Proposed Budget Reaffirms Support of Six-Day Mail Delivery

By Richard Thayer

Well, the much-anticipated White House budget proposal for 2012 was released (appropriately?) on Valentine’s Day and has drawn more fire than an Iranian protester. No doubt you’ve heard the pros (few) and cons (many) of said budget proposal from the talking heads on TV–before you surfed away to another more entertaining channel.

However, amongst all the negative chatter concerning the budget, there was some good news in that massive tome of financial gobbley-gook and mumbo-jumbo. Our thanks to the NALC for deciphering it for us.

The good news in all of this is that the proposed budget reaffirms the administration’s commitment to six-day delivery of mail to every household in America. That’s good news for those who would like to remain gainfully employed by the Postal Service. But bad news of course for the powers-that-be at Postal headquarters who would like very much for the agency to be privatized.

As with anything that rolls out of Washington in the form of proposed legislation, there’s still a lot to be desired from the budget. The proposal does request legislation to defer $4 billion of the $5.5 billion pre-funding payment due this September for future retiree health benefits. And it does request that the Office of Personnel Management return a $6.9 billion surplus to its Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) account….over the next 30 years.

Yes, that’s right. It’s not 30 days, or 30 weeks, or even 30 months. It’s 30 years.

But, then again, who’s in a hurry?

In addition to the 30-year stipulation, the budget neglects to even mention the over-funding problem with the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) which amounts to $50 to $75 billion. No mention at all.

But, then again, who’s in a hurry?

Well, I guess the Postal Service is since it’s due to go bankrupt later this year.  Congress should also be in a hurry.  But then again….

Obviously, this is just a proposed band-aid fix to a gaping wound, that’s profusely bleeding red ink.

The budget proposal will undergo much scrutiny, criticism and “patches” in the days and weeks ahead.

The fact that the proposal supports six-day delivery is no guarantee that it’s a “done deal.” Anything can happen between now and the final product.

Of course the fact that no one in Washington is in a hurry to get this passed means that NALC activists have more of an opportunity to speak with their representatives about improving the budget before it becomes law. We are contacting them, right?


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