BusinessInsider.com has posted its own slap dash imitation of the Wall Street Journal’s recent attack on the US Postal Service– it starts like this:
Announcing a $2.2 billion first quarter loss for 2011, the U.S. Postal Service warned it would become insolvent unless Congress takes action.
The institution has already lost a shocking $20 billion since 2007.
The reasons are obvious.
As most readers know, that much is true- the obvious reason the USPS has “lost a shocking $20 billion since 2007” is the $5.5 billion tax Congress slapped on the agency in 2006. Most readers will also have already guessed that the story doesn’t explain that. Instead, it provides such insights as: “To cover its losses, the Post Office took a soon to be depleted, $15 billion line of credit from the U.S. Treasury in the early 1990’s, and has been drawing on it ever since.” (How the USPS managed to cover $20 billion in “losses” with a $15 billion credit line isn’t explained.) Here’s another: “Thus USPS officials are now asking Congress to skip their annual $5.4 billion retiree health benefit prepayment and to adopt a pay-as-you go system; the same method currently used by states like California, that can’t meet their obligations.” Excellent analysis. If you ignore the plain fact that the USPS, unlike California, has no problem meeting its current retiree obligations.
The writer does get points for actually mentioning the fact that the USPS has in reality overpaid its pension obligations, but since this doesn’t match the story he wants to tell, he manages to twist the words around until he can use the magic word: BAILOUT!
In fact, the Postal Regulatory Commission claims that the Post Office has overpaid the system $50 to $75 billion throughout the years, and consequently it asks the Federal Government to assume the health care burden of its retired workers. The postal union says this would cover retiree [sic] who earned pensions prior to 1970, when the law that reformed the Post Office came into effect. Some kind of bailout is coming, or the end of an institution.
Nice touch getting the word “union” in there too, even if the sentence doesn’t make any sense.