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The Republicans are trying to destroy our postal service and the largest public sector union which staffs it. Most of the news stories only talk about how the postal service is obsolete because we all use email now, instead of covering the true cause of their financial trouble, a terrible bill passed by the outgoing Republican Congress of 2006. The Postal Accountability Act of 2006 was passed by a voice vote in both chambers and did several things. It restricted the Postal Services ability to raise rates and it required the postal service to pre-fund its pension system for 75 years and to pay that within a ten year period, something no other government agency or private company has ever had to do. Right now the Postal Service is getting ready to close many post offices, lay off workers and cancel Saturday mail service which will only exacerbate the problems and create lower revenues. There are now bills in both houses to remedy this situation and they need our support.

Peter DeFazio of Oregon has sponsored H.R.3591, The Postal Service Protection Act of 2011, which removes the requirement to fund the pension and stop the closure of post offices. As of now the bill has only two co-sponsors, Maurice Hinchey and Louise Slaughter, both of New York.

Bernie Sanders sponsored a related bill in the Senate, S. 1853 The Postal Service Protection Act. This bill has only six sponsors, Ron Wyden D-OR, Jeff Merkeley D-OR, Kirsten Gillibrand D-NY, Tom Udall D-NM, and Patrick Leahy D-VT. Right now there is a moratorium on Post Office closures until May, to give the postal service time to come up with a new plan. Closing post offices will eliminate, for some areas, the only government presence and will place a burden on rural citizens who will have to travel many miles to a postal facility. UPS and FedEx do not serve unpopulated rural areas and seniors who receive medications by mail are just one group that will be severely impacted by this loss of service. Also, UPS and FedEx charge much more and will make the cost mailing a package truly prohibitive for most of us.

Please call your Senators and Congresspersons, Democrat or Republican and ask them to co-sponsor these bills. Letters to the Editor of your local paper and calls to call-in shows can educate our populace and would also be great. Bernie Sanders was on Thom Hartmann this morning talking about this issue. Let's make a ruckus and Occupy the Post Office to save this vital service. And while you are at it, buy some Forever stamps (rates are going up any day) and send somebody some cookies in a nice Flat Rate Priority box. Its a great deal.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I've been wondering if we can actually do... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, kitebro, burlydee, avsp, alizard

    … something about this.

    Thanks for the diary.

    Click-and-Ship rules! I use that all the time, being able to mail small packages from home is terrific folks.

  •  return your junk mail (7+ / 0-)

    one thing you can due to raise Post Office revenue is return those f'ing credit card and bank offers that come with a SASE in them.  If you return them the bank/credit card company has to pay for it.  If you don't, they don't.  You can return them empty.  You can stuff all the literature back in them, for which they pay just a bit more.  You can stuff other stuff in them, like roof shingles or floor tiles, and they have to pay even more.  You can put a letter in them saying you support X Y Z financial/banking regulations, or that you support the 99%.  
    Now, all of this takes some effort, but just taking that SASE out , licking the gum and putting it in your outgoing mail stack is a minimally invasive task.  But it accomplishes 3 objectives: a) costs those fraudulent f^ckers just a bit more to do business b) earns the Post Office a bit of money and c) if you put a note in it or other stuff in it, it forces those companies to pay attention to us, rather than just viewing us as targets of their predatory practices.

  •  I've been doing that too! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avsp, Sark Svemes

    I get credit card offers from Chase every couple of weeks and stuff all the junk I can back in the SASE envelope. Just make sure to take out anything that has your name so they can't identify you. Often there is a letter that starts with "Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Sucker". Not always easy to spot.

    Eat organic food, or as your grandparents called it, food.

    by madame damnable on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 11:30:05 AM PST

  •  I wrote a letter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avsp, Sark Svemes

    But I might have accidentally mentioned the wrong bill number in it. There is this bill and that bill and the other bill all supposed to "Save the Post Office" and some are the exact opposite, that is they privatize and/or shut it down. There is Republican Issa's bill (Boo), some other congressman's (?), and now this.

    I got an email response from the congress member I wrote.

    I got nothing from the one senator I wrote. I don't think she cares really.

    I send postcards but the rates jumped to Canada, domestic, International. Forever stamps went up a penny.

    There is something else ... but ... not sure if anyone will listen or care.

    Never say yada yada, when ooba tooba will do.

    by Desolations Angel on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 11:47:01 AM PST

  •  Yes I am appalled and will be inconvenienced (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avsp, Sark Svemes

    My small urban Post Office is slated for closure.  I use a post office box to receive my mail as i am often out of town and a renter.  I can walk to my local PO and it is a bit of exercise.  If they close it, which I have been notified they are considering I will have to drive several miles to pick up my mail.  What is this? We have always had the post office "Through sleet, hail  and the dark of night" and all that.  I am glad there is an effort to correct the Congress induced problems, and let us keep our post offices.  

  •  I wonder why DKos doesn't focus on this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burlydee, avsp

    more often. It is incredibly important for hundreds of thousands of Postal workers and their families. Thanks for the diary.

    Romney 2012 - Greed Is Good, For Pete's Sake!

    by kitebro on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 12:07:53 PM PST

    •  I think it doesn't get focus because (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madame damnable

      a fair amount of folks here think the post office has outlived its usefulness. I don't know how many times the first comment on a "save the PO" diary is, "Let it die. I get email, and I never use the post office." And you can't convince them that the post office is a lifeline for so many people and businesses.

  •  I'm surprised that Amazon and Ebay (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    haven't lined up with these bills. They rely on the postal service to deliver their products, as do most mail order companies.

    Eat organic food, or as your grandparents called it, food.

    by madame damnable on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 01:33:08 PM PST

  •  Former Postal employee here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I was a craft employee, then a supervisor, and then a Postmaster.  I saw a lot of good in the USPS, along with some commitments that were ridiculous.  The bill in question will kill the Postal Service as we know it.  As mentioned above, closing processing centers, ending next-day commitments (decreasing service) and increasing postage will only serve to decrease revenues, which will lead to more cutbacks and eventually the concern trolls in Congress will sell off the profitable parts of the Postal Service leaving all the red ink with the USPS.  My higher-ups always told me that UPS and Fed-Ex were angling to rescind the Private Express Statutes which designated the USPS as the only carrier to deliver (first class) letters.  I'm am sure their lobbyists were in on the bill that passed in 2006.  

  •  Occupy417 and OccupySpringfieldMO (0+ / 0-)

    have been supporting our local Postal employees and have been involved in meetings regarding the closing of the Springfield, MO mail processing center.  SW Missouri is the fastest growing part of our state, yet the USPS wants to close our mail processing facility.  It will be a blow to local business and our rural communities surrounding Springfield, MO.

  •  well, I would, but.... (0+ / 0-)

    my Rep IS DeFazio, and my Senators ARE Merkley & Wyden! poor me, 8-)

    "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

    by chimene on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 03:31:35 PM PST

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