House Republican Conference Smears America’s Most Trusted Agency

“The NALC issued a point-by-point rebuttal of a grossly inaccurate, partisan attack on the Postal Service and its 700,000 employees, perpetrated by by the House Republican Conference in an underhanded bid to derail health care reform. “This smear cannot go unanswered,” NALC President Fredric V. Rolando said. “This attack on America’s most-trusted agency is deliberately misleading and unjustifiably undermines public support for the Postal Service.”

The Republican House Conference (RHC) on August 12 issued a grossly inaccurate and misleading brief insulting the Postal Service and its 700,000 employees in a transparently partisan attack aimed at derailing health reform.

The smear piece, An Ominous Model for Government Takeover of Health Care, makes at least seven false and/or misleading claims that tarnish the Postal Service and its hard-working employees. This will set the record straight.

USPS is “supposed to be” self-funded. In fact, the Postal Service is self-funded. Other than minuscule appropriations to fund free mail to the blind and military voting, the Postal Service has not received taxpayer appropriations since 1983, all the while serving 148 million addresses six days a week, including the most- expensive-to-serve rural areas in the country.

“Uncontrollable Debt” The Postal Service has a debt of $10.3 billion to finance the operations of 37,000 post offices and the world’s largest fleet of vehicles. However, the main driver of its debt is a Bush-era policy which imposes a grossly unfair burden on USPS to prefund 80 percent of its future retiree health benefits, a 75-year liability, in just 10 years. No other federal agency or private company (including FedEx and UPS) faces this burden. Indeed, before this policy change, the USPS had a debt of zero. If not for the pre-funding requirement, the Postal Service would have earned a profit of $2.7 billion in 2008 despite the worst recession since the Great Depression.

“Over Budget” An independent agency, USPS is off-budget and entirely self-funded. While it expects losses of $7 billion this year, due to massive mail volume declines caused by the worst recession in 80 years, that total includes the exorbitant $5.4 billion prefunding payment into its Retiree Health Benefit Fund (which already has $32 billion). Recognizing USPS’s extraordinary efforts to cut costs during the crisis, 339 House Members have co-sponsored H.R. 22 to help USPS overcome the crisis by reducing the excessive burden of prefunding over the next 8 years.i

“Increased Cost for Consumers” While the RHC piece notes that stamp prices have increased by 33 percent over the past 10 years, it does not mention that this increase is largely in line with inflation over the same period, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nor does it mention that private carriers (including FedEx and UPS) have increased their prices by 94 percent since 1999.ii
“Lesser Quality” The ACSI survey cited – inaccurately – by the RHC represents only express delivery, not USPS’s core business (letters, magazines, parcels). In February, 93 percent of customers reported satisfaction with USPS.iii Moreover, a Consumer Reports study recently found that the Postal Service’s quality performance matched that of UPS and FedEx and at rates half those of the competition.

Consumer Reports concluded, “Bottom line, all three delivered…as promised, but the good old U.S. Postal Service is often cheapest by far.” iv

“Bailouts” The claim that USPS has been “bailed out” is patently false. The 2003 law cited by the RHC corrected a funding formula that overstated USPS’s future pension obligations. Unlike private firms, USPS has fully funded its pension costs – a sign of success, not failure.

The 2006 postal reform was not a bailout, either. It reformed rate-making, strengthened the Postal Regulatory Commission and locked in the unfair retiree health pre-funding schedule – costing USPS, not taxpayers, $55 billion. To call it a “benefit bill…costing another $1.5 billion” is dishonest.

“Costly Risk” As the GAO reports, USPS faces substantial financial challenges in the face of economic crisis – like every major company.

