2011 July 13 - postalnews blog

Archive for July 13th, 2011

Fox News contradicts Issa claims on USPS tax advantages

Earlier today Darrell Issa claimed that an APWU commercial that reminds Americans that the US Postal Service does not receive taxpayer funds. Issa said that the ad was misleading because of tax exemptions the USPS enjoys, and cited an FTC report that put a dollar figure on the value of those exemptions. As we’ve pointed out, equating tax exemptions and credits with “taxpayer support” would mean that oil companies are also “taxpayer supported”, along with churches, farmers, and anyone else that gets to deduct anything from their tax liability.

Now it turns out that Issa cherry picked numbers from the FTC report to make his rather weak case, ignoring additional costs that the USPS is burdened with. The story debunking Issa’s claims comes from a surprising source- none other than Fox News, normally an organization that can be relied on to faithfully parrot the Republican Party line:

Indeed, the FTC report estimated that federally imposed restraints on the Postal Service — as of fiscal 2006 — cost between $330 million and $782 million annually, while the special benefits were worth between $39 million and $117 million.

And of course, those “federally imposed restraints” don’t include the $5.5 billion “trust fund” payments the USPS has had to loan back to the Treasury every year since 2006.

via Postal Union Refuses to Pull Ad After Issa Calls Funding Claim ‘Misleading’ – FoxNews.com.

Issa complains to APWU about ads defending USPS

Interesting statement by Darrell Issa regarding the APWU’s commercial defending the USPS. Issa claims that the USPS is taxpayer funded because of tax exemptions it receives. By that logic, of course, the oil companies (and just about every other corporation or individual in the US) would also be considered taxpayer funded…

Darrel Issa press release:

WASHINGTON- Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa in a letter to the American Postal Worker Union (APWU) asks the union to cancel a misleading ad campaign that falsely claims the United States Postal Service (USPS) does not receive taxpayer support when it does, in fact, receive hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money through preferential tax treatment and other benefits.

“A December 2007 report from the Federal Trade Commission includes a long list of implicit subsidies the Postal Service receives that are not available to private companies,” said Issa in the letter to APWU President Cliff Guffey. The letter notes that “the Postal Service is exempt from, among other items, federal, state, and local income tax, all state and local taxes (including property tax), and vehicle registration and titling fees.”

The letter also notes that USPS has access to borrowing directly from the United States Treasury at very low rates. As of the end of Fiscal Year 2010, the Postal Service had $4.1 billion in debt with an interest rate below 0.3% as well as an additional short-term revolving credit line of $3.4 billion at an interest rate of 0.206%.

Noting that these subsidies are worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually, Issa asked the union not to mislead the American people.

“While you and I have significant differences of opinion on how the Postal Service should be reformed, I believe we must be clear about the underlying facts. I ask you not to engage in a campaign to mislead the American people.”

Issa, the author of the only legislation introduced this Congress which would return the Postal Service to solvency, has also called on the Postal Service and their allies to recognize that the decline in revenue is permanent, driven by the transition to electronic, paperless technology and not temporarily by the recession. Issa debunked these myths and others in a “Myth vs. Fact” paper published last week.

via Issa to Postal Union: Stop Misleading Ads on Postal Service.

Postal employee organizations ask Congress to protect six day delivery

The following letter has been sent to Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), chairman of the House Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee:

Dear Representative Emerson,

On behalf of the organizations that represent the employees of the US Postal Service, we support your provision on six-day mail delivery contained in HR 2434 (Financial Services and Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2012). We believe that any attempt to strike that language from your bill fails to recognize:

1. There will be a loss of 80,000 or more jobs if Saturday delivery is eliminated.
2. The Congress has a 30 year unblemished, bipartisan history of supporting six days of delivery and universal service, from President Reagan to President Obama.
3. Tens of millions of businesses and constituents will be disadvantaged by the loss of Saturday delivery. A disproportionate number of those who are disadvantaged live in rural America, or are the elderly, underprivileged and handicapped, whose lives depend on the USPS for prescription drugs, not to mention the millions of businesses who receive movies and parcels on Saturday.
4. There is considerable dispute about the “savings” attributed to lowering service to five days a week. The independent Postal Regulatory Commission found that the US Postal Service’s analysis was fundamentally flawed, underestimating the amount of revenue and business lost by the USPS, and that 25% of First Class and Priority Mail would be delayed two days.

We urge you and the Rules Committee to protect six-day delivery.


American Postal Workers Union
National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association
National Association of Letter Carriers
National Postal Mail Handlers Union

PDF version.