Sunday, September 11, 2011

The U.S. Post Office Crisis:
It Is Neither Broke nor Broken

"It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed."
re the Persian Postal System / Courier System,  
Histories c. 450 BC
- Herodotus, ancient greek historian
                                                              which inspired

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds", inscription, James A. Farley Post Office, New York City, NY circa 1912 (no, it is not the official motto of the U.S. Postal Service - they don't have one; however it could very well be considered an unofficial motto, considering how widely it is known)

I'm sick of hearing about the tea partiers and other right wingers who claim to LOVE the U.S. Constitution; most of them either know very little about it, and/or what they know is inaccurate.  Rather, these people would like to end our government, would like to privatize our government services so as to loot the resources of this country, and to exploit our citizens.  An example of that is the efforts to promote the privatization of the United States postal service.

The U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, the Enumerated Powers states
The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;—And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
It was always, from the beginning, the intention of our founding fathers, that we have a national post office servicing this country, as a function of government.  They were clear in their understanding of the importance of doing so, and especially the importance of this NOT being exploited by private business which could exercise a kind of control, restriction and limitation on our freedom of communication.

It is a project of the political right to destroy that historic, and essential postal service.  They wish to privatize it, to sabotage it, to destroy it.  This is an effort which is profoundly UN-American, which is potentially terribly dangerous to real freedom of communication, of commerce.  It is potentially destructive to the function and stability of our nation.  It is about greed, it is about a deliberate effort to restrict our national and individual liberty.  It is a dishonest action, and we should all be pushing back, hard, against it.  If there was ever a clear indication that the conservative political machine is against the citizens of this country, that it is corrupt and in the sole service of those who have money, to give them more money, at the expense of the rest of us, by exploiting all of us, this is the clearest example I could provide.

This is the occasion where we are commemorating the events of September 11, 2001, when we were attacked by terrorists from outside the United States.  Ten years later, this is a deliberate, calculated effort to attack us from within, to stage a private take over of essential public assets and services.  It is a maneuver by conservatives, people who are anything but the kind of patriotic Americans they claim in their lip service to our founding fathers and core values.  This is in the service of greed, and nothing but greed, and a blatant, shameful grab for power.

Don't be a low-information voter.  Don't be misled or disinformed, don't allow yourself to be manipulated or exploited, or to have your lawful government bought and sold to benefit a few at the expense of the many. 

The Post Office does not operate at a loss to the government; they pay their own way.  More than that, the Post Office is a major employer of veterans past and present.  We need to oppose this utterly corrupt and completely partisan war on Americans. 

The right will lie to you about what is at the center of the crisis, courtesy of the dishonest right wing media like Fox Fraudcast, but they are not telling the truth, they are not factually accurate at all:

So.........WHY is it that the right accepts, even embraces and praises their dishonest media? Why would anyone in their RIGHT mind abolish the post office? Do you REALLY believe that a corporation that is buying off the members of Congress is going to be competitive or more efficient, or give a damn about serving YOU?  Do you sincerely believe that a company that is operating for one purpose, their profit on the bottom line, is going to serve you BETTER, OR CHEAPER?  Do you genuinely believe that rural areas of the country will be served as well as urban areas, for example?

 If you think that, think again, and then think about how many different ways you could be screwed over by a company that successfully paid off the right wing members of Congress to shut down the Post Office, after 226 years.  The Founding Fathers thought enough of the project to entrust it to our first postmaster in 1775, Benjamin Franklin.  Yes, that's right! in 1775, not 1776; it was formed during the Second Continental Congress, in Philadelphia.  Before that, postal service dated back to 1692, under a grant establishing a government run Post Office, from William and Mary, King and Queen of England, Ireland and Scotland, not a private commercial operation.  (A little piece of trivia, up until 1971, the Postmaster General was the last person in the line of succession to the Presidency, should something happen to the person we elected.  Everyone should know the two next in line; bonus points if you can name the next four after the Vice President.)

Push back against this.  Push back against the legislation being introduced by that corrupt hack, Congressman Issa.  Contact your members of Congress, both the House and the Senate, and support the PRO-Post Office legislation that will undo the bastardization of their finances that occurred under the despicable administration of George W. Bush.

For further reading, here is the link to the New York Times coverage of the Post Office; and here is perhaps the best in depth coverage of this, courtesy of (see our blog roll's most recent addition).


  1. I see this is tagged Corrupt Partisan Politics ... yet, it may be more appropriately described as Power Politics ... remember the adage "It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible."

    That’s my fear ..
    the corruptible are in charge ...
    hence, there are essentially two solutions HR 1351 - United States Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011 which has 202 co-sponsors including Republicans and Democrats.
    The other bill, HR 2309, is written by the Committee Chairman Darryl Issa (R-CA) and has one co-sponsor. As this POLITICO story mentioned, Issa has a website promoting his legislation (POLITICO forgot to mention that it is a taxpayer funded website) that has some interesting ideas … like selling advertising on postal vehicles/offices.

    So the tally is 202 to 2 … but this just shows the power of a committee chairman. BTW, no Republican in the Minnesota delegation has become a co-sponsor of either bill but all Democrats have signed onto HR 1351.

    FYI : Motivated by your commentary, I offered my own thoughts on the MNPoliticalRoundtable.

    Voters in Bachmann/Cravaack/Kline/Paulsen's districts should contact their offices to encourage that Congress takes the reasonable solution by passing HR 1351 ... or have the guts to tell voters that they want to embrace the union-busting bill promoted by Congressman Issa.

  2. Dog Gone and Minnesota Central, thank you for this information. It's revealing, to be sure.

  3. Minnesota Central is correct, but I would add that any privatisation of governmental functions serves as a giveaway to private industry and individuals.

    They are given fully functional businesses to run with little or no capital investment.

    This is unfair to the average citizen who loses the benefit of a public service when it is replace by private industry.

    There are myriads of horror stories regarding the privatisation of the Penal System. such as Luzerne County, PA’s Kids for cash scandal and Googling Private Prisons Scam will net loads of stories like this one: What did Torrey Westrom think he was saving with private prison proposal? or Private Prison Promises Leave Texas Towns In Trouble. The prison privatisations should serve as a large glaring warning of the minefield which privatising governmental functions will bring.

    This is dirty politics and the people should be screaming about it.

  4. I think Minnesota Central was kind of implying what Laci the Dog said outright.

  5. UPDATE : The House approved a short-term continuing resolution yesterday that includes provisions to delay the current requirement that the U.S. Postal Service make a $5.5 billion payment into the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund until November 18, 2011.

    Darrel Issa’s (R-CA-49) “ticking clock website” has been changed to note that “President Obama extended the Postal Service’s default deadline until November 18th” … okay, I suppose technically that when President Obama signed the legislation that the House approved yesterday, he did extend the date out … but the House actually approved the legislation first, and since Congressman Issa voted for that legislation (as well as other legislation earlier that would extend the deadline), it could be stated that “Chairman Issa and the House Republicans extended the Postal Service’s default deadline until November 18th” … but that would illustrate that Congress has failed to address H.R.1351 – United States Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011 which has 222 co-sponsors and has been waiting since April 8, 2011 for Congressman Issa to hold a hearing.
    Oh, and by-the-way, Chairman Issa's taxpayer-funded website was updated before the House voted.

    Note : My September 12th comment noted that there were 202 co-sponsors and since then another 20 have joined ... yet Chairman Issa is denying a hearing.