To suggest this indicts the government’s ability to provide essential services is ludicrous. Indeed, throughout its 235-year history, the Postal Service has served the public well while providing the most affordable postage in the world.v Indeed, the public has consistently named USPS America’s most trusted

i For text and a list of co-sponsors of H.R. 22, see
ii BLS, CPI for Postage and CPI for Delivery Services,
iv Consumer Reports, December 2008.
vi Ponemon Institute survey, see

100 Indiana Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001-2144
Fredric V. Rolando, President

NALC Statement

18 thoughts on “House Republican Conference Smears America’s Most Trusted Agency

  1. What, Republicans lie? Can’t be. Ever since Nixon, the GOP has been the party of truth and morality. Just because it took a Dem to last balance the budget, yep Clinton (you can look it up Harvard), you must believe that the GOP leadership has been truthful. Like, WMD in Iraq causing the necessity to invade and set free all the love of the Iraqi’s for the good ol’ USA. We were told that WMD eradication was the reason for this war. DUH. Cheyney, please. I’ll give you Bush 1 as the last best in truth, and he was the top dog for the CIA.
    It just seems to me that when a group begins loosing control it resorts to ANY measure to sway those who do not think clearly. They lie and cheat and will do most any deed to keep themselves in power. They will point to the opposition that is winning, and demonize it, stating that they want to do things against the morality of the group, and attempt to sway thought in their favor with outright lies, like death panels, or mystery police. Of course you must realize I am describing the Taliban, not the GOP.

  2. There is so much misinformation and disinformation going on the cable network, radio, and newspapers(what is left of newspapers) and appealling to the fearful and bias points of view. Never in our nation’s history have the population been inundated with such bias news. And of course there is a certain percentage that just plain doesn’t care. We(postal employees and retirees) need to become and stay proactive. Read, listen, and refute this propaganda that is out there. It seems in a sense worse than the Cold War…honestly,the KGB couldn’t have planned a better scenario.

  3. Dog gone it anyhow. No one loves us anymore; the Republicans hate us, Obama thinks we’re a joke, and the American consumer doesn’t care if we servive or not. For those of us in the PO, we know we work our hearts out every day considering what we have to work with and the constant pressure from management. And we have great respect ffor the American public. How many mailslots and boxes up on the porch do we walk up to each day. If we were privatized you can bet that every home will have a box on the curb or a MBCU up the begining of the street. And though our forwarding system has become a mess ,would a private company even offer one? And will a private company honor your right to privacy or will everyone have to have a name showing on their mailbox. There’s some real crapy mail recepticles out there that we still faithfully servicing . And how many Americans come home from school or work and go right to the mailbox first thing. Its Christmas every day thanx to the USPS. I like it here and I will miss it when its gone. God bless USPS

  4. To all those lemmins and morons who follow Republican rhetoric to the letter without ever thinking for themselves (ex: 4real and Robert), it would do you good
    if you first read more than one article from varies sources before you open your mouth. That way you will understand why the people around you are laughing behind your back.

  5. Republicans are in denial. the very insurance industries that are driving the opposition to the health care reform are the ones telling you it is better now than it could be. No where says that you will lose your private health care, in fact what has been said over and over by creditable sources is that you wont. Hope you keep your job. Something has to be done and nothing good can be said about the “pre-existing conditions” issue. We will never get a perfect bill but we can get a good one. Instead of yelling and trying to get the health care reform thown out how about discussing how to fix the problem. On hte news they always show the same people screaming on the townhall meetings; “I want my America back…” “the way the founding father intended.” No one has EVER seen anyone at one of these townhall meetings realy asking a question about the reform bill. Another thing, look at the funding records of all the republican leading the charge; they all receive millions from insurance companies.

    In a townhall meeting the Senator asked the crowd how many people were on medicare, most raised their hands. How many people were on social security, again most raised their hand. she then asked how many would like to get both items undone, NOT ONE raised their hand. Those are “socialist programs” based on programs from socialist programs and not one person has come out against them.

    Everytime I go to the emergency room I am asked if I have a living will and if I would like one. This has always been the case and no one until now has complained about that.

