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Little upsets me more than people with skin-thin theories that they’ve never actually thought about.  One of the most prevalent of these is that the U.S. Postal Service is some inherently doomed government boondoggle that should just be sold off to the private sector.

More fuel is sure to be added to the fire by recent news about all of the service cuts that USPS is being forced to enact due to a huge deficit.

But, like with nearly all things wingnut, the truth can be easily found by scratching away a millimeter of dust:

At the very end of [2006], Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA). Under PAEA, USPS was forced to “prefund its future health care benefit payments to retirees for the next 75 years in an astonishing ten-year time span” — meaning that it had to put aside billions of dollars to pay for the health benefits of employees it hasn’t even hired yet, something “that no other government or private corporation is required to do.”

As consumer advocate Ralph Nader noted, if PAEA was never enacted, USPS would actually be facing a $1.5 billion surplus today:

By June 2011, the USPS saw a total net deficit of $19.5 billion, $12.7 billion of which was borrowed money from Treasury (leaving just $2.3 billion left until the USPS hits its statutory borrowing limit of $15 billion). This $19.5 billion deficit almost exactly matches the $20.95 billion the USPS made in prepayments to the fund for future retiree health care benefits by June 2011. If the prepayments required under PAEA were never enacted into law, the USPS would not have a net deficiency of nearly $20 billion, but instead be in the black by at least $1.5 billion.

  1. Thomas says:

    Barney Frank found a way to rape the USPS of their surplus trust fund, like he did with Fannie and Freddie.

    • Metavirus says:

      folks really aren’t even trying to make sense anymore, are they?

    • Rotiartasihsub says:

      Your statement is really stupid. Despite claims of Fox News and the obese pill-popping radio liar Limbaugh, George Bush not Barney Frank was responsible for the Bush Depression. That's why it is the Bush Depression. You further compound that stupidity by making your nonsensical spouting that Barney Frank raped the Post Office trust fund, what does that even mean? That makes no sense, even if someone is an idiot Republican, that makes no sense whatsoever. Republicans, in a fury of hatred against the United States one month after the people KICKED OUT THE REPUB MAJORITY from both the senate and house, vengefully voted to destroy the post office by the crooked method described above. They had to do it in December 2006, because they would lose their majorities on January 3rd, 2007. So they did it, and have refused to repeal it since. In January 2013, this destruction will culminate in the implosion of our post office, created by the Founding Fathers who the Repubs pretend to revere.

      • Thomas says:

        So why didn’t the majority of Democrats repeal it in 2007 then?
        Would you have understood it better if I had said ‘steal’ or ‘rob’ the trust fund, as Democrats did with Fannie and Freddie?

  2. Thomas says:

    About as much sense as the title blaming Republicans when just about as many Democrats voted for the PAEA as did Republicans.

  3. Thomas says:

    I didn’t say he would rape the Postal Service, I said he would rape their trust funds. The Postmaster General is doing a good job of raping the Postal Service (wanting to close offices, 5 day delivery, lowering delivery standards, etc.)

  4. Gee Thomas. do you touch in with reality every once in a while. Do you really think that doing away with the Post Office is a good idea? When the GOP mandated these rediculas changes they forced the Postmaster General to take theses steps. If you bother to do some research you can find out who voted for what and who had the majority votes to force this insanity through they system. But that might make you do something besides show your ignorance on this blog. 

    • Thomas says:

      @Mark- Where did I say that doing away with the Post Office is a good idea? And perhaps you missed the comment about just as many Democrats voted for this as did Republicans, but I guess you can’t comprehend what you read?

      • I didn’t say he would rape the Postal Service, I said he would rape their trust funds. The Postmaster General is doing a good job of raping the Postal Service (wanting to close offices, 5 day delivery, lowering delivery standards, etc.)

        REPLY In reply to this comment. Sure looks like you would want to get rid of it. After all it is a result of what the GOP dominated congress did. And I do believe that while the Democratic congress had a majority, for a very short time, they were in a Health Care fight.

        • Thomas says:

          Yeah, I want to get rid of my job as a Postal employee, now who is showing their ignorance?

          • Thomas says:

            Postmaster General Donahoe wants to eliminate 6 day delivery, close smaller Post Offices, and has already lowered delivery standards, so again, where did ‘I’ state I want to get rid of the Post Office? I’m just stating facts.

            • Metavirus says:

              Oy this is painful. The postmaster has proposed doing those things because he doesn’t have the money anymore because congress shoved insane pension requirements down his throat that no other organization in the universe has to abide by

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