Will Congress Order Changes at the Postal Service? (Duh!)

By Richard Thayer

Listed among his “10 Things to Watch Across Government in 2011,” The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe ranked this question at Number 4, calling it “the sleeper issue of the year:” Will Congress order changes at the U.S. Postal Service?

The answer of course is Yes, it has to. It’s kind of like that national debt ceiling thingy we’ve been hearing about lately. Don’t raise the debt ceiling and the government defaults; don’t address the financial dilemma of the Postal Service and we have to stop mail delivery.

We’ve been hearing about it for quite some time now: The Postal Service is running out of money. Well, this year it becomes a reality. If nothing is done about it mail service will come to a screeching halt within the next few months.

Of course this is an issue that should have been addressed last year and would have been had not our Republican friends in Congress shut it down, with some help from our Democratic friends.

One would think that with all that stuff they were passing during the lame duck session of Congress, those quacks could have introduced and passed a bill that would have allowed the USPS to receive the $50 billion or so in over-payments that have gone into the Service’s retirement fund. Unfortunately the politicians are making this into something much more complicated than it actually is. And more “political” than it needs to be. For instance, Republican congressman Darrell Issa of California considers the proposal of freeing up money that belongs to the Postal Service as a “thinly disguised taxpayer funded bailout.” Taxpayer funded?

If you thought 2010 was contentious, you ain’t seen nothing yet. In the last few months of 2010 NALC President Fred Rolando was busier than a one-armed paper hanger correcting errors in newspapers and on tv and radio regarding the Postal Service (with no help from postal management). Please excuse my cynicism, but I believe a lot of this information from the media is intentional. After all, these places do have “fact checkers” on their payroll.

Look for these attacks on the Postal Service and its hardworking employees to intensify in the months ahead.


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