    Ask your self these questions: If you lose your job, would you like to still have medical insurance? If you lose your job and get to find another job, would you rather the new insurance cover your pre-existing conditions or not. When you turn 62, will you like to draw social security? When you get older, would you want to qualify for medicare? if the answer is yes then you need health care reform. Ask your self this: Even though I have medical insurance now, what will happen when I turn 62? I found this out the hardway. Your insurance (not all) will direct you to medicare. You might want to check with your medical insurance on this.

  6. What’s slamming the P.O. got to do with health
    care reform? I don’t see the connection. I don’t
    want Obamacare, either. Kaiser has been great to
    me and my family for 25 years. I don’t want a
    government takeover. they’ll use the Universal
    Medical Care fund for their own pocket money, just
    as they have done with Social Security for the last
    70 years; and we wonder why S.S. is always on the
    brink of bankruptcy? This health care reform is
    a boondoggle, which if it passes, will put a
    heavy burden on every working taxpayer. The government
    has gone from regulator to dictator. There are
    too many programs that are sucking us dry.
    Tax relief now.

  7. Just watch, once the Postal Service is in the worst possible shape it could possibly be in, Potter will retire. Just walk away and say not my problem, leave it to us, who still have 20 years or more to go.

    And speaking of parties. Have they forgot who processed all those postcards asking for their vote when we were in an election year? Oh, right. It’s not an election year yet. So obviously it’s not too important to them now.

    I do know the processing plant I’m in processes more mail now than before. Because we are doing more DPS routes, which means we run it twice. So with more towns being run twice we are running more numbers. I realize volume is down, but if we are DPSing more towns we are doing more for the carriers. What is the upper management doing for us? I can tell you in my office they are making more stupid decisions than ever before. And no more mail than we have, their stupid decisions are making us dispatch late. Explain that?

  8. I have NEVER trusted republicans. they held office just prior to this ecomonic mess. They jump on every effort Democrats do try to make, not because Dem’s are making messes as they did, but because Repub’s are trying to get their “standing” back. They dont have a “better” plan on anything but will be the first to find error and start their bashing. This article is absolutely correct, we have followed the postal demise for several years now and have read about all these facts previously. Yes the USPS is in trouble and it does look as if it is being strategically targeted for privatization. The pre-funding of retires health care was a major bust, yes, and now the same bill we fought to enforce (HR 22) to release the burden, has a rider attached which we do NOT support! Its as though now its made to destroy collective bargaining as well. What is left to take from us, our cash is strapped, our reputation is beyond repair, and now they’ve trying to take chunks out of collective bargaining. I smell a rat and it has stunk for a long time! This article ROCKS! I wish it were in the papers also. It needs to be out there for everyone to see. The USPS belongs to the people, let them decide, not these over bearing, obnoxious republicans.

  9. 4real-you think Potter is going turn on his republican friends he wants the postal service to be privitized, he knowa he will be inline for CEO- more dough you know exr

  10. I agree totally with what he said. Stop blaming Bush and republicans. Why are you not also taking a stand against Obama and his comments about the USPS troubles? Were is Potter at? Can he not stand up and speak out. At least the USPS should put out this info.

  11. what do you expect from the republicans? They’ve been lying for years. Bush (W) Was the worst,Cheney was no angel. For the most part I think they lie, cheat, steal to and from anyone to get what they want.

  12. Well I’ll be a blue nose gopher. No mor Franking privleges for the Republicans. Those lieing little weasals. Big business is first for Republicans. Government agencies and the average consumer are trash that needs to be destroyed to Republicans. If your a average Joe or a Government worker please don’t ever think Republicans are there to embraoe you, there out to crush you along with middleclass America.

  13. Why isn’t this appearing in every major newspaper. The worlds not going to see it here. Don’t get mad get paid

  14. More and more lies, these Republicans are distant relatives of the Great Pinocchio, I don’t even think Pinocchio lied as much as these Republicans do!!!!!!!!

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