Amazing! A reporter for the Washington Post actually asked Darrell Issa the question we raised the other day– “What does cutting 6 day delivery at the postal service have to do with increasing military pensions?” Josh Hicks writes in today’s Federal Eye column:
Issa pitched his bill as a measure that would “restore COLAs for military retirees while doubling savings.”
But the Postal Service is largely independent from the federal budget, so we wondered how the government could use savings from that agency to pay for military pensions.
Issa’s response? “Bailout! Benghazi! Obamacare!”
Sorry- I just made that up. But the actual response from Issa’s staff makes about as much sense:
“Right now, the Postal Service has over $100 billion in unfunded long term debt, including retiree health care obligations,” said Caitlin Carroll, a spokeswoman for the congressman. “That $100 billion plus is a ‘contingent liability’ of the US government, to the extent that the Postal Service is never able to pay it off, and that Congress authorizes the Treasury to pay for it.”
In other words, there is no connection, but Darrell thinks military retirees are popular and postal retirees aren’t, and $100 billion is a big number, so it seemed like an easy way to score some political points at the expense of people who actually work for a living, unlike, say, Members of Congress!