The Postal Service has been under constant assault for years from the conservative Republicans, who views this as an epic battle of finally taking down the strongest union in the country, the second largest employer in the United States (second only to Wal-Mart,) and a means to roll the country ever closer towards full privatization.
The Postal Service isn’t paid for by taxpayer dollars, but rather fully funded by the sale of stamps. Nonetheless, Congress passed the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA), which mandated that the Postal Service would have to fully fund retiree health benefits for future retirees. The act meant that every September 30th, the USPS had to cough up $5.5 billion to the Treasury for the pre-funding of future retirees’ health benefits. The USPS is funding the retirement packages of people who haven’t even been born yet. An audit done by the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General came up with the figure of $75 billion in pension overpayments. Then, the Postal Regulatory Commission, an independent agency that actually received more autonomous power under PAEA, commissioned its own independent audit. The commission placed the overpayment at $50 billion.
Taking these figures into consideration, the projected $9 billion deficit the USPS now faces seems like small change that could easily be corrected with some minor accounting adjustments. This would eliminate the need to terminate Saturday mail delivery service, close down mail processing centers and there would be no need to lay off 120,000 workers (the Postal Service work force has already been reduced through attrition by over 100,000 employees over the last four years).
Title: Postal Workers Under Assault In Planned Demolishment Privatization Plan
Postal Workers: The Last Union
Source: Truthout | News Analysis 8 September 2011
Author: Allison Kilkenny,
Student Evaluator: Dane Steffy, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips, Sonoma State University