In a bizarre twist to the ongoing budget fiasco in Congress, several news outlets report that negotiators are seriously touting an end to Saturday mail delivery as part of a deal. None of the reports we’ve seen actually explain what the connection might be- since the USPS isn’t “on budget”, and doesn’t use tax dollars, savings due to service cuts wouldn’t have any impact on the federal budget. As usual, of course, Republican plans would target middle class workers for pay and benefit cuts. Here’s the uncritical, unquestioning report published by Bloomberg:
[Congressman Paul] Ryan has previously shared with Republican lawmakers ideas including increased premiums for pension plans backed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and a cut in Medicaid payments to hospitals. Lawmakers including Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Republican on the Budget Committee, have floated a proposal to push some spending cuts into future years.
Another option being discussed is giving the U.S. Postal Service flexibility to reduce costs, according to an aide close to the talks, most notably by ending Saturday mail delivery.
It might have been nice if a reporter had pointed out the fact that reducing mail service doesn’t save the taxpayers anything- and that “reducing costs” means cutting salaries, thereby reducing the amount of money workers have available to spend (and pay taxes on).