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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?
He didn’t have a challenger.
Voting is ongoing, but he has secured the total of 215 needed to win.
His name was the only one put forward in nomination from the Republican side. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash who also crossed over with Boehner and supported the Fiscal Cliff package along with the Democrats, put his name up for nomination.
Protest votes include 2 for Allan West, outed in the last General Election, Colin Powell, and someone from Idaho I have to yet look up…Rep. Paul Labrador, R-Id. (one does not have to be a member of the House to be elected Speaker.)
It appears the Tea Party has been whupped, subdued, and marginalized for this 113th Congress. It was a different Eric Cantor who returned the day after elections were over.
When your mom gets cancer. You don’t hate your mom. You hate the cancer.
They are wonderful people; who also, happen to be Americans. We can never forget that if we were together in a bar with beer, wine, and spirits flowing like milk and honey, we’d all have a “gay ole time” (Flintstones’ reference) …
We want the same things, and we should be working together on fixing America… but we can’t….
Because of the Cancer…..
That cancer is not necessarily the Republican Party, but it is, the force that IS currently manipulating the Republican Party. That cancer is not a single person in the Republican hierarchy… It is instead that revision of the old cancer, that originally was against recognizing new states into the Federal Union. It is that old cancer that kept slavery legal for thirty years beyond when it should have been eliminated. It is the revision of that old cancer that kept blacks as second class citizens across the South. It is the cancer that fought against giving the Negro their Civil Rights. It is that cancer that denied Tobacco caused cancer. It was the same cancer that encouraged the killing of 4 students at Kent State, to teach those dirty hippies who listened to the Doors, a lesson they wouldn’t forget. It is the same cancer that denied the process of evolution, denied birth control, denied NPR, and ran rampant against all evidence of global warming…… Each time; they were wrong.
It is the same cancer that blew up a building in Oklahoma City.
It is the same cancer that fired bullets into working men and women who were refusing to work, until they got a raise…
It is the same cancer that took out Gabby Gifford……
With all these offenses, it is easy to point your finger and say, “Damn you Republicans..” It is in fact, way too easy.
But is not the people voting Republican who are to blame… They, like the German people, are bystanders. often gaping wide eyed when shown the truth, of what their support for the force of evil did to innocent men and women.
It is easy to turn all Republicans into demons if you don’t talk to them. But listening to them talk, (and we’re talking real people here, not their David Korsch’s) it is very easy to find common ground.
That common ground is this: sure, you tax the wealthy, and we’ll cut spending and together we’ll have high revenue with less expense, and be out of this mess in no time….
This is what every card carrying Republican is telling me, that is of course, if they don’t subscribe to the “cult-like” Republican meetings…. They say: “tax the fuckin’ wealthy; it won’t affect me; Just make sure that extra money is not wasted but is used to pay down the waste we already spent!”
Democrats have already offered to cut Medicare, Social Security, Defense Spending, all those things dear to their heart… So the problem isn’t them.
The problem is with the Republicans, who have balked on the tax issue, especially when it comes to raising taxes on millionaires… yet they have no qualms raising taxes on the middle class and poor. Republicans have shut down the Federal Government four times this year. Four times! They did so each time because the obvious was about to happen. WE were about to get a consensus among the rational members of both parties on how we were going to raise taxes and cut expenses (at the same time) which would bring us into line.
They pulled out of negotiations and said: we will not raise taxes one penny… and also, we will not do any business either in the House or Senate, until the Bush Tax Cuts are permanent.
And that,in one sentence, is why nothing gets done.
It’s as if a terrorist broke into your workplace. Under gunpoint he straps C4 to several of your firm’s employees, and starts firing his gun out the window to get everyone’s attention….
Rule Number 1: You don’t negotiate with terrorists.
That is the problem Obama and the rest of America is faced with, raising this question:
Do we attack (shut down government) and later clean up, or do we negotiate something we can both live with?
What do you do with cancer… Leave it? live with it?
There’s your answer to today’s political gridlock.
Removing all Democrats will be like having the Brits flee France across the channel, leaving the Nazi’s to run France without contention….
Removing all Republicans will be like marching triumphantly into Berlin.
It is pretty obvious who is the cancer and who is not. WE, THE PEOPLE, can’t let it linger any longer. The cancer must go, preferably without killing its host in the process…
Today’s debt: $14,639,000,000,000.. Longhand, that is fourteen trillion, six hundred thirty-nine billion dollars…….
