Postal rescue faces uncertain future after Senate OK’s bill


The article, Postal rescue faces uncertain future after Senate OK’s bill tells part of the story about the “rescue” of the post office.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman, I –Conn., Sen. Susan Collins, R- Maine, Sen. Tom Carper, D- Del., and Sen. Scott Brown, R- Mass., would use an $11 billion refund from Federal Employee Retirement system to pay for buyouts of up to $25,000 to postal workers. If 100,000 of the Postal Service workforce of 557,000 employees were to retire, the agency would save $8 billion a year.

Sounds like Scott Brown ought to be the candidate favored by the postal worker’s unions, but wait.

A leading postal workers union, the National Association of Letter Carriers, opposes the Senate bill.

“Relentless downsizing is not a strategy for success, yet the legislation adopted by the Senate targets more than 100,000 jobs and will force the Postal Service to slash services in order to pay unaffordable mandates to fund future retiree health benefits that no other agency or firm in the country faces,” said union president Fredric Rolando after the Senate vote. “This fight is far from over; the nation’s letter carriers will work tirelessly to build a Postal Service that can thrive in the Internet age while serving the country we love.”

The $11 billion dollars that Scott Brown wants so graciously to use to help downsize the Postal Service, comes from an onerous burden that the Republicans have put on the Postal Service.  Whereas the best private pension plans are funded just well enough to keep up with future pension costs and the worst of these plans are highly underfunded, the Republicans forced through a bill to make the postal Service prepay for its pension plan.  In other words, the Postal Service is not just required to fund pension liabilities as they accrue, they are required to pay for all future liabilities even before they accrue.  No private company with which the Postal Service competes is required to carry such a burden.

Apparently the postal workers in Massachusetts seem completely oblivious to how hard the Republicans have tried to shut down the postal service and get rid of their jobs.  Rumor has it that the Massachusetts postal workers favor Scott Brown and won’t even listen to Elizabeth Warren.  Perhaps it is a case of Stockholm syndrome where after a long enough time the hostages start to believe that their captors are their saviors.

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