September 24, 2009

Ruh-Roh... The U.S. Post Office Has Just Been Granted A $4 BILLION Bailout By The Democrats In Congress Using A Sleight Of Hand Technique!!!

Wowee! What a fine example of what we would have to look forward to if President Obama's "Public Option" passes... Didn't President Obama compare the "Public Option" to the U.S. Post Office?! The Democrat's in Congress sneakily added the $4 BILLION to a capitol budget appropriations bill that covers government operations. But did you know that the U.S. Post Office is NOT an arm of the government, it is an INDEPENDENT ORGANIZATION. I have taken the following snipit from wikipedia.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution. Within the United States, it is commonly referred to as the "Post Office", "Postal Service", or "U.S. Mail".

Since its reorganization in to an independent organization, the USPS had become self-sufficient and had not received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s. The decline of mail volume due to increased usage of e-mail has forced the postal service to look to other sources of revenue while cutting costs to maintain this financial balance. On September 24th, 2009, Congress voted to allow the Post Office to defer for 8 years a $4 billion liability to its retirement health benefits plan. The $4 billion now becomes a debt held by the U.S. taxpayer.
Now please don't get me wrong, I still love to visit my local post office. Plus, I don't want to see my mail carrier, who I know by name, lose her job. All I'm asking is can we all just call a SPADE A SPADE?! The U.S. Post Office is seriously struggling to remain in business and has just been thrown a $4 BILLION LIFELINE by our government. This my dear readers is yet another BAILOUT using our TAXPAYER DOLLARS and our government just mums the word. They have such a carefree attitude don't they... why shouldn't they, it's NOT their money anyway! I can see them now on the House floor... "Just throw it in the budget, the "people" won't have a clue." NO BIG DEAL RIGHT?!


A $4 billion bailout for the Postal Service?
written by David Rogers
Thursday September 24, 2009

The House voted Thursday to freeze Medicare Part B premiums for most elderly next year, even as Democrats moved to exempt the Postal Service from having to make $4 billion in payments due next week to cover retirement health benefits for its employees.

The back-to-back actions reflect a flurry of last minute multi-billion-dollar fixes, often without warning, as the government approaches the new fiscal year beginning next Thursday, Oct. 1.

Democrats hope the Medicare premium freeze, which sailed through on a 406-18 vote, will defuse what would otherwise be an October surprise for health care reform — threatened cuts in Social Security checks for millions of elderly. In the case of the Postal Service, the action closely tracks a House bill approved Sept. 15 but would allow proponents to get past the Senate now without the threat of amendments.

At a meeting of House and Senate Appropriations Committee negotiators Thursday morning, the Postal Service language was incorporated into a stop-gap continuing resolution, or CR, that Congress must enact in the next week to keep the full government operations. As adopted, the postal agency, which now faces a liability of $5.4 billion due Sept. 30, would have to pay only $1.4 billion and would be allowed to effectively defer the remaining $4 billion until after 2017.

“That’s good news” said a Postal Service spokesman, who argued the arrangement posed no risk for the taxpayer since the retirement fund holds $32 billion at this time. Nonetheless, critics argued the $4 billion will now be added as a potential cost on the government’s books given the fragile state of the Postal Service, and the whole handling of the issue is seen by many as a parliamentary sleight-of-hand.

Republicans made no effort to target the postal provision but complained it had been added without warning to the otherwise non-controversial 30 day resolution. Moreover, to doubly protect their work product, the Democratic leadership for the Appropriations Committees has wrapped it into an otherwise non-controversial $4.65 billion budget bill covering the operations of the Capitol and such agencies as the Library of Congress.

This legislative conference report can now be brought back to the House and Senate floor with special privileges that help avoid amendments.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) pointed to fact that Republicans had used a similar ploy with a CR three years ago when they were in power and insisted he had been upfront about the tactics in a public meeting.

Ranking Republican, Rep. Jerry Lewis of California, countered that the whole strategy was “one of the most cynical legislative maneuvers I’ve ever seen.” And Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) said Democrats made matters worse by wrapping the spending provision into the legislative appropriations bill –taking care of Congress’s “backyard” and doing little for the rest of the nation.

Many in the House believe President Barack Obama’s administration should seize this opportunity to make long-term infrastructure investments to further stimulate the economy. But the White House and Senate prefer to put off this debate until after the 2010 elections, when there will be an opportunity to address the issue of new revenues to support such expenditures.

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