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  • Businessman-Turned-Lawmaker Has a Plan to Save U.S. Postal Service

    Rep. Darrell Issa knows a thing or two about running a successful business. Before winning his seat in Congress, the California Republican turned a troubled company into a profitable enterprise that manufactured car alarms for the world’s most well-known carmakers.

    Issa is now turning his attention to saving the long-troubled U.S. Postal Service.

    “The Postal Service lost $8.5 billion last year. It is going to lose, at least, $8.3 billion this year. And it is projected to lose $8.5 billion the year after that,” said Issa, who serves as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

    Without changes, the future is grim.

    “The post office is on the wrong side of the information revolution,” Heritage’s James Gattuso wrote last month. Gattuso noted that even with $11 billion in cuts since 2008, the prospects are bleak for the Postal Service.

    Just this week the Postal Service announced it would stop paying its portion toward employees’ retirement, potentially leaving taxpayers on the hook.

    Issa’s legislation is the most comprehensive plan put forward in Congress. Other lawmakers have proposed changes to USPS, but Issa said only his ensures its solvency. He estimates it would reduce costs by $6 billion. Other changes would need to make up the remaining shortfall.

    How does he do it? Issa adopts several ideas supported by Heritage. He would eliminate Saturday mail delivery, close unprofitable post offices and bring USPS compensation in line with the private sector. He also wants to modify the collective bargaining process and require workers to pay more toward their health and life insurance.

    One thing the legislation doesn’t do is eliminate the Postal Service’s monopoly on first-class mail. Heritage’s Gattuso has argued that introducing competition — and not just from FedEx and UPS — would be an important factor for a revitalized USPS.

    “New blood may be just what mail delivery needs,” Gattuso said.

    Issa’s reforms would be carried out by a BRAC-like entity called the Commission on Postal Reorganization. It would be tasked with recommending closures of post offices, mail processing and management facilities. Congress would have the power to reject the commission’s work.

    A second body, the Postal Service Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority, would be tasked with returning the Postal Service to fiscal solvency. Once the Postal Service was able to meet its financial obligations, the authority would be dissolved.

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    18 Responses to Businessman-Turned-Lawmaker Has a Plan to Save U.S. Postal Service

    1. K.C. says:

      And what are the reactions of the relevant constituents? I was under the impression that Congress should make decisions according to the indirect votes and interests of the citizens as a democracy should be.

    2. Wm Craig Barnard says:

      Go forward Mr. Issa.

      While many joke about postal problems and delivery issues I have had a 57 year experience with the postal service. While they are not perfect i have found the delivery to be very good and for the vast majority of things excellent.

      Our postal service is worth preserving. We only pay for what we use and they self fund under their postal fee's. We do not loose a dime due to being taxed for their services.

      I do believe that all Government Unions should be dissolved and that Government employees should be governed by Civil Service employment guidelines which if anyone recalls today are very strong protections.

    3. Bobbie says:

      It's a business. Whoever works with the finances has to be rational and appropriate with the drive of efficiency. It didn't have to get out of hand if people acted when the problem shows. Somebody wasn't doing their job for it to get this out of control.

      How about no Monday or Friday delivery? As people generally work Monday through Friday, the delivery and office should service business hours on Saturdays…

      • the one who knows says:

        you have no idea, cutting saturday would be cutting 17 percent of service, for only five percent savings,

    4. Danny says:

      The Republicans in office won't be happy until you have minimum wage no-benefit McDonald's rejects delivering your mail. Is that what you want???? I have been on my walking route for 19 years. I am out in 100 heat or 30 inch snow, and I always finish the job before I return to the PO. Do you honestly think that a new crop of low paid non-union employees will give such an effort? Snow on the ground? They will roll over in their beds and say "They aren't paying me enough", and go back to sleep. You'll have a different mailman every day, and the turn over in employees will be the same as any fast food restaurant or corner convenience store. UPS union employees make more than I do. Why do you think they haven't cheaped out like these Conservative Congressmen are pushing us to do??? They don't want us to be paid like them. They are angling for us to make more on the line of the local paperboy. After all, he is in the delivery business too, right. You get what you pay for………………………………….

