Tea Party Tiff

By Richard Thayer

As rare as letters are today, you would think people would really appreciate it when they receive them. But this is not the case with Ms. Donna Weisner Keene, a tea partier in Washington, DC. Ms. Keene works in the office of TheTeaParty.net in our nation’s capital and it seems that Ms. Keene got her tea bags in a wad recently due to some letters that were sent to her office.

The letters, according to a report by the Daily Caller, were evidently in response to some derogatory comments made towards the Postal Service in general and postal workers in particular from her tea party website.

In the past couple of weeks her office has received over 100 pounds of letters from postal employees. Not surprisingly, these letters take issue with the tea party’s attacks on postal employees’ job performance and the tea party’s desire to see many of them unemployed.

A disgruntled Ms. Keene told the Daily Caller: “I find the idea of the unions attacking a tea party group for simply supporting a bill that would make our whole country more efficient and that would lower the cost of the taxpayers’ yearly contributions to an inefficient agency, is just outrageous.”

Being a true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool tea partier. Ms. Keene is ignorant of a few things. (1) Letters attempting to correct someone who is obviously unaware of the facts concerning the Postal Service, aren’t really attacks; (2)the bill she alludes to (HR 2309) wouldn’t make the “whole country” more efficient; (3) the Postal Service isn’t really all that inefficient (and certainly not as inefficient as Congress); (4) and the Postal Service isn’t funded with taxpayer money.

Continues the clueless Keene: “These union people need to be doing their jobs in the most efficient manner, and the Post Office needs to be losing people by attrition but doing a really good job of delivering our mail.” And then comes the kicker where she actually endorses the position of postal unions without realizing it. She says, “So, if they have time to write letters attacking a tea party group for supporting legislation, then they probably have time to have six-day delivery of the mail” (Emphasis added.)

Exactly.

The bill that Ms. Keene is referring to is the so-called Postal Reform Act of 2011, a bill sponsored by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and GOP Rep. Dennis Ross. The legislation, which recently passed a House subcommittee by eight to five along party lines, would do the following:

  • Grant authority to a newly-established control board to carry out layoffs, in spite of any provisions in collective bargaining agreements that might limit them.
  • Would lay off employees who are eligible for retirement before laying off employees who are ineligible.
  • Would forbid the payment of severance pay to retirement-eligible employees.
  • Would empower a newly-created “solvency authority” to unilaterally cut wages and abolish benefits.
  • It would cut the monthly compensation of totally disabled employees from 66.66 percent to 50 percent, once they meet the age and service requirements for retirement.
  • It would eliminate Saturday delivery.
  • It would end collective bargaining.
  • It would bust up the Postal Service’s unions.
  • It would close thousands of post offices.
  • And, ultimately, it would result in the Postal Service being privatized.

The Issa bill would do just about everything imaginable except address the Postal Service’s real problem: its requirement to pre-fund the healthcare benefits of future retirees at a cost of $5.5 billion a year.

If you haven’t written a letter yet to TheTeaParty.net or would like to follow up with another letter, you may address them to 1717 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 1025, Washington, DC 20006.

I imagine Ms. Keene would love to hear from you. (She enjoys them so much, she takes time to weigh them.)

(Photo: Comedy Central Interviews)


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