Congress’ Failure Pushes USPS to Brink of Default

APWU News Bulletin 18-2012, July 26, 2012

The failure of House Republican leaders to take action to resolve the congressionally-manufactured USPS financial crisis has brought the Postal Service to the brink of default, APWU President Cliff Guffey is warning union members. A $5.5 billion payment is due to the U.S. Treasury on Aug. 1, but the Postal Service cannot make the payment.

“House GOP leaders are abandoning you – and their responsibility to address the USPS crisis. Their failure demonstrates once again how crucial it is to change the political dynamic in our country.
— APWU President Cliff Guffey

The default will have no immediate impact on mail delivery or employees’ pay, Guffey noted.

But the missed payment will focus attention on the Postal Service — and many of the pronouncements will be misleading or downright inaccurate, he warned. “Already there have been editorials calling for drastic cutbacks and privatization,” he pointed out. “Most of these misguided editorials fail to recognize the cause of the Postal Service’s financial difficulties, so they can’t possibly advocate a reasonable solution.”

Although the default won’t have immediate consequences for mail delivery or pay, the Postal Service’s precarious financial situation has forced the USPS to begin the process of closing half of the nation’s mail processing centers, scaling back overnight mail delivery, and slashing hours at post offices, the union president pointed out.

“It doesn’t have to be this way,” Guffey said. “Despite what some would have us believe, the Internet is not kill­ing the Postal Service — and neither are costs associated with postal operations. In fact, the USPS continues to be an engine that drives our economy.”

The primary source of USPS financial difficulties is a 2006 law — the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act — that requires the Postal Service to pre-fund retiree health benefits 75 years into the future, and to do so in a 10-year period. No other government agency or private company bears this crushing burden. Since it was implemented in 2007, it has drained the Postal Service of more than $20 billion.

“These payments — not the Internet and not losses from postal operations — are responsible for 82 percent of USPS red ink since the law was implemented,” Guffey said.

“The postal debacle is a manufactured crisis, and it is being exploited by those who want to privatize the Postal Service,” he said. “The House Republican leadership’s bill to ‘fix’ the Postal Service couldn’t be clearer.”

H.R. 2309, which was introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), would require the USPS to close hundreds of plants, shut tens of thousands of rural post offices, end Saturday delivery, and empower a financial control board to tear up union contracts. “It would destroy the Postal Service as we know it,” Guffey said.

“The bill is so bad — as APWU members and oth­ers have shown — that House Republican leaders are reluctant to bring it up for a vote before the election,” Guffey added.

“Rep. Issa’s bill will not save the Postal Service; it would ensure its demise. Yet, with typical twisted logic, Rep. Issa portrays attempts to correct the pre-funding fiasco as a ‘bailout,’” Guffey said.

“Clearly, the Postal Service must innovate to adapt to the digital age,” he added. “But the Postal Service cannot modernize while it is struggling to survive this crisis.”

“House GOP leaders are abandoning you — and their responsibility to address the USPS crisis,” Guffey said. “Their failure demonstrates once again how crucial it is to change the political dynamic in our country. APWU members must help wrest control of the House from extremists who seek to destroy the USPS. Union mem­bers must vote in November, and they must be actively involved in the run-up to the election encouraging their families, friends and neighbors to do the same.”

25 thoughts on “Congress’ Failure Pushes USPS to Brink of Default

  1. Boy it sure are some really dumb asses out here with some of the dumbest logic ! Vote republican you dumb bastards i hope every time one of you lose your jobs! As for me i can leave when ready.oh don’t forget to vote republican.ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

  2. You children still blaming democrats for this, republicans for that. Don’t you understand by now that just being a politician requires you to lie like a drunk sailor on Friday night? I would still rather have a rich republican than a socialist, communist democrat.

  3. Not just the founding fathers – what about God? Didn’t He establish this country? Read Amos 5 in the Holy Bible to see what will happen to us.

  4. For what it’s worth, Obama was quoted by the Wall Street Jounal the first week he was in office as saying USPS employee’s were overpaid 33% over all other government employee’s, that six day delivery was not needed, and that the PO can not compete with FedEx and UPS. He went on to say that he would have to do away with collective bargaining (contract) with a presidential directive to make necessary charges. When pro-Obama disbelievers were shown this article, many were speechless! I think most all politicians are in it for thier own gain!!

