[Vision2020] President Obama proposes Postal Service bailout
thansen at moscow.com
Tue Sep 20 05:59:30 PDT 2011
Courtesy of today's (September 20, 2011) Spokesman-Review.
Obama proposes Postal Service bailout
Plan would let deliveries drop to five days a week
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Monday proposed bailing out the U.S. Postal Service, urging that it be allowed to cut mail delivery to five days a week and raise the price of postage.
He also proposed allowing the service to get a $6.9 billion refund from an overfunded pension fund.
“Bold action is needed,” Obama said. “The administration recognizes the enormous value of the U.S. Postal Service to the nation’s commerce and communications, as well as the urgent need for reform to ensure its future viability.”
Unless the government acts quickly, he said, the service will be insolvent by the end of the month, when it will have used up its cash reserves, will have reached its government mandated borrowing limit of $15 billion, and will be unable to make a required $5.5 billion payment to its retiree health program.
Obama also proposed restructuring the Postal Service’s pension plan and allowing it to sell non-postal goods to bring in more money.
Tucked into his broader proposal to cut federal budget deficits, Obama’s plan said the Postal Service is beset by long-term problems brought on by the recession and the loss of mail services to email.
Mail delivery has plummeted, with 43 billion fewer pieces sent this year than just four years ago.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has proposed closing hundreds of post offices and mail facilities and eliminating Saturday mail delivery to save costs.
But many members of Congress are fighting plans to close postal facilities in their districts. And a prominent House Republican said Monday that he opposes Obama’s plan.
“The president’s proposal is not what taxpayers or the Postal Service needs,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Seeya round town, Moscow.
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