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View Full Version : Congress won’t rescue postal service as it defaults on health care benefits



pwaldo
08-01-2012, 10:28 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/congress-won-t-rescue-postal-defaults-health-care-221219388.html


Congress is sitting idly by Wednesday as the U.S. Postal Service prepares to default on $5.5 billion in retiree health care payments.

The postal service confirmed in a statement Monday that it would default on its payment to the U.S. Treasury due at midnight on Wednesday. It is also prepared to default on a $5.6 billion tab due Sept. 30 to pre-pay retiree health benefits "absent legislation enacted by Congress."

The postal service stressed that the defaults would "have no material effect on the operations of the Postal Service," which would continue to be fully funded, as would services.

But this first-ever default marks the decline of the postal service, illuminating just how precarious its financial position remains without congressional intervention. Some lawmakers believe that such postal poverty threatens Congress' reputation as well as the future of the mail service and the nation's economic health.

"The country's looking for the Congress to get things done, the president to get things done, especially get things done that actually saves jobs and creates jobs. And there's some 7 or 8 million jobs that currently depend on the postal service," Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) Congress' lead Democratic voice on postal reform, told Yahoo News Wednesday. The default, Carper argued, "simply undermines confidence in those who use the post office services, especially the larger mailers," potentially hurting business and much-needed holiday sales.

The postal service has reported multi-billion dollar losses in part due to the current economic climate and a decrease in mail. Additionally, the service is required by law to pre-pay billions in health care benefits every year into a retiree health benefit fund. The postal service wants Congress to help lower this pre-fund burden and help them via other avenues, but Congress doesn't appear to be acting anytime soon.

In April, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill, cosponsored by Carper, to help save the postal service by advocating for cost-cutting measures including restructuring the pre-fund. At the time, House Republicans widely panned the bill, labeling it a $33 billion bailout; they argued it delayed but failed to solve the postal service's financial woes. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight, co-sponsored with Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) a bill in the works, but it has yet to be brought to the House floor.

The postal service and other interested parties as well as Republicans criticized the Senate bill once it passed. But Carper said Wednesday the House is holding back opportunities to move forward and make adjustments.

"The House simply has to do what they've been saying they're going to do all along and that's to pass a bill so that we can then go to conference, work out our differences, come up with a compromise between the Senate bill and the House bill," Carper said, adding "our bill's not perfect... but until we have the House act, we can't come up with that final compromise."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also pointed a finger at House Republicans Wednesday. "To manufacture yet another crisis, the Republican leadership refused to allow consideration of postal reform legislation that passed the Senate with a strong bipartisan majority months ago and that would have easily prevented a default," Pelosi said in a statement. "Instead, Republicans have shown no interest in offering meaningful solutions-- including a path to address the Postal Service's unique requirement to prepay retiree health benefits."

But Republicans say the House bill is still on the table and leaders are actively working on it.

"While timing for the consideration of postal reform legislation has not been set, the legislation has the necessary support,"Ali Ahmad, Communications Adviser for the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a statement to Yahoo News Wednesday. Ahmad said Issa remains committed to modifying the legislation to ensure that "meaningful reforms not only win House approval, but are ultimately signed into law by the President."

The Republican bill allows for more drastic and immediate cuts, such as switching to five day delivery, cluster box instead of door-to-door delivery, more liberal branch closings and the renegotiation of labor contracts.

As for the current defaults, select House Republicans say it's just more of the same from the failing entity.

"The default by the Postal Service on its obligation to its own employees and retirees follows decades of mismanagement, and a willful blindness to fundamental changes in America's use of mail," Issa said in a statement Tuesday. "The Postal Service continues to fail to do all it can under current law to cut costs."

The House plans to begin recess at the end of this week through the Labor Day holiday, although some congressional leaders have threatened to keep lawmakers in town to finish select business. This would push potential action on the House postal reform bill into the fall. Some lawmakers believe the bill won't come up until the lame duck session or even later.

Wickabee
08-01-2012, 10:41 PM
You guys get mail on weekends?

theonedru
08-02-2012, 02:04 AM
How can the government bail out the post office when he government is 15+ Trillion in debt. Its hard to pay for stuff when you have no money

JustAlex
08-02-2012, 02:07 AM
You guys get mail on weekends?
In Canada you don't?

It's only Saturday here in the U.S.

Wickabee
08-02-2012, 03:53 PM
In Canada you don't?

It's only Saturday here in the U.S.

Monday through Friday, nothing on Saturday. Cutting Saturdays would be my first move, whether USPS was in trouble or not.

mrveggieman
08-02-2012, 03:56 PM
Monday through Friday, nothing on Saturday. Cutting Saturdays would be my first move, whether USPS was in trouble or not.

Yeah no mail delivery keep the post offices open for drop offs and to check your PO box.

Wickabee
08-02-2012, 04:07 PM
Yeah no mail delivery keep the post offices open for drop offs and to check your PO box.

