2011 June 27 - postalnews blog

Archive for June 27th, 2011

Congressman Ross: If I let USPS stop prefunding, will postal workers forswear taxpayer “backstop”?

An interesting tweet from Congressman Dennis Ross tonight:

Are postal workers/unions and retirees prepared to swear off, no matter what, federal taxpayer backstop if prefunding is stopped?
Jun 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Just to make it clear, the “pre-funding” Ross refers to deals with the employer contribution to potential future USPS retirees’ health insurance payments, not the pensions of actual retirees or employees.

Neither the USPS nor its employee organizations has ever asked for a taxpayer “backstop” or “bailout” for those payments, so it’s hard to say for sure what the freshman congressman from Florida is asking for.

CNBC’s Kudlow: Let Google deliver the mail!

Forget about five day delivery- how about getting your mail once or twice a year, or whenever the Google Street View car goes past your house? That might be what CNBC personality Larry Kudlow had in mind last week when he told PMG Pat Donahoe “look, why don’t you just surrender and end the monopoly, see what happens with some private players coming in? why not give Google a chance?” Whether Kudlow knows what the USPS actually does (i.e. delivering real physical objects to people who pay for the service) is far from clear. Kudlow’s suggestion came last Thursday in an interview with Postmaster General Pat Donahoe (whom Kudlow addressed as “Patrick” after mispronouncing his surname).

If Kudlow is unfamiliar with what the USPS does, the show proved that he doesn’t have a good handle on numbers, either. After Kudlow shouted about the USPS’s projected $8.5 billion loss, Donahoe responded with actual numbers, pointing out that the changes the USPS has asked for- 5 day delivery and a reduction in the “trust fund” charges, would save $8.6 billion. Kudlow’s response? “again, $8.5 billion in the hole. your numbers are nowhere near that”. Umm.., no, “Lawrence”, they’re $100 million over “that”.

But at least Kudlow admitted he was clueless, providing this bit of expert analysis: “I don’t know where those numbers come from, but whatever.”

Kudlow’s interview technique was to shout a lot, randomly use the word “bailout”, and not listen to any of Donahoe’s responses. (Kudlow seems to have a modified form of Tourette’s Syndrome, with right wing talking points instead of swear words).

Kudlow’s short (non-existent?) attention span and difficulty analyzing numbers may be the result of his well known problems with alcohol and cocaine abuse- or it may just be his “shtick”. CNBC does, after all, feature legendary screamer Jim Cramer- another “personality” whose entertainment value far outweighs his economic expertise.

You’ve been warned- here’s the clip:

Canada Post promises mail delivery Tuesday

Canadian homes and businesses will start receiving mail again Tuesday now that legislation forcing 48,000 locked-out postal workers back to their jobs has become law, Canada Post says.

Post offices that were closed during the labour dispute will start to reopen Tuesday as well, while mailboxes will be unsealed starting Monday, the Crown corporation said.

via Canada Post promises mail delivery Tuesday – Politics – CBC News.