NALC Response to President Obama’s Deficit-Reduction Speech: Encouraged, Disappointed and Outraged

By Richard Thayer

As expected, there has been a mixed response to President Obama’s deficit-reduction speech this past Monday in the White House’s Rose Garden. Those responses have ranged from delighted to disgusted. Although many of us were glad to see President Obama get his mojo back and finally take a stand against Republican/Tea Party leadership, we were also taken aback by some of his recommendations, especially those regarding the Postal Service and federal employees.

In his initial statement in response to the President’s speech, NALC President Fred Rolando said that he and the membership were “both encouraged and disappointed.”

In a later, more detailed statement, Rolando added “outraged” to the mix.

Of the three, outrage seems to be the most appropriate.

For starters, instead of proposing that Congress allow the Postal Service to have all of the pension surplus that it is owed by the government, he comes out in support of only giving back a paltry $6.9 billion.

But what was especially galling to active and retired postal employees was his support for eliminating Saturday delivery. In essence, he is supporting not only the elimination of Saturday delivery, but also the elimination of thousands of jobs. And, ultimately, the elimination of the Postal Service as we know it.

And what makes his suggestion more outrageous is that prior to Monday’s speech, he had voiced his support for maintaining six-day delivery. What happened between then and Monday?

I wonder how many of the Postal Service’s bean counters in Washington supported candidate Obama for election? How many hours do you suppose, in total, they spent on phone banks prior to the presidential election asking people to vote for Obama? How much money do you suppose they donated to COLCPE or some other PAC supporting candidate Obama?

If I were a betting man, I would be willing to bet that the answer to all three of those questions would be somewhere in the neighborhood of zero.

I do know for a fact that it was because of union activists here in North Carolina that he was able to edge out John McCain. Had it not been for hundreds of union members campaigning on his behalf, he would not have won this state. And I would also be willing to bet that if he doesn’t get union support in 2012, he won’t be winning the state this go round.

It’s not because he won’t have union support. He will. After all, would we be better off with President Perry or President Romney? But there just won’t be the enthusiasm that we had prior to the last general election. And that lack of enthusiasm won’t just be state-wide, it will be nation-wide. And if someone from the Republican/Tea Party is elected in 2012, it will be devastating for this country. If you think it’s bad now, just wait until Michele Bachmann becomes Commander-in-Chief.

Fortunately, it’s not a done deal. The President’s proposal has gone to the so-called supercommittee for their dissection. If they are able to come up with a deficit plan before Thanksgiving, it will go to the un-supercongress for debate.

In the meantime, we have an opportunity to let the White House, the supercommittee and our lawmakers in Washington know how we feel about this and repeat over and over again (since some are obviously not getting it) what can be done to save the Postal Service from itself and from the clutches of Congress.

A reminder that the NALC and its three sister postal unions, plus the National Association of Postal Supervisors, will be participating in “Save America’s Postal Service” rallies around the country on Tuesday, September 27. For more information on rallies in North Carolina, go here. For rallies in other parts of the country, go here.

In addition, PostTruth has created a video in response to the plethora of misinformation being put out by the news media. It’s called “The Great Postal Heist–USPS Under Attack” and can be viewed by going here.

(Image Credit: Scrape TV


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