Bingo. You need two employees at each location and that's it.

pwaldo
08-02-2012, 05:22 PM
How can the government bail out the post office when he government is 15+ Trillion in debt. Its hard to pay for stuff when you have no money

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/annan-quits-syria-envoy-white-house-ups-pressure-182147646.html

In a separate written statement, Carney also announced that Obama had approved another $12 million in humanitarian aid, bringing overall help from Washington for those affected by the conflict to more than $76 million.

Apparently we have money as long as it is for NON Americans

Wickabee
08-02-2012, 05:29 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/annan-quits-syria-envoy-white-house-ups-pressure-182147646.html

In a separate written statement, Carney also announced that Obama had approved another $12 million in humanitarian aid, bringing overall help from Washington for those affected by the conflict to more than $76 million.

Apparently we have money as long as it is for NON Americans

...

and you expect that $76million to even put a dent in the $11.1Billion USPS is going to default on?

That's like saying don't spend that dollar on a chocolate bar, put it towards your mortgage.

pwaldo
08-02-2012, 05:45 PM
...

and you expect that $76million to even put a dent in the $11.1Billion USPS is going to default on?

That's like saying don't spend that dollar on a chocolate bar, put it towards your mortgage.

Where did I say that? He said we don't have any money. We have money as along as we can keep giving it away.

FYI the US gives out over $50 BILLION a year in foreign aid so they could pay for the billions the post office owes....not saying they should but just to reply to your bizarre post that makes it seem like wasting $11 billion is something difficult for the US government.

Wickabee
08-02-2012, 05:47 PM
Where did I say that? He said we don't have any money. We have money as along as we can keep giving it away.
Yes, and you showed where you could put a $76million dent in a $11.1Billion problem.


FYI the US gives out over $50 BILLION a year in foreign aid so they could pay for the billions the post office owes....not saying they should but just to reply to your bizarre post that makes it seem like wasting $11 billion is something difficult for the US government.

If that's true, why did you lead with the $76million? That's like claiming a rock is good enough when a quarry is needed. Talk about bizarre posts. Jeez.

shrewsbury
08-02-2012, 06:01 PM
well maybe if they gave them back their 5 billion per year they have been taking they could afford to pay

pwaldo
08-02-2012, 06:14 PM
Yes, and you showed where you could put a $76million dent in a $11.1Billion problem.



If that's true, why did you lead with the $76million? That's like claiming a rock is good enough when a quarry is needed. Talk about bizarre posts. Jeez.

He said the United States is in debt and it is hard to pay for stuff when you have no money....I then posted an article showing 24 hours later Obama sent another $12 million to Syria meaning the US still has money to throw around. If somebody doesn't have money then they normally don't give away millions to people that don't really like them.

No where did I say $76 million would be able to pay off $11 billion.....you were the one for some reason to assume that and continue with that talk. See if I wanted to say we could pay off the post office's debt I would have said "Hey we could pay off the post office's debt by not giving money to other countries" or I would have bothered to even reference the post office's debt in my reply to him in some way. But I never did either because I never said that.

shrewsbury
08-02-2012, 06:31 PM
i think congress started taking 5 billion per year from the USPS in 07ish, so 25 billion should cover the 11 billion

and i can't believe Obama can send money to syria and no one cares

mrveggieman
08-03-2012, 09:02 AM
i think congress started taking 5 billion per year from the USPS in 07ish, so 25 billion should cover the 11 billion

and i can't believe Obama can send money to syria and no one cares


I don't think it's a matter of no one cares but all presidents have freely sent spent taxpayer money. It's not their money so why do they care? To be perfectly honest no matter who is voted in as the next president he/she will do exactly the same.

Wickabee
08-03-2012, 02:01 PM
He said the United States is in debt and it is hard to pay for stuff when you have no money....I then posted an article showing 24 hours later Obama sent another $12 million to Syria meaning the US still has money to throw around. If somebody doesn't have money then they normally don't give away millions to people that don't really like them.

No where did I say $76 million would be able to pay off $11 billion.....you were the one for some reason to assume that and continue with that talk. See if I wanted to say we could pay off the post office's debt I would have said "Hey we could pay off the post office's debt by not giving money to other countries" or I would have bothered to even reference the post office's debt in my reply to him in some way. But I never did either because I never said that.

You're "throwing money around money" is equal to being 3 months behind on the mortgage and buying your friend a chocolate bar. If I'm 3 months behind on the mortgage and only have 3 dollars, I'm gonna buy the chocolate because that 3 dollars isn't going to help me one bit in that situation.

angel0430
08-03-2012, 04:35 PM
And this is what I hate, there is always money for other nations and for people like GSA...but for valid issues that regular citizens have, there is non.

Wickabee
08-03-2012, 05:15 PM
You could always spend less than 50% of your national budget on the military...

Wickabee
08-03-2012, 10:18 PM
Foreign aid is a bad expense, but this;
http://www.sportscardforum.com/threads/1721635-How-U-S-Army-spent-5BILLION-on-failed-pixel-camouflage?p=11916092#post11916092
is a good one!