategize against innovation. How efficient is that?
Corporatization of the Post Office is failing for a number of reasons, Number One being the difference between a mandate and a marketplace.
USPS _has_ to serve everyone; commercial vendors don't. Currently, USPS serves everyone solely by charging ratepayers, not taxpayers.
USPS could and should charge taxpayers, sharing the burden equally for the equal access it provides. Further dismantlement of USPS will erode its currently healthy fiscal balance, eventually leaving taxpayers to foot the bill.
Now think again: Today, taxpayers don't pay - it's a win-win picture. Tomorrow - if the richest man in Congress gets his way, taxpayers will pay more and get less. Is that the picture we want?
Recall S.1789. Pass S.1853. Pass HR3591. Tell your representatives today.”
“USPS will always deliver the last mile, because the other couriers won't perform that public service - they can hire USPS to do it and markup their cost for profit, making mail service more expensive for the public.
The government is required to deliver mail to everyone. Without revenue-positive services, USPS won't be able to absorb the cost of its own last-mile delivery, even as it provides the least expensive and most comprehensive package delivery everywhere.
Taxpayers will be required to foot the bill - all because private carriers work behind the scenes to take the easy, profitable services for their own and leave the American people with the bill.
The other couriers block every effort and innovation USPS tries to introduce - including digital mail and online bill payment - which USPS developed but had to give away.
Our government developed what we now call the internet, and gave it away. Is it affordable for everyone? No. It is available for everyone? No. But it could be. If USPS were providing it, it would be.
Those who fund Congressional campaigns won't let USPS change its business plan. But current legislation can prevent them from gutting USPS. Tell your Senators to recall S.1789 and pass S.1853. Tell your House Representative to pass HR.3591. Do it today.”
“In 1982, the "postage stamp" stopped being called a tax and started being called a product. Whatever the label, postal revenue pays for postal costs, and is required to do so by law. USPS - or the Post Office, as it was known until Nixon's 1970 law began to corporatize the agency - supports itself, without costing taxpayers a dime. But you're right : "Always" is incorrect. "Since 1734" is more accurate.”
shipfixr on Jun 27, 2012 at 10:33:56
“Venice.......have you been living on Mars?? There have been very few, if any years that the 'taxpayer', through Congress, hasn't had to subsidize the USPS.
(or AMTRAK) What you describe is the way it's SUPPOSED to be...not the way it IS.”
“Let's also consider why USPS seems broke: 2006 was the year that U.S. mail peaked at it highest volume ever. Soon after, the recession began, as did the initial impact of the 2006 Holiday Horror - the "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act."
Without the destructive effect of the PAEA (75 years of pre-funding in 10 years), USPS would weather this recession just as it has others, just as it weathered every technical challenge to its mandate throughout its history.
But this challenge isn't technical - it's brute force politics. Forty years after eroding a revenue-neutral public service by stripping its profits, they finally hired the high-priced guys, who said "Bash it over the head." And that's what Congress did. We didn't know then - it was a surprise - and a hidden one.
But we know now. Millions of Americans believe in the quiet power of USPS. Now is not the time to be quiet. Now is the time to speak up and speak out. Lawsuits are moving forward. The hunger strike is going on. Communities are becoming informed.
Don't keep quiet. Tell the Senate to recall S.1789 and pass S.1853. Tell the House to pass HR 3591. Don't let your legislators alone. Connect with individuals and groups across the nation. Saving the Postal system will save post offices and hundreds of thousands of jobs.
This really is a no-brainer, but it will take a lot of work. November is right around the corner.”
“Exactly - in fact, certain upper management is counting on high pay in private industry after dismantling USPS for commercial benefit.
Postage stamps and services began as taxes on mail delivery. In 1982, they were redefined as "postal products" to begin separating mail delivery from public service.
The problem is - the truth. Since inception, our government has been required to provide all Americans with affordable mail delivery, regardless of geography. That can't change. Only the government can provide affordable, universal and secure communication - the internet only serves 80%, and broadband only 60% - a healthy USPS is crucial.
Equal access is the bottom line. Losing it is not only illegal - it's unconstitutional.
USPS is responsible for providing an entire class of disenfranchised Americans with the chance for a better life while providing an essential public service.
Our nation's third largest employer, USPS is one of our largest employers of minorities, led by African-Americans, who make up 21% of Postal workers.
USPS is our nation's largest employer of veterans - 130,000 - 22% of its ranks, nearly 49,000 of whom are disabled.
Currently proposed legislation would destroy 200,000 jobs, threaten a 1.3 trillion dollar mailing industry with 7.5 million workers, threaten small businesses, rural and elderly customers and medicine recipients, slow mail service, isolate millions of Americans and cost taxpayers money - instead of allowing USPS continue to support itself at no cost to us.
Congress still answers to us - we must tell them what we want.”
“3- USPS _is_ an arm of the government, and it always will be.
Today's struggle will determine whether taxpayers continue to be spared the cost of supporting USPS or whether pressure from commercial interests will succeed in acquiring USPS's revenue-positive services for their own profit while loading mail delivery costs onto every taxpayer.
Progressives rally around positive initiatives.
Where is the progress in privatizing our must trusted public service - which delivers mail at a lower cost and greater efficiently than any other such service in the world?
Where is the progress in enabling a few people to raise costs for currently least-cost services while loading the remaining costs on taxpayers?
Privatizing USPS is regressive. Is that what we want?”
bicoastal1954 on Jun 24, 2012 at 16:14:15
“The USPS takes no tax payer money and isn't allowed to. It is self-funding and for 2 decades took in more than it needed and Congress jumped on that money for other pet projects.”
“In fact, USPS is a public service that, by law, pays for itself solely on the price of stamps and related services. It always has. Further, USPS shipping costs are much lower than those of commercial carriers - because USPS, by law, operates on a break-even basis.
No company anywhere pre-funds more than 30% of future retired employee health benefits. In 2006, Congress chose to require USPS to pay 100% of these benefits in 10 years - for a period covering 75 years.
That's a recipe for destruction - which plays directly into the pocketbooks of commercial carriers, soaking more money out of middle Americans to enrich the most wealthy among us.
Currently, USPS operates at no cost to taxpayers. Allowing further destruction at the behest of privatization consultants will end this free ride: After removal of the services that balance USPS's income sheet, taxpayers will be left with the bill. Do the math.
The four-decade effort to privatize USPS is complex and shady. But the fix is simple: Properly calculate the pre-funding, return prior overpayments to USPS and persuade Congress to recall S1789 and to pass S1853 and HR3591.”
shipfixr on Jun 24, 2012 at 16:00:13
“"In fact, USPS is a public service that, by law, pays for itself solely on the price of stamps and related services. It always has.
Always is a long time. How long really? Early 70's wasn't it? Came along about the same time as that other non-self supporting "self supporting" outfit: AMTRAK.”
Venice PO on Jun 24, 2012 at 15:45:49
“And help us save Venice Post Office and others across the nation: Send the following document to your representatives: http://db.tt/j7MTKsaX”