On the eighth day of December in 2006, at 10:33 at night, the 2009th Congress passed H.R. 6407, The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, by a voice vote.
The bill was introduced by Republican Congressman Tom Davis of the 11th CD of Virginia. Co-sponsors were one other Republican, John McHugh, 23rd CD of New York, and Democrats Danny Davis, 7th CD of Illinois and Henry Waxman, 30th CD of California.
H.R. 6407 requires that the Postal Service rapidly pre-fund its retirement health benefits. The extent of prefunding required by this measure vastly exceeds the level of prefunding for retiree benefits in any private company in the entire country. This ensures that Postal Service spending must annually exceed revenue intake, thus causing a perpetual and rapidly increasing Postal Service deficit.
The implicit and stealth intent of this legislation is to jointly destroy the U.S. Postal Service, creating new revenues and profits for its commercial competitors, and to destroy one of the largest remaining public employee labor unions.
Current plans to save the U.S. Post Office include eliminating 220,000 postal jobs through cuts and attrition by 2015, after already eliminating 212,000 jobs in the last ten years. Also proposed is a plan to withdraw postal employees and retirees from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and the creation of a new program that would almost certainly have weaker benefits.
What I wonder is: Did the Congressmen Davis and Waxman actively seek complicity in this devious act?
Whatever their nefarious intentions, I offer the following resolution below the fold:
Post Office Resolution
WHEREAS, the Postal Clause, Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution, was added to the Constitution to facilitate interstate communication, as well to create a source of revenue for the early United States;
WHEREAS, between the Revolutionary period and the first World War, the United States Post Office made it a priority to improve transportation of the post office mails by developing and subsidizing every new mode of transportation in the United States;
WHEREAS, postal workers provide many vital services, including connecting rural communities, supporting small businesses and making sure seniors can get their prescription drugs delivered on time;
WHEREAS, the hardest hit citizens by post office closure and service curtailment would be those already challenged to travel either due to distance or economics, or both – the poor, the elderly, the handicapped, rural communities would be severely affected;
WHEREAS, the Postal Service does not presently receive taxpayer dollars as it did in the past and is currently funded solely through the sale of stamps, shipping costs and other services fund;
WHEREAS, the Postal Service has been crippled by a series of accounting rulings that have imposed enormous penalties on it ever since it was first established as a government-run company (as opposed to a government agency) in the early 1970s;
WHEREAS, the requirement for the Postal Service to fully fund an account now for the retiree benefits it will pay out decades into the future, something that no other business in America has ever been required to do, is the primary cause of the increasing debt;
WHEREAS, requiring the federal Office of Personnel Management to return some $50 billion in overpayments the Postal Service made to the Civil Service Retirement System because of the prepay payroll policy would allow the Postal Service to meet its fiscal year requirements and other debts as the system seeks to further transform itself in the digital age;
WHEREAS, the intent of the simple language of Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution, “To establish Post Offices and post Roads,” could be expanded by legislation to include: Internet access, Wi-Fi access, FAX service, Web design, Check cashing, money wires, ATM, Copying/printing/binding, etc., Notary services, Driver’s license renewal, title requests, unemployment services, etc., hunting and fishing licenses, other services;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the federal Office of Personnel Management return some $50 billion in overpayments the Postal Service made to the Civil Service Retirement System in order to allow the Postal Service to meet its fiscal year requirements and other debts as the system seeks to further transform itself in the digital age; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Post Services be expanded by legislation to include: Internet access, Wi-Fi access, FAX service, Web design, Check cashing, money wires, ATM, Copying/printing/binding, etc., Notary services, Driver’s license renewal, title requests, unemployment services, etc., hunting and fishing licenses, and other services; and
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the overfunding of retiree benefits mandated by The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 be repealed in future legislation.
In support of the USPS, Ben Franklin's baby. And, thank you to my congressman, Adam Smith of the 9th CD of Washington State whose language I have cribbed in the third WHEREAS, and Dean Baker and Wikipedia and other individuals and agencies from whom I have stolen language.