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By Bill Brickley
For the NH Labor News

Mitt Romney and his economic advisors like Kevin Hassett have a clear message in how a Romney administration would address the US Postal Service. It’s fairly simple they would eliminate it.

Kevin Hassett a key Romney economic advisor, while writing for the American Enterprise Institute,  stated first they have to rewrite the rule concerning universal service. ”It would be trivial to fully privatize postal delivery with guaranteed universal service. We need only write regulations that require firms that compete for postal business to provide universal service.”

He then addresses the obstacle to this idea both unions and Democrats. Why has the Republican party turned a non-partisan government service into a polarizing political issue?  Hassett:”The Democrats will never let us do that, of course. The political might of the public employee unions is just too great. ” So clearly weakening the Postal Unions is the first step towards their elimination. Other federal unions are soon to be next in line.

This puts in context the very beginning of Mitt Romney 2012 campaign which began on September 3, 2008. While speaking at the Republican National Convention Romney put a target on the backs of every government union worker in America. ” we must stand up to the tyrannosaurus appetite of Government Unions”   Republican governors have followed his lead slashing thousands of government jobs since 2008. Now Romney plans to take the Presidency and take down the largest collection of federal union workers in the country with the Postal Service.

Hassett then challenges the tea party to focus on the prize:”The possibility for real gain in the U.S. is enormous. The Postal Service owns or operates 33,000 facilities nationwide, and owns 219,000 vehicles. If we were to auction it off to private investors, the bids would likely be enormous. FedEx and UPS, for example, have a combined market capitalization of almost $100 billion. Given that, how much might a private bidder offer for the right to start a business with the Postal Service’s footprint? The $100 billion mark might be a good first guess.”

“Which means we have two paths to choose between. On one, we continue to operate the Postal Service, and watch it lose hundreds of billions of dollars. Along the other, we sell it to a private contractor, avoid those losses while cashing a nice big check.”

“If the Tea Party activists want to fix the country, they should start by privatizing the Postal Service. If we can’t fix that, then it is hard to imagine how we will ever fix anything.”

Selling the Postal Service off is clearly a priority for Romney who made a sizable portion of wealth at Bain Capital doing just that. The citizens in our country who rely on the Postal Service are just collateral damage. Profits for the wealthy are placed above all else.

It seems odd that he is challenging the tea party activists who view the US Constitution as sacred text to dismantle an institution that is established in Article 1 section 8 of the constitution “establish post offices and post roads”? It also seems odd that politicians would push to eliminate a vital service that connects millions of Americans as part of a right-wing ideological crusade.

About Bill Brickley

Bill is a member of the National Association of Letter Carriers, serving on the NH Letter Carrier Executive Board as CD1 Legislative Liaison. Also serves on the NH AFL-CIO Executive Board. Former NH Area Coordinator Amnesty International and NH Labor News Blogger

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