Bernie Sanders: Postal Service Must Keep Saturday Mail

March 26, 2013

Citing a legal opinion by the Government Accountability Office, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday called on Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to withdraw his plan to stop Saturday mail delivery.

Sanders said the opinion by the non-partisan GAO unambiguously declared that the Postal Service has no legal authority to end Saturday mail without the approval of Congress. In fact, Congress just last week passed a bill that restated the requirement for the Postal Service to maintain Saturday mail delivery.

Sanders called on the postmaster general to formally withdraw his plan to eliminate Saturday mail beginning on Aug. 1. “I am urging you to make it clear to the American people that the USPS will continue Saturday mail delivery in adherence with the law,” Sanders said in a letter.

Sanders stressed that the major reason for the Postal Service’s financial woes is a congressional mandate to pre-fund 75 years of future retiree health benefits over a 10-year period. “No other government agency, no other corporation in America is burdened with this mandate,” Sanders said. “This pre-funding mandate is responsible for about 80 percent of the Postal Service’s financial losses since 2007.”

Before this pre-funding mandate was signed into law by President George W. Bush, the Postal Service was making a profit.  In fact, from 2003 through 2006, the Postal Service made a combined profit of more than $9 billion. “I look forward to working with you to end this onerous mandate once and for all which would keep the Postal Service healthy and thriving for years to come,” Sanders told the postmaster general.

Sanders also said he looks forward to working with Donahoe to lift legal restrictions that now keep the Postal Service from offering new and innovative products and services.  “It is clear to me and to many others that there are significant opportunities for increased revenue for the USPS, if given the opportunity to aggressively compete in the marketplace,” Sanders said.

To read the letter, click here.

 

USPS shows modest cash loss from operations in February, massive paper loss from PAEA

The US Postal Service released its unaudited financial results for February yesterday, and they continue to show a modest loss from operations combined with massive “paper” losses due to Congress’s PAEA accounting requirements.

The USPS had controllable expenses of $5.141 billion in February, against revenue of $5.129 billion, for a $12 million loss from actual operations. With five months of the fiscal year gone, that brings the year to date loss to $102 million- which still sounds like a lot of money until you recall that it’s less than one half of one percent of total revenue. Hardly the “massive hemorrhaging” that newspaper reporters and right wing politicians love to tell us about.

For that you need the help of Congress. When you add in the charges required by the 2006 PAEA law, the February “loss” balloons to $838 million, and the year to date to $2.5 billion. Those, of course, are the numbers you’ll see in the mainstream media. What you probably won’t see is any mention of the fact that the additional “losses” exist only on paper (and in the minds of cynical politicians and bureaucrats).

Mail volume continued to decline, with first class down 5.8% from the same period last year, standard down by 2.3%, and package services down by 17%.

Actual personnel expenses (excluding PAEA) were down by 4.3% for the month, while non-personnel costs dropped by 2.7%.

FEB-13 PRC – Final_MOD.xls – 2013 3 25 Attachment for Memo to Govs–PRC for February.pdf.

Video: Postal workers say eliminating Saturday delivery not the right route

COLONIE — Heeding the call of the AFL-CIO, union and community members were gathering across the nation Sunday afternoon to protest the end of Saturday mail delivery.

Read more: Postal workers: Eliminating Saturday delivery not the right route VIDEO – troyrecord.com.

And here is a sampling of other protests held yesterday:

Cowley Post Office manager jailed for stealing £14,000

A POST office manager who committed a “gross breach of trust” has been jailed after she admitted stealing £14,000 from her employer.Maureen Higham, of Kersington Crescent, Oxford, was handed a 15-month prison sentence at Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday.She narrowly avoided prison in 1995 when she confessed to stealing almost £6,000 from the Ladbrokes betting shop where she was then manager.

Read more: Cowley Post Office manager jailed for stealing £14,000 From The Oxford Times.

Video: Historic post office trying to stay open in Albany GA

WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany, GA. (WALB) –

Leaders in Albany met in Washington, D.C., Wednesday to talk with Postal officials about why the downtown location is needed.

One of those leaders, Frances Krack said the branch is in talks with a private Albany company to take over the Broad Street branch.

"We’re not asking them to continue to maintain the USPS here. We’re just asking them to give us the opportunity to put a new entrepreneur in this location to be able to keep this business in our downtown community," said Frances Krack.

Read more: Historic post office trying to stay open – WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports.