Former APWU President William Burrus sent the following letter to Rep. Darrell Issa:
Congressman Darrell Issa
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20015-6143
I am William Burrus, President Emeritus of the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO and I take strong exception to your letter of July 11, 2011 to President Guffey of our union. I no longer speak for the union but as a user of postal services and a continuing member and voter I must expose your allegation that the APWU advertisement is misleading to the American public.
Political messages must be tailored to the time and currently the American public is being exposed to the debate over government spending in the political effort to enact legislation that will govern the nation’s debt limit. In these discussions you and your party have taken an inflexible position that tax subsidies provided to your political supporters should be viewed as “jobs creators” and should be considered off limits for inclusion in a package for future savings. Conversely you choose to characterize the relationship between the federal government and the Postal Service as including “implicit subsidies” as recorded by the Federal Trade Commission.
You have become adept at the use of talking points in support of political positions but this effort to take exception to the assertion of the television ad, that taxpayers do not fund the delivery of mail, fails in its legitimacy. The Postal Service is recognized by law as a federal agency and accordingly is exempt from statutes governing private entities. It is not misleading to maintain that exemption from the obligations cited in your letter do not rise to the level of taxpayer support except in the world of poll driven political statements.
It is also disingenuous for you to compare “several hundred million dollars” of exemptions for a federal agency to the USPS annual budget of 65 billion dollars. If one would include such “special treatment” as taxpayer expense, it would constitute 3/10 of 1% of USPS annual revenues.
President Guffey is correct in pointing out to the American public that the correction to USPS finances is not a request for government financing but relief from Congressional actions requiring the pre-payment of future health care cost. I suggest that if you sincerely want to be absolute in the use of political messages that you begin with an analysis of the specific countries where new jobs have been created from the 2001, 2003 and 2008 tax cuts referred to as the “Bush tax cuts” and compare the results to the APWU ad informing that the Postal Service does not receive government subsidies.