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Neither rain, nor snow, nor…

Neither rain, nor snow, nor…

Fiscal cliff?

Well that last one might have the post office stumped. A failure to reach a compromise this year just might have big implications for the struggling United States Postal Service.

It’s possible that the nearly $20 billion in savings could be part of a fiscal cliff deal. Sen. Joseph Lieberman has suggested that ending Saturday delivery, except for packages, could be part of a compromise that could save big bucks down the road. Another aspect of a savings plan could be suspending the USPS’ onerous obligation to fully fund its pension costs upfront, a requirement that would push many businesses into bankruptcy. And last fiscal year, the post office posted a record $15.9 billion loss.

“As the nation creeps toward the ‘fiscal cliff,’ the U.S. Postal Service is clearly marching toward a financial collapse of its own,” says Carper. “The Postal Service’s financial crisis is growing worse, not better. It is imperative that Congress get to work on this issue and find a solution immediately. … Recently key House and Senate leaders on postal reform have had productive discussions on a path forward, and while there may be some differences of opinion in some of the policy approaches needed to save the Postal Service, there is broad agreement that reform needs to happen — the sooner the better.”

The urgency couldn’t be clearer — but even at this yuletide 11th hour, signs of progress are slim to none. If Congress fails to pass a bill, we’ll be back to square one in the new year, with the Senate needing to pass a new bill which will then have to be ratified by the House. There is just no rational reason to think that lift will be any easier in the next Congress than in the current lame duck Congress, where our elected officials are supposedly more free to do the right thing, freed from electoral consequences.

They need a Christmas miracle.

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Comments

This quote comes to mind: ” It would take a miracle to get you out of Casablanca, and the Germans have outlawed miracles”.

There is an axiom in change-management: organizations only change when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing. The President isn’t going to lose his job one way or the other on the budget; look at how much both Senate and House get re-elected – nobody really suffers directly (and if they do, it’ll be in 2, 4 or 6 years).

That’s why email/letter/phone campaigns are the only thing that work (along with being in their faces when they return home to their districts).

The people making the decisions (or not) don’t suffer from their choices. And it’s always easier to do nothing than something.

I bet that the Republicans won’t even be able to agree to vote on your “Christmas” plan, let alone approve it.

Y’know… I figured that I’d escape the end consequences of political irresponsibility due to my advanced age but now I’m not too sure.

These fools in DC are the poorest excuse for leadership that I can recollect.

We had a chance to make a change but yet the majority of voters went for the free stuff and now we will pay dearly..

🙁 When I was a kid growing up in a rural area, it seemed magical to be able to put an envelope with the 3-cent stamp in the box down at the road and get back something from a friend who lived far away, even overseas. It was communication in the days when no kid would dare make an expensive long distance telephone call (and besides, someone on the party line would be sure to tell the parents which kid was the culprit).

The Post Office, which is not a taxpayer expense, needs to be given relief from its obligations but otherwise left alone and supported. When we had no electricity for weeks post-hurricane, when there was no internet, when telephone lines weren’t working because towers and poles were down, USPS still delivered the mail.

A Christmas card or letter via email is just not the same.

The union effect on the Post Office is similar to union effects in RI and CA.

Nothing in the future except complete failure.

Soon to be followed by the entire federal government…

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to GrumpyOne. | December 21, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Something is very wrong with the US postal.

    As a contrast the Australian P O just announced a lessened profit due to decreased letters but still $260 million in the black.

    This p o serves a land mass 2/3 the size of USA with only 6% of the population to cover costs & distance.

    The only differences are that the Oz p o does not have to cover health insurance as there is a separate tax &. Optional easily accessible private plans. Plus most small operations are by franchise .
    But some good news for the US postie is the iconic Pennsylvania Ave building has been tended to Donald & Ivanka Trump to develope into a 250 million restoration / redevelopment as a luxury hotel.

Two things need to be done to save the Post Office:
1) Immediate cost cutting needs to be done for THIS fiscal year, in a well-planned but brutal fashion, much as if a takeover group had just taken them over.
2) LONG term cost containment measures need to be taken, and yes that can be spelled “(censored)ing the retirees and current employees retirement plans”

What they will probably wind up doing is going into the unrelated Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) too and taking a working, rational, fixed system and proceeding to loot it like a piggy bank. Then proceed to everybody else’s retirement.

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