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right wing wackos

House GOP Budget Would Cut Compensation for Postal Workers

From Government Executive:


The House Republican budget considered in committee Wednesday would require U.S. Postal Service employees to pay more for health care, using that reform and others to save $19 billion over 10 years.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., targeted USPS employees in his budget blueprint as part of a larger effort to find cuts through the federal workforce. Ryan’s plan would also impose pension contribution hikes on all federal employees and reduce the size of the workforce through attrition measures.

Read more: House GOP Budget Would Cut Compensation for Postal Workers – Pay & Benefits – GovExec.com.

Moms Demand Action Objects To Proposed Amendment To Remove Federal Ban On Guns in Post Offices

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America vehemently objects to any attempt to amend existing federal law and lift the ban on guns in post offices, as proposed by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Sen. Paul’s amendment to the Senate postal reform bill would allow licensed gun owners to carry weapons inside post offices. Guns are currently banned in all American federal buildings, including post offices.

Read the rest of this entry »

Darrell Issa: Poster boy for our disgraceful Congress

A poll recently found that “Americans currently have a higher opinion of witches (46/32), jury duty (73/18) and hemorrhoids (53/31) than Congress.”

In today’s New York Times, Bloomberg’s Albert R. Hunt reminds us of some of the causes of our disgust with our legislators. Not surprisingly, most of the blame falls on the radical “tea party” wing of the Republican Party, which has been allowed to block legislation supported by majorities in both Houses of Congress. But Hunt’s poster child for our disgraceful Congress isn’t a tea party true believer- it’s the consummate opportunist (and self anointed postal service “watchdog”), Darrell Issa:

Darrell-Issa-007This session, Representative Darrell Issa, the California Republican who is chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has held hearings on the Internal Revenue Service, the deaths of Americans in Libya, the Affordable Care Act and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. The proceedings have been characterized by unsubstantiated charges, rogue behavior, misleading leaks and a refusal to consider anything that might prove contrary to the chairman’s objectives.

With a reckless disregard for facts, Mr. Issa habitually calls his targets liars. He has been an embarrassment to more than a few fellow Republicans.

I suppose postal workers can take some solace from the fact that Issa’s cynical obsession with turning the Benghazi tragedy into political hay left him less time for more of his “hearings” on the USPS. (Why do they call them “hearings” anyway? The guy who puts them on obviously doesn’t “listen”!)

Hunt’s solution to our national disgrace?

The only way this spiral ends is an election that either ratifies or repudiates the Republican right.

Let’s hope it’s the latter!

Read more: Lawmakers Pass Blame, but Not Bills – NYTimes.com.

Issa Applauds Canada Post for Ending Door to Door Delivery


Press release from Darrell Issa:

WASHINGTON – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., today applauded Canada Post, the Canadian postal service, for moving to phase out expensive to-the-door delivery for paper mail. Chairman Issa, chief sponsor of H.R. 2748, the Postal Reform Act of 2013, has advanced similar reforms.

“As technology advances, the Canadian people are changing the way they use paper mail. Canada Post has recognized this reality and responded to it. The Canadian government is supportive of its decision to modernize,” said Chairman Issa. “The American people have also changed the way they use paper mail and the cash-strapped United States Postal Service must respond accordingly. Likewise, Congress and the Administration need to grant USPS the flexibility to modernize its mail delivery and eliminate unnecessary costs.”

The vast majority of American homes do not receive expensive to-the-door delivery, but instead receive less expensive curbside or centralized delivery. The Postal Reform Act, which was approved by the Committee in July, would require USPS to transition 30 million delivery points over 10 years. This provision will save the financially distressed USPS at least $4 billion per year and is one of the largest opportunities for USPS savings.

Canada Post ended expensive Saturday delivery of paper mail for its customers in 1969. Issa’s legislation would also allow USPS to do the same, saving additional billions. A Senate companion bill also includes provisions to end the forced delivery of paper mail on Saturdays and delivery point modernization.

Video: Big Money Bullies- Bernie Sanders explains what the Republicans in Congress really want

The politician’s dirty little secret: Federal workers pay their taxes better than most Americans

It must be that time of year again- time to pander to the tea party by attacking federal workers for not paying their taxes. WTOP in Washington today carries the familiar story about the $3.5 billion feds owe the IRS in delinquent taxes, and the campaign by right wing politicians to fire the delinquents.

As we’ve suggested before, there’s more than a whiff of demagoguery here- the politicians are interested in collecting what’s owed under the law- but they only seem to care about one select group of deadbeats. Why?

Simple logic would suggest that if feds owe $3.5 billion, the rest of the country must owe a whole lot more- after all, the vast majority of Americans don’t work for the federal government. Are feds somehow different than everybody else when it comes to paying their fair share?

