Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) saying aloud what everyone already knows: the GOP would see innocent men, women and children starving, jobless, uninsured and shot dead so long as it causes political damage to our nation’s first black president (via odinsblog)
Wow. It’s rare for a Republican to just come right out and admit the truth.
Let’s get one thing straight: the Post Office is not actually losing money, much less “going bankrupt”. Despite the current recession, the Post Office has consistently made a net operating profit of around $600 million a year.
The one and only reason the Post Office is being forced to cut Saturday service is that back in 2006, Congress passed a law that forces the Post Office to pre-fund all employee pension payouts for the next 75 years by setting aside five and a half billion dollars a year from 2007 to 2016. This law also forbids the Post Office from using any of its net profit to pay off its loan debts to the U.S. Treasury.
This was explicitly intended to sabotage the long-term finances of the Post Office. By law, the Post Office can only borrow money from the U.S. Treasury and may only borrow up to a legally dictated limit of $15 billion dollars. Forbidding the Post Office from paying off its existing Treasury loans and forcing it make these enormous pre-payments against imagined future expenses is basically ordering it to run out of money.
This, of course, paves the way for Republicans to falsely claim that the Post Office is bankrupt and should be replaced by private mail carriers.
This is sickening, and it only serves to drive an even wider cultural wedge between rural and urban citizens; any private mail carrier would balk at continuing rural free delivery.
It was understood from the very start that rural mail delivery would never be cost-effective; giving the Postal Service a monopoly on letter mail and requiring them to make rural mail delivery was essentially a backdoor tax on city mail delivery to subsidize rural mail delivery.
Under a privatized mail system, people living in cities and suburbs would likely pay lower mail prices than they would under the Postal Service monopoly, but people living in rural areas would pay massively higher prices and in some cases would not be able to purchase mail delivery for any amount of money.
Just look at broadband Internet for an example of how high costs and low profits create access deserts under a purely private system.
All of this.
When people say the private sector handles things more efficiently, the truth is that the private sector achieves this “efficiency” by cutting out the least profitable parts of their business.
The public/private question really boils down to: does our society benefit more by having universal access to the postal system (or to information, or to healthcare), or by having access to these things creating wealth for a few people in the most efficient fashion?