All four postal unions sent a joint letter to Senate Majority Harry Reid on Aug. 5 expressing “utter dismay” at the introduction of S. 1486, the postal bill co-sponsored by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), the chair and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The bill continues the disastrous policy of mandating massive pre-funding of retiree health benefits and provides for major downsizing measures to pay for it, the letter notes.
In case you haven’t followed, Congress requires the Post Office to make inordinately huge pension-plan payments, for reasons which nobody can really understand. In the final analysis, USPS pensions are a government obligation, and it doesn’t make a huge amount of difference whether they come out of a) a well-funded pension plan, b) a badly-funded pension plan, or c) just out of US government revenues.
A 2006 Congressional mandate requires the agency to “pre-pay” into a fund that covers health care costs for future retired employees. Under the mandate, the USPS is required to make an annual $5.5 billion payment each year for over ten years, through 2016. These “prepayments” are largely responsible for the USPS’s financial losses.
No other business prepays for all employee’s actual medical hospital bills 20 years from now when they retire… It’s crazy actually. Lets assume you will be in a nursing home at $120,000 a year and you will (let’s be nice), live 10 years… Therefore it will cost you $1.200,000. So, assuming you are currently 53, giving you 12 more years of work left, we would take $100,000 of your income every year for the next 12 years….
Think you’d go broke? Do you know any business that assesses themselves so harshly? Of course not. No one would assess themselves that harshly. But Congress did assess the postal service that harshly. Congress forced this huge payment, which takes money out of running the business to be sure, just like you losing $100,000 a year takes money out of you.
Obviously the unions are upset. For to be able to make the payments on these huge pre-payments, they are cutting people’s pensions and benefits to pay for it. Imagine working 40 years and retiring tomorrow with no pension, so those retiring in 20 years hence, will be fully funded? They ave a right to be mad.
Here is what Senator Tom Carper proposed.
- Destroy 80,000 full- and part-time jobs after a one-year delay, by eliminating Saturday mail delivery and give the Postmaster General authority to eliminate additional delivery days in the future;
- Slash tens of thousands of additional jobs after a two-year delay, by allowing USPS to reduce delivery standards and close hundreds of mail processing facilities and thousands of post offices;
- Mandate the elimination of door-to-door delivery, threatening at least 16,500 additional jobs, and
- Impose “cruel and discriminatory” changes to the Workers Compensation program that would leave injured federal workers vulnerable to impoverishment when they reach Social Security retirement age.
“This massive downsizing and the bill’s assault on postal employee benefits are not necessary,” the letter says. “They are being driven by the irrational retiree health financing policy that no other business or agency would adopt. The Postal Service has already pre-funded decades of retiree health premiums, more than any other enterprise in America. Indeed, USPS has already set aside an estimated $49 billion for such premiums, approximately 50 percent of total expected costs over the next 90+ years.”
Do you think they’re a little bit angry? Do you think they’re a little bit justified?
“The 30 members of the Senate who have co-sponsored S. 316, the Postal Service Protection Act of 2013, have taken the right approach. That bill (Bernie Sanders )would strengthen the Postal Service, promote innovation and, most importantly, resolve the retiree health and pension policies that have crippled the Postal Service in recent years,” it says.
Bernie Saunders bill is aimed at promoting the prosperity of the Post Office, as well as those who work for it. Tom Carper’s bill, which insists on imposing the $5.5 billion penalty, is aimed at promoting the prosperity of financiers and banks. After all, who do you think, gets commissions investing off that $5.5 billion?
Banks = Delaware = Carper
That is why a Senator from little ole Delaware is in the heart of kicking down the US Post Office. Makes more sense now, doesn’t it?