Saturday, March 31, 2012

More on the Postal Service

A thorough analysis from Jim Hightower on the move to destroy the Postal Service... which I've written about a couple times previously (HERE)

Hightower Lowdown - The Post Office is not broke--and it hasn't taken any of our tax money since 1971

"The anti-government ideologues have had to concede that profit's not the point, but still they groan that USPS is losing billions of dollars a year. Why should hard-pressed taxpayers be expected to keep shoveling money from the public treasury into this loser of a government agency?
They're not. IMPORTANT FACTOID NUMBER 1: Since 1971, the postal service has not taken a dime from taxpayers. All of its operations--including the remarkable convenience of 32,000 local post offices (more service outlets than Walmart, Starbucks, and McDonald's combined)--are paid for by peddling stamps and other products.
But wait, what about those annual losses? Good grief, squawk the Chicken Littles, USPS has gone some $13 billion in the hole during the past four years--a private corporation would go broke with that record! (Actually, private corporations tend to go to Washington rather than go broke, getting taxpayer bailouts to cover their losses.) IMPORTANT FACTOID NUMBER 2: The Postal Service is NOT broke. Indeed, in those four years of loudly deplored "losses," the Service actually produced a $700 million operational profit (despite the worst economy since the Great Depression).
What's going on here? Right-wing sabotage of USPS financing, that's what. In 2006, the Bush White House and Congress whacked the post office with the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act--an incredible piece of ugliness requiring the agency to PRE-PAY the health care benefits not only of current employees, but also of all employees who'll retire during the next 75 years. Yes, that includes employees who're not yet born! No other agency and no corporation has to do this. Worse, this ridiculous law demands that USPS fully fund this seven-decade burden by 2016. Imagine the shrieks of outrage if Congress tried to slap FedEx or other private firms with such an onerous requirement. This politically motivated mandate is costing the Postal Service $5.5 billion a year--money taken right out of postage revenue that could be going to services. That's the real source of the "financial crisis" squeez-ing America's post offices."

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