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home : opinion : opinion May 1, 2016


2/13/2013 6:00:00 AM
Kingman Letters: Don't go postal on USPS

Rep. Darryl Issa would destroy our United States Postal Service, established by our Constitution and vital to our nation for two centuries. He would - here comes the Republican buzzword - privatize mail delivery, turning it over to huge GOP donors and lobbyists Fed-Ex, UPS and maybe some pet local start-ups.

The USPS has been required to run as a self-funded government business and is of no cost to the U.S. government. The Postal Service was running well until the lame-duck GOP Congress of 2006 passed a sneaky little bill that required it to fund 70 years of pensions in 10 years. No other government business or pension fund has ever had this requirement. Why is the GOP so hot to wreck this so-important American institution?

A few reasons are: breaking the postal workers union, the ability to give this service to moneyed and lobbied-up donors, and "smaller government" - even though this is an independent business that does not affect our debt or deficit.

Our Congressmen must stop this attack on the Postal Service and pass HR 1351, which repeals the ridiculous 2006 bill, saves our postal service and stops this evil game plan.

Write/call/email your congressmen and tell them to save the post office.

Danny Baker

Kingman






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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Article comment by: USPS Does a Good Job, If Issa and Congressional Republicans Would Leave Them Alone

My 2 Bits - well-spent dollars sent on the "it fits, it ships" since you remember that slogan and probably think of USPS first when it comes to shipping a package.

Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Other than your Kingman water bill, if you live here there is NO utility bill you can't pay on line. The same with every credit card company.”

Twisting my words once again. As I pointed out, “… among those who do (own a computer) there is also a large number who will not pay bills nor even shop on-line.” The point being that a person may own a computer but will not use it to pay bills on-line which has no correlation to your statement.

“A quick look on line took me to a source that says 18% of the population does not have internet access.”

Very clever way to twist my words. Having “access” to the internet does not mean actually having a computer – which is what I said. To extrapolate your statement –100% of Kingman residents have access to the internet, but do 100% of Kingman residents own a computer?

“And lets be honest AN, anyone who cannot figure out how to pay a bill on line should really get a care giver to handle their bills for them.”

Again you bring up a point that was not mentioned. Many people who own computers can “figure out” how to pay their bills on-line, but choose to not do so. In your world those individuals need a care-giver?

And of course all of your protestations do not actually address the issues I covered.


Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@FLS

"Out of 313 million? Not significant enough. Certainly not significant enough to keep a postal system going at the current level.

Like I said, one day you will have to pay your bills on line, like it or not. For now, I would be happy to see the postal service cut waaaaay back and cost increased to a level that will convince people there are better and cheaper ways."

Nope, sorry. Not going to happen in my life time. Although I do agree the USPS does need to has some serious restructuring.

As for me being a liberal, that is like you voting for Obama. Wait, you didn't did you?


Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

@ Karel Peckar
Not the same thing at all. You pay in to Medicare for all your working life. Same for SS. You then draw on them for a relatively short period of time (in most cases).

Read some of AN's (and others) comments. 70-75 yrs worth of benefits were to be funded in 10 yrs. How do you think your pay would have been if you and your employer were required to do the same?

My examples of car and home insurance for instance. If you had to pay 10 yrs worth of car insurance in 1 year...how much would that impact your household income? And if you sold that car after 5 years, but got no refund, how would you feel?

The above is similar to what the USPS has been required to do. Not every employee stays to retirement.

@FLS.....
Your facts are incorrect at least with some bills. You have to pay a fee if you pay your property taxes online as one example. Btw....AN did not say he paid a fee for a mail in payment. And also...that 18% number for no internet access probably does not include people who have access through work, school, or other public computers. Would you pay your bills via CC at the library?


Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@nice chuckle

Out of 313 million? Not significant enough. Certainly not significant enough to keep a postal system going at the current level.

Like I said, one day you will have to pay your bills on line, like it or not. For now, I would be happy to see the postal service cut waaaaay back and cost increased to a level that will convince people there are better and cheaper ways.

And here I thought a leftist like you would welcome something that is green and uses less paper. Save the forests, dude, right on.

LOL


Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013
Article comment by: biker randy

@AN, depending where you live you have different Fed. emp. medical options. My reference is for the GEHA Basic PPO option that we have. All those offered to the Postal empl. have to pay less than non-postal for the same coverage. I just posted ours for a comparison.

As for a reference to pay and amount of education required for it, with just a HS diploma USPS employees are getting paid more than they would in most other starting jobs pay, unless it too was run by a union. If the USPS was non-union there employee would be paid less. This extra payroll cost has a lot to do with why the USPS is running in the RED.

As for how airlines stay in business, some don't and many are merging and making their union employess take cuts in pay so they can survive competing against airlines that are non-union.


Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Yes, but they pay less than other Fed. employees for the same care. I am on the same system. I pay $182/mo. Postal emp. pays $113/mo. for 2 or more.”

Sorry, that dog won’t hunt. I have friends in the USPS and I just called them and they pay anywhere from $109 to $247. To say “I am on the same system” is implying there is only one medical plan available to federal employees. There are at least six different plans they can chose from, each with different benefits and cost structures.

“All those jobs listed only require a HS diploma to qualify except elect. tech.”

I have no idea what that has to do with anything.

”Any private business will shut down if it can't meet it's operational expenses.”

As I have said many times the USPS has been shackled by the actions of a Republican lame duck Congress in 2006 to fund 75 years worth of pension benefits (something NO ONE else has ever been required to do) and were it not for that idiotic action by the Republicans in an attempt to kill off the USPS they would be showing profits in excess of $1 billion a year.

Also I would ask that you explain how numerous airlines continue to operate year after year as they report losses that greatly exceed their income. Thank you in advance for the answer to that question.


Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@FLS

""Huge"? A quick look on line took me to a source that says 18% of the population does not have internet access. Hardly a "huge" number. But I am sure that at some point a democrat administration will decide that is a "right" that govt. has to provide for underachievers."

When you figure the population of the US is about 300 million (not entirely sure of the accuracy of that, but it will work), that would be about 54 million without computers. Yes, that is a significant number. Couple that with the other folks with computer access who refuse to give out banking information online, and that number goes up even more.

Kind of makes you think, right?

LoLoL


Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013
Article comment by: biker randy

AN - "As to benefits USPS emp. have access to the same benefits of health care available to every federal employee."

Yes, but they pay less than other Fed. employees for the same care. I am on the same system. I pay $182/mo. Postal emp. pays $113/mo. for 2 or more.

All those jobs listed only require a HS diploma to qualify except elect. tech.

Any private business will shut down if it can't meet it's operational expenses.


Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@ansons nephew

" I understand that your narrow view of the world does not lend itself to comprehending there is a huge percentage of our population that does not have computers and among those who do there is also a large number who will not pay bills nor even shop on-line."

Other than your Kingman water bill, if you live here there is NO utility bill you can't pay on line. The same with every credit card company.

"huge percentage of our population that does not have computers"

"Huge"? A quick look on line took me to a source that says 18% of the population does not have internet access. Hardly a "huge" number. But I am sure that at some point a democrat administration will decide that is a "right" that govt. has to provide for underachievers.

You had directed your comment to someone who actually owns and was using a computer. If you, or anyone else is to old fashioned to use on line services, you really do deserve to pay more. It might educate you to the huge advantages. And lets be honest AN, anyone who cannot figure out how to pay a bill on line should really get a care giver to handle their bills for them.

You mentioned service charges. Common sense dictates that companies should begin charging people a service charge for mailing in thier bills, to cover the processing costs. I think 10% to 20% would be fair.

There will likely come a day, not far off, when utilities and others will decide to do away with paper bills go to on line paying only. It would save most companies a fortune in overhead costs.

LOL


Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013
Article comment by: Karel Peckar

@ V STOKES! I get pre-funding. Every working person in this country and their employers should. It's exactly the way Medicare works. You pay in for 45 years and then you get. Why should the P.O., or any other entity, be allowed to wait to pay what is owed? While posting false profits!

And that's just the problem here. The debt was not only unpaid, it wasn't on the balance sheet. Do that with a public company and your but will be in jail..


Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2013
Article comment by: Clouding the Issue With False Facts?

This $94 billion under funded pension fund is news to me. And I question that statement. Are you saying they have paid out $94 billion more than the employees have contributed or are you saying this 94 is what is short on the unreasonable requirement to fund pension and health coverage 75 yrs in advance? Please reference where you received this information.

Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2013
Article comment by: Common Sense

The postal service needs to do whatever they need to in order to pay the bills. Unfortunately, the public outcry is what holds them back. They need to raise rates. For example, what is with the postage stamp increase of a penny? That doesn't help. They should be allowed to jump it to 75 cents, or whatever it takes. Unfortunately, they are restricted from doing so, and the public would freak out. Poor me, how can I afford that, etc. The public also went in uproar when they announced office closings. Get with it people! If they can't afford to keep ones open, YOU need to deal with it. Too many people once again thinking they deserve handouts.

Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Maybe if it was posted here how much $ the USPS employees get paid including benefits like medical”

Okay, here you go (and I wonder why you did not do the research on your own?).

USPS Salary structure (hourly rate averaged across all employees in a position) – Mail Handler $18.16 – Mail Carrier $21.15 – Postal Service Clerk $22.12 – Electronics Technician $28.24.

As to benefits USPS employees have access to the exact same health care choices available to every federal employee (including members of Congress) and they pay for that coverage, just as do all other federal employees.



Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Do you mail in your utility bill, or pretty much any bill these days? What makes you think the person you commented to does"?”

Yes I do mail various bills because some companies and entities do not provide for on-line bill-pay or impose a fee for doing so.

”And before typing your witty response…”

Thank you for acknowledging my responses are witty and they are accurate as well.

“And if you do indeed mail in yours, how long have you been using your computer and been astoundingly unaware that you can pay your bill on-line? The future is here, AN, embrace the change.”

Why the insult as to my use of a computer? That is neither the issue nor the thrust of my post. I understand that your narrow view of the world does not lend itself to comprehending there is a huge percentage of our population that does not have computers and among those who do there is also a large number who will not pay bills nor even shop on-line.

Yes, people need to embrace the future but there will always be those Luddites among us who refuse to embrace technological change and will – I know this will shock you – still use the USPS. As always your post was the usual attack on me rather than addressing the facts that the Postal Service is mandated by the sacred Constitution and that if the Republicans have their way it will cost $14 plus to “mail” a letter. And I did not address the issue of universal service that the private carriers do not provide, relying instead on the USPS to deliver their parcels.

w5



Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@ansons nephew

"And I am sure you would be one of the first to yell when it costs you over $14 to mail your utility payment."

Do you mail in your utility bill, or pretty much any bill these days? What makes you think the person you commented to does"?

And before typing your witty response, yes, you cannot pay your City of Kingman water bill on line. But you can call them on the phone, give them te information, and pay that way.

And if you do indeed mail in yours, how long have you been using your computer and been astoundingly unaware that you can pay your bill on-line? The future is here, AN, embrace the change.

LOL


Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013
Article comment by: biker randy

Maybe if it was posted here how much $ the USPS employees get paid including benefits like medical, then it would be obvious why the USPS is broke. Decades ago I worked @ 2 Post Offices before they became the gravy chain they are now. Thank the USPS union for what the USPS is now.

Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@FLS

"You are right about John Kerry, he is not the richest. Actually he is more of a kept "boy toy" for his wealthy wife."

Spot on. Kerry is not rich, his wife is. Same with John McCain. LoLoL


Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

@ Karel Peckar
You aren't getting the fact that the "pre-funding" as mentioned in your link was required by a law passed in 2006. That's about the time the USPS started having the massive problems. They have to fund a benefit package for 50 yrs in the future!

Look at it like this. You want to buy health insurance (or car insurance or home insurance or whatever) and you are told since you will live another 50 yrs....you have to pay for all your insurance in the first 10 yrs. At the same time, your employer starts cutting your hours and your income is decreasing.

That's pretty much what the USPS is up against.


Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013
Article comment by: Karel Peckar

@ Anson's Nephew: See: http://pnhp.org/blog/2012/12/28/gao-report-on-usps-retiree-health-benefits-fund/

And a host of others! This kind of under funding was rampant in the auto industry and led to the collapse of Chrysler and GM. Management that makes promises should keep those promises.

Post Office employees are screwed either way!

As a note of interest. I use the P.O. to ship goods internationally. Essentially at 40% of the cost of the independent couriers in the same time frame.


Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@ansons nephew

You are right about John Kerry, he is not the richest. Actually he is more of a kept "boy toy" for his wealthy wife.

LOL


Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Everyone seems to be overlooking the fact that the Postal Retiree Health Fund was $94 billion under funded.”

I cant find any evidence of that assertion. Would you please provide a link? Thank you.


Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“what I don't understand, the Post office is broke like our government, but the left does not seem to care, or even consider.”

Actually were it not for the Republicans forcing them to fund 75 years of pension benefits they would be showing a profit in excess of a billion dollars a year.

“…so they either have to change or shut down it is as simple as that”

What part of the postal service being mandated by the Constitution do you not understand? To do away with the postal service would require a Constitutional Amendment and would never pass. And I am sure you would be one of the first to yell when it costs you over $14 to mail your utility payment.


Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Article comment by: Capt. Nice

what I don't understand, the Post office is broke like our government, but the left does not seem to care, or even consider.
It looks to me there are two options and one is to shut the PO down or to privatize it. What is it they are in Debt, 50 billion? What part of something needs to be done don't these people who think money grows on trees do they understand?
The PO is outdated with the Internet taking it's place, so they either have to change or shut down it is as simple as that, it worked good at the time,
Hey, I have an idea, let's tax all Internet transactions to help support the PO....I'm sure that will come next!


Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Article comment by: Karel Peckar

Everyone seems to be overlooking the fact that the Postal Retiree Health Fund was $94 billion under funded. Read OWED!! The profitable PO did not live up to it's promises to retirees with funds.

They still owe about half of what is due. I agree that the best way to solve the debt and meet contractual obligations is to raise the rates around 5%. Any other route will leave retirees without health care!!



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