      • Jeromy says:

        Where did the article or any Republican state that the wages need to be dropped to the minimum? There are a lot of government jobs that pay well without unions. I am in the Army, we have no union and we are not paid excessively, yet we walk in 120+ degree heat with full body armor and ammo. We endure extreme conditions, high risk tasking and unpaid overtime. We do this, not because we are inherently "better" than a union member, because we have a different attitude. I have not always been in the Army and have dealt with the "attitude" that unions cultivate. It is an attitude based on the assumption that the company or employer exists for the worker and unions tear away attitudes and discourage actions that benefit the company "without compensation". More often today I compare a union to a parasite that kills it's host. Before I end, I have seen unions that are an exception. What separates these unions is an inherent understanding that a company that is not profitable will eventually fold, leaving the union members unemployed. As far as badmouthing McDonalds, it is a very successful company and many young people and even older people coming back into the job market use it as a launching pad into better jobs. Comparing it's labor pool to USPS is absurd. USPS is a complex and critical organization, the services that they provide cannot be fulfilled by unskilled and unmotivated "minimum wage" employees, therefore, they will have to pay competitive wages to survive.

        • Danny says:

          Do you want ALL professionals and Gov't workers to make the same as a Private in the US Army???

          One of the rude Congressmen (R) who was questioning the President of the APWU said the exact same thing, comparing career USPS employees to a "private in the Army" as if we should all earn the same pay as them………………..

          You have no clue about what you are saying. So ignorant and biased you can't make a valid point. The company exists to serve the union?? Calling all Union members parasites, shows your true colors, that of the Rethuglican Tea Party . At least you didn't say "Thugs" like everyone else in that party does……………

          Lets hear you MAKE THE SAME STATEMENTS regarding United Parcel Service that you made about the Postal Service………………………Union parasites, right?? Running the company into the ground, right??? Billions in the red because of their overpaid union employees, right? Workers overcompensated compared to the private sector right??

          We should privatize UPS and pay them the same as a private in the Army…………oh wait, your whole argument just got flushed down the toilet……

    5. Sally says:

      How a about addressing one very major problems that no on seems to want to address……that of it being so top heavy. Does the PO really need to buy houses of executives so they can move a few miles and then sell them at a lot? Since when was the PO into a real estate business? IF there was supposed to be a hiring freeze, why did they just make some new positions for executives? Why are they paying top executives a "bonus" to stay with the USPS? If they are so broke, then there should be NO BONUSES for anyone. Seems to be to be a tendency to run this place like Enron. Another problem I see is the fact taht there are so many people at the top that nothing is getting done. One day it's do this, the next day it' do that Seems new rules come out every day.that contradicts the one of the day before.
      Do you really believe that the rank and file are being overpaid? We make way less then UPS or FEDEX, yet we not only deliver packages, w also deliver the mail. The Post Office provides a "SERVICE". It is not supposed to b make money, it's purpose is to break even. Up until the economy went bad, the post office was making a profit. Rural carriers lost thousands of dollars every year with rigged counts., lies and manipulations from management who were instructed to lie, cheat and steal by being offered a chance for a good "bonus" if they succeed. Can anyone explain why during a mail count, UPS and Fedex do NOT dorp of packages like they do the rest of the year? Why they have more drivers during this 2-4 week period on the road? Why conveniently a few days before, and the day the count ends, tehy mysteriously appear with truckloads of packages? Who controls when the mail is set to arrives? Not the carries. Who has the ability to manipulate the flow of mail? Not the carriers. Yet, we're the very ones being told that WE are overpaid? We don't pay enough of our medical benefits? Lets see. Just HOW MANY management people have been killed this year while on duty? Just how many management people wire shot or robbed while on duty? How many were killed in accidents while on duty? VERY FEW. Seems this happens almost weekly to carriers and clerks. How many management people are acttualy seen out there every day serving customer? Yet, you don't think we deserve our pay? How many carriers help save lives daily? See, carriers do more than just deliver mail. We provide a vital service. yet, you don't think we deserve the pay we get?