All caused by the Tea Party of course.
To pay that off in one year (with no interest), would cost us… would cost us…. would cost us… $463,881 every second…. (Oops, a million just passed by while reading this)…
But no one pays off a debt in one year… Instead, let’s take 30 years… Again, with no interest, per second we would need to pay… $15,463 dollars every second…. Now take a deep breath of a sigh of relief… Now only $100,000 went by in just those 6 extra seconds.
Considering that the US’s GDP is crunching forward at $411.374 dollars a second, those same six seconds generated $2,468,248 dollars in income… Therefore to pay back the entire debt we owe, over the next thirty years (with no interest) we would be paying… 16.6 percent of every dollar earned….
So obviously balancing our budget first is a capitol idea (pun: we certainly can’t do it when “they” are opposed)… Then over the next thirty years, we simply need to account and only spend 83.4% of every incoming dollar we are taking in.
In thirty years, we’ll be in the black… and you will be… uh, how old?
Definition: Where American spending was brought up to the level where it should be, without the necessary revenue to support it.
(As evidenced by 154,000 private sector jobs being created in July.)
The problem is not with spending. The problem is the lack of taxing of the top 1%. The spending seems to be doing its job.
In today’s political world, the embattled progressives are ironically in the same position American forces found themselves in Afghanistan around the time Obama was sworn in………
Things do not seem to be going well at all….
They did not get the Bush tax cuts off the books. Those tax cuts are still sending jobs overseas. They did not get single payer health care; insurers still limit health care. And now, many of the federal programs supporting the economies in their districts, are about to be eradicated….
“If only” Obama had stood tough!.. “If only” Democrats were better negotiators and didn’t give up everything at the drop of the hat… “If only” the Democrats worked harder last December to get the Bush tax cuts not reinstated. “If only” Democrats hadn’t lost the House last election, things would be different. “If only” Obama hadn’t sold us out! “If only” Obama had a spine. “If only” Democrats hadn’t caved and given Republicans 100% of what they want…“If only” the media would educate the public. “If only” truth was allowed on the airwaves….
The Progressives should not base their future strategy on “what-ifs” and “if only’s” as Progressives (especially here in Delaware) are prone to do. Such an approach is not “reality-based.”
It is instead, “hope-based”, which is to say in reality … “illusion-based”…
The illusion persists that Obama can “make” Republicans do what Progressive want. It equals the illusion that the US, can “make” the government of Karzai, do what everything we want…
In both cases, both progressives and the US, can’t force the issue. Instead, what they have to do, is out-argue, snuggle-up, and win the battle of the minds; they have to convince the respective populations that if they follow their way, the population will be better off.
With this bill, we now have a “reality” to assist with that convincing…
The core of all the arguing, is the hypothesis that America needs to tax it’s wealthy a little more.
When American’s go to the polls in 2012, they will have begun to feel the effects on the economy of what happens when one cuts $100 billion a year. Just like the balanced budget deficit bill of 1937 pushed America back into depression, so will this bill.
Progressives need to be out there saying, “We told you this would happen; see? We were right all along; all you have to do is tax the wealthy and this all goes away…..”
Unfortunately (or rather fortunately), there will not be a World War III to pull us out of this next upcoming depression… We will just have to spend Federal Dollars as if there was one. Which means, we have to return to the top marginal tax rates of 1941 – 1945…
So yes, there are no new revenues in this bill. Had there been, the reality would be that the House would have allowed a default.
But the argument can now begin… anew,… starting tomorrow! That increases in taxes cause an increase in jobs….. Had another default issue been allowed to occur again before the election, that argument would have been held hostage once again…
Now, it can’t… It can’t…. The argument of “good taxation” will get out there. This future election will be all about job creation…..
The Tea Party and Progressives both make the same error. They feel that holding another side hostage to get their way, is acceptable. That is not how America works. Often we fail, to remember that America is the one who put the Republicans into the position they did. Likewise, it was the Americans who put Democrats in the same position, two years earlier.
This argument needs to be played out over the course of an election cycle. The Americans themselves need to weigh in on this argument. Each side must argue their case.
It comes down to Clinton’s way… versus Bush’s…..
Start changing minds.