As it happens, they are- but not in the way you might think. Buried in the WTOP story is this tidbit:

The delinquency rate for the general public is 2.5 times higher than federal employees, according to the IRS. As of September 2011, the delinquency rate for active and retired federal employees and military personnel is 3.17 percent. The IRS estimates the delinquency rate for the general population is 8.2 percent.

In other words, postal workers and other federal employees are actually less likely to be tax deadbeats than the average American!

So why do GOP politicians insist on scapegoating federal workers? Probably because feds are one of the few groups they can still demonize without losing too many votes. Targeting women, blacks, hispanics, gays, etc., gets to be a problem when you realize that the majority of voters belong to at least one of those categories!

Federal employees owe $3.5 billion in unpaid taxes – WTOP.com.

Right wing blogger wants his government subsidized shipping rates back

A right wing blog called “American Thinker” has a rather bizarre take on the increase in USPS international postage rates. The blogger has some kind of business that involves shipping stuff overseas, and, like many similar operations, is being hit hard by the rate increase:

I have a small, no, make that tiny, business. It’s a sideline, mainly because it doesn’t earn enough to be anything else, but none the less I’d like to eventually have it be bigger. What I sell is not important, but the fact that fully a third of my sales are international is important. As of now, my international shipping rates have doubled, at the least.

OK- so far so good- it has to be tough for any business to see its shipping rates double- there was a story the other day about the impact on indie record labels that also do a lot of international shipping.

But here’s where the American “Thinker” loses me:

The assault on small business never seems to stop. This is simply one more nail in the coffin. And don’t tell me that the USPS isn’t technically a government agency. It’s a government supported monopoly that prices small business out of any other market by undercutting other shippers. No one will pay $50 to ship $20 worth of product, as you will expect to pay with shippers other than USPS.

Hunh???? He complains about the USPS “undercutting” other shippers, and then says he can’t afford to use “shippers other than the USPS”, i.e. private, free market outfits like UPS and FedEx??

Can someone explain that one to me? How can you complain about USPS prices being too high, while at the same time claiming that they use their alleged monopoly to “undercut” the competition?? Which is it?

More to the point- if USPS has a monopoly, how can there be a “competition” to undercut? Pssst… there is no monopoly in international shipping!

The “Thinker”‘s solution? The USPS needs to be “held to account”, whatever that means. Oh, and “the artificial supports that prop up the USPS need to be removed”. And somehow that will force the USPS to lower its rates…

Translation? Mr. Free Market Thinker would like to have his government subsidized below market shipping rates back. Apparently if you’re a right wing small business owner, “artificial supports” are OK if it’s your business they’re propping up!

Read more: Blog: USPS Sticker Shock.

GOP platform calls for privatizing USPS

The Republican Party’s proposed platform suggests that the US Postal Service is in need of “restructuring”. Not surprisingly, the restructuring involves privatization. The brief item starts with one of the most time-honored postal cliches: “mail delivery from the era of the Pony Express cannot long survive”. (I don’t know about you, but my mail is delivered from a mail truck. And the Pony Express didn’t “survive” the nineteenth century, never mind the twentieth!)

The plank concludes “In light of the Postal Service’s seriously underfunded pension system, Congress should explore a greater role for private enterprise in appropriate aspects of the mail-processing system.”

Most readers will know that the USPS pension system is actually better funded than most private pension systems, but then, you don’t read party platforms for reasoned analysis of the issues. When it comes to privatizing, which is a matter of faith for the GOP, any excuse will do.

Union responds to NH politician’s delayed mail accusation

The New Hampshire Labor News followed up on the claim of a right wing New Hampshire politician that his political mailings had been delayed by “unionized postal employees”. According to employees at the plant, the politician didn’t get his mail to the plant on time for processing. Read the rest of this entry »

Video: Paul Ryan legislative record: he renamed a post office once

Paul Ryan made a big splash with his draconian budget plan, but what legislation has he actually managed to get passed in his 13 years in the House?

Well, he managed to rename a post office! Oh- and he also got the excise tax lowered on the arrows he buys for his bow-hunting hobby:

WASHINGTON — He’s been in Congress for nearly 13 years, but Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has only seen two of his bills pass into law during that time.

Ryan, who Mitt Romney has tapped as his running mate, passed a bill into law in July 2000 that renames a post office in his district. Thanks to Ryan, the post office on 1818 Milton Ave. in Janesville, Wis., is now known as “Les Aspin Post Office Building.”

The other time Ryan saw one of his bills become law was in December 2008, with legislation to change the way arrows (as in bows and arrows) are hit with an excise tax. Specifically, his bill amended the Internal Revenue Code to impose a 39-cent tax per arrow shaft, instead of a 12.4 percent tax on the sales price.

Read more: Paul Ryan Only Passed 2 Bills Into Law In More Than A Decade.