      What if we cut the pay of every postal executive and eliminated all the double positions? How many billions could we save? Howe about if we eliminate bonuses for executives, eliminated all the other fringe benefits, made them pay the same amount toward health insurance,, cut their salary to be more in line with the people they actually manage? Over 3/4 of postal executive jobs could be eliminated and those people would not be missed.

    6. bosox707 says:

      Reading this for 5 min. Made me think too things are possiable. You have no clue whats going on with the usps or you know and just play stupid. I hope its the 1st.

      Ps: Postmaster general said on 6/24/11" we will continue to match all retirement funds".

      pps; Not one mention on the 6.9 billion dollar surplus. (must of just slipt your mind)

    7. Brian says:

      You forgot to mention that the USPS is no longer funding the FERS pensions because it is FULLY FUNDED with a 6.9 Billion dollar surplus. When you pay off your car do you continue to make the payement? This is fact that even the President addresses in his 2012 budget in which he directs OPM to refund the 6.9 Billion. You also forget to mention the 5.5 Billion a year Congress takes from the USPS to fund future employees health bennies (people that have not been born yet) in the year 2075. Something no other company public OR private has to do in the entire world. You also forgot to mention the 75 Billion dollar overcharge by congress for the USPS Civil Service pensions. Or the $27 Billion overcharge from 2003 that Congress has yet to repay the USPS for Military Pensions that OPM tried to Charge the USPS. But hey why need facts?

    8. barman says:

      another clueless thief has no idea what he is talking about …where is the post offices 50 BILLION you made them over pay ahead , ????? kinda like the title to your car….hmmm

    9. guest says:

      "businessman to lawmaker…" more like CAREER CRIMINAL to lawmaker ! Why didnt you mention his LOOOOONGGGGGGGG arrest record ? Arson ! MULTIPLE car thefts ! Insurance fraud ! False military service assertions !

    10. mikee says:

      i enjoy hearing how postal workers are over payed as compared to others in the industry.Who are these people? The paper boy, the chinese restaurant circular deliverer, or the landscaper handing out papers on his services.NOBODY DOES WHAT THE POST OFFICE ACCOMPLISHES. Sure its not perfect but its a lot cheaper than ups or fed ex.recently at the UPS STORE A PACKAGE MAILED BY THEM WOULD COST 52.00 BYUSPS 16.00 DOLLARS .IF U THINK THEY WILL DELIVER ALETTER TO HAWAII FOR .44 YOURDREAMING. The usps needs a little help not a major overhaul.

    11. Bobbie says:

      answer to reply:
      I respect postal workers and I want them to continue. The private sector will determine their worth and they'll be paid accordingly. My suggestion is having Saturday be a full day and remove one of the days of the week, since the majority of the population works then and often can't make it to the post office when it closes at 12:00 noon on Saturday. If you want to be good to your customers, keep Saturday a full day and remove another. You'll be paid your worth without a union collapsing the service…

    12. Danny says:

      The Heritage Foundation is one of the most conservative organizations in the country, but just look at the responses posted above. Except for Jeromy, who thinks that all professionals should be paid the same as a Private in the US Army, they are ALL against Issa's legislation. Nice to see there are a few people in the Foundation who still have some common sense.

    13. Pingback: With Pensions Threatened, Postal Workers Union Goes on Offense

    14. Ron Jones says:

      The solution is to divest Washington's government of everything in which it has no business. The list is virtually endless. However, carrying letters is one of them (though not as critical as health care or retirement).

      Sell all the assets of the usps. If [one or more] private corporations can turn a profit delivering the mail, then they will purchase said assets. Someone mentioned the cost comparison of UPS vs usps. However, this is an apples:oranges comparison. With the amount of business the usps does every year, a UPS, or a FedEX could scale to be competitive with what we are paying now.

      And that's just the beginning…


    15. Guest says:

      Follow the Constitution- Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution, known as the Postal Clause or the Postal Power, empowers Congress "To establish Post Offices and post Roads".

      Remove barriers to competiton and allow the US Postal Service to run themselves for a profit, free from congressional tinkering…

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