Bend over folks. It is happening again. The American people are being screwed.
I apologize for the descriptive words used. However, I want there to be no doubt about what is about to be reported.
TV, the radio and newspapers will be redundant today with the announcement of the possible failure of the U.S. Post Office. The Post Office has a $5.5 billion payment due wednesday and a $5.6 billion payment due in September. It will not be able to meet either. Unless of course there is a Congressional bailout.
How did this crisis come about?
There is no question e mails, Federal Express and other new methods of communication have had their effect on the Post Office. But not to the extent as another cause. The major cause!
The Republican Congress in 2006 passed legislation that Bush 2 signed into law. It was the Postal Accountability & Enhancement Act. It requires the United States Postal Agency to pay $103.7 billion into a fund. The purpose of the fund was to pay health benefits of Postal retirees for seventy five years. You read it correctly! The law compels the post office to prepay retiree health benefits for seventy five years.
As such, the law requires the prefunding for people not yet even in the employ of the Postal Service. Perhaps not yet even born.
The most egregious part of the legislatioon is the time frame within which the $103.7 billion is to be paid. Payment is accelerated. It has to be paid in full by 2016. That means within ten years of its becoming law.
What went on in the back rooms of Congress and the White House, I do not know. How such stringent legislation could be passed is difficult to comprehend.
Whatever it is, it is happening all over again. It is one surprise after another.
What I am about to express is not a political statement. Rather it is fact.
The American public has been caught sleeping again. Just as it was when Republican power deregulated banking rules which assisted the mortgage crisis to occur, fight Obamacare which would provide health care to most Americans, and got us into an ill conceived war in Iraq. The same Republican Party that is attempting in several states to cut the pensions of public employees.
Bottom line. The present postal problem is a Congressionally created deficit approved by President Bush only six years ago. It was lunacy to assume such a large 75 year obligation could be funded in full in ten years. Or maybe not lunacy. More like they did not care. Or maybe were not paying attention.
Before this day is out, the Republicans will be shouting that the plan was self funding. It payed for itself. Smoke and mirrors. It was a gigantic give away that has blown up in everyone’s face. Sooner than anyone conceived.
I was going to get into the price of gasoline this morning. A gallon of regualr has dropped $.20 in one week. Good. But how? Normally it moves the other way. Upwards and more expensive.
My day yesterday was good. Blossom’s for lunch. Cuban cheese toast and coffee. Watched the Olympics with the grandkids. Wrote in the afternoon and evening. Never got out.
Pay attention today as this postal crisis develops.
Enjoy your day!