April 26th, 2012
By Frank Byronn Glenn -- In the name of frugality and responsibility, the Republicans, who have long wanted to eliminate or privatize the postal service, gave the U.S. Postal Service the Death Penalty in 2006.
What they did was insert into Postal Service operations a poison pill that they knew,
if left un-amended, would amount the the contrived financial collapse of the postal service. In that 2006 law, Congress required the U.S. Postal Service fund in ten years the entire pension fund requirements for the next 75 years. The effect of this requirement was to force the postal service to set aside retirement pension funds for future employees for the next 75 years.
There is no other government, public, or private entity before, or since, that has been required by Congress to put the next 75 years of retirement funds aside in just ten years.
In another deliberate "catch-22", Congress also forbid the U.S. Postal Service from moving some $40 billion already in pension fund set-asides into the fund created to comply with the new mandate -- creating in effect -- not only an almost impossible and unachievable requirement -- but prohibited them from even applying monies they had already set aside toward the new requirements -- amounting to a partial double-payment requirement. An item once again that Republicans just looked the other way one -- and ignored. Just another part of the ticking time bomb they created out of our United States Postal Service.
And until this month, the Postal Service was entirely self-funded. It did not get any money from the U.S. government.
It was entirely funded by paying postal services, stamps, and specialty classes of mail. Without the onerous 75 year pension funding requirement, the Postal Service would have had ample cash flow to continue service at its current level and enough to meet all of its on-going operational requirements.
This was just a deliberate attempt to destabilize an organization with the largest public employee union left in the country -- the life's work of the Republican party.
The tactic was similar to the one Republicans used to try to bankrupt Medicare over time -- that of prohibiting Medicare from competitively bidding for prescription drugs, which gave pharmaceutical companies the "green light" to gougeMedicare for drug prices to the point that eventually it threatens to destabilize Medicare -- which the Republicans had intended and hoped would happen.
Republicans want to privatize all public services and destroy all untions -- and they don't care what they have to do or how they have to do it. Whatever works -- now or over time.