  5. Yes, let’s blame the republicans after the democrats had veto proof majorities in the house and senate for the first 2 years of the Odumbo administration and they did nothing to save the USPS. They couldn’t take a couple of days in their bullet proof majorities to save our butts from the contemptible prefunding requirement.

    Yes, they were quite tied up in further tanking the already tanked economy with Odumbo Care and more regulations and more taxes. Yes, lets blame anyone but the idiots in our postal unions sending our money to further these failed politicians who took our money then laughed at us. Yep, let’s blame the republicans who at least didn’t take our union money and pack it up our butts like Odumbo and Reid and Pelosi.

    Get a clue Odumbocrats.

  6. This is all so depressing. Between the PMG and Washington we are all screwed. Washington needs to be closed for a year, no one in the White House and no Congress or Senate. Couldn’t be any worse that it is now. No one cares about the workers of this country at all. They are sucking the life out of each one of us. But when the workers or this country are gone who will pay for the rest of the country?
    Washington is a joke – and not a funny one. And they know it and don’t care.

  7. I agree with Brink and Worker. Thomas Jefferson must be turning over in his grave for what our country has and will be doing with this great institution, THE United States Postal Service. WE are here to provide a service to the people of this great nation. The Postal Acountability Act is/will prevent us from providing that service. I am a mail handler who worked for the service for 28 years. Decided to take the early out. Things don’t look good. Here is the bottom line … our country is in trouble and the congress found a way to spend more money and take more away from the very people they are suppose to work for. Pres. Bush took a fine establishment and turned it into a demise that will never be able to recover. They the congress found free money to support the war and other interests that they have stole from. They borrow and take without the intent of returning. I am taking the early out, the money i am taking is the money the postal service has saved for me for my retirement and for my health care. Maybe the congress should look at our model of business and apply it to theirs. WE the Postal Service have been self sufficient since Thomas Jefferson founded this great establishment. Congress is stealing off of us and they should be punished for it. If we stole off of a company we would be put in prison. They should be held to the same. Politics will be the demise of this great nation.

  8. To Daniel,What are you smokin?Obviously you don’t work there,and don’t really have a clue about the internal workings.When you pull your head out of your Republican ass! Check all the facts,not your party’s fairy tale bullshit

  9. This Democrat, Republican thing isn’t hard to figure out. This country was in the black when Clinton was in. Then came the Bush WACKERS. They sent us to WAR, how much do you think that costs a day (4 billion like Romneys ad says), but everyone claims it’s Obamas fault. He inherited the mess from the WACKERS. Wake up people, if you want to keep that big house you live in, then we all NEED our jobs.

  10. Vote for Ron Paul and restore the USPS and USA get rid of the Agency’s we don not need and keep the ones we do.

  11. Why are the Repubs being the scape goat.? It was the Dems that made these payment requirements and all you fools that voted for them are to blame. You are also to blame or the economic mess the country is in. You got what you wanted and now the rest of us have to live with it.

  12. God bless Issa. don’t forget, your President wants 5 day delivery also!!!!!!. I don’t think he’s a Republican. Too many clerks with nothing to do. Open up the contract and ged rid of all the dead clerk wood. Trust me, that will save the Post Office.

  13. Subsidize and provide service as that was the intent when Ben Franklin and the group started mail service in 1775. What has changed the need for Americans to communicate via the postal service. Need to operate USPS as it was in the 1950s when the system was paid by tax payors and the Postmaster General was appointed by the President.. PMG, management groups, politicans,
    and unions have self destructed the postal system as it previously existed.
    A new postal system will be created but the business model will be corporate structured as FED X and UPS to create revenue, operate cost effective to increase earning to make a profit.. Corporate schemes will be created at the expense of working people. Comparable to Ralph Lauren having American olympic clothing made in China. American worker the looser to cheap China labor.

  14. as a member in good standing for 28 yrs i want the earlyout with incentives.I don’t need guffey telling us “yes you can go, but I’m not letting the usps give YOU MONEY”!

  15. Congress will do nothing until after elections, then it will be too late-have you checked out Post Plan?

  16. LaMesan…the operative word is Country. Yes…..we have turned into nothing more than a Giant Corporation. I agree!

  17. who cares,nothing ever get done,congress has other things to worry about,2309 or 1789 will just go to the backburner for at least another year.

  18. any postal worker should vote democratic, if they value their paycheck and benefits.

    guffey, please cut a deal for incentives and early outs for clerks. $20,000.

  19. Bad news for postal workers. Bad news for the customer. Bad news for the economy. Bad news for the whole country!

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