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News Postal Service stops Saturday mail delivery

  1. Feb 6, 2013 #1
    It's about time! Let's go to 3 times a week. Mon, Wed, Fri. However I suppose this would hurt employment.

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/06/news/economy/postal-service-cuts/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2013 #2

    Evo

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    I consider this outrageous.

    The taxpayers are paying for retirees to get medical insurance AND the postal retirees ALSO get medicare! They can use both and basically get virtually free medical for life. I say if they get Medicare, then we can save billions of dollars by scraping the retiree medical, it's unnecessary and is just raping the taxpayer, IMO.

    http://blogs.federaltimes.com/federal-retirement/category/health-insurance/fehbp-and-medicare/ [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  4. Feb 6, 2013 #3

    turbo

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    Stopping or curtailing Saturday delivery will cost one young lady much of her part-time job. My niece is the normal delivery person around here, and she'd be OK, though the lady who takes over for Saturdays and my niece's vacation days will have her hours cut.

    Still, the USPS seems to want to continue parcel deliveries on Saturday. I'll have to talk to my niece and see what effect the curtailments might have on her replacement. Her rural mail-route is very large, spanning 5 or 6 towns with lots of back-roads and roadside mailboxes, but I have a hard time understanding how cutting regular mail service while keeping parcel-delivery service might save much money. These ladies still have to drive, charging off their fuel costs and mileage to the USPS. We'll see how it goes.
     
  5. Feb 6, 2013 #4

    turbo

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    Also, there is a town about 15 miles south of here that has at least 4 post-offices. Some of them are very small, and they should have been consolidated years ago. Let the people in the town-proper get to the largest post office to send and pick up their mail, and convert the rest of the town to RFD. That would take ~6 Postmasters and Assistant Postmasters off the rolls. Some or most could transition to RFD driving and save the USPS a whole bunch of money.
     
  6. Feb 6, 2013 #5

    russ_watters

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    No Evo, the USPS is about the only service that is fully self funded. Retiree benefits are paid by stamp buyers, not taxpayers.

    Of course, when the USPS pension fund collapses, we'll probably bail it out.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  7. Feb 6, 2013 #6

    G01

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    The use of when, and not if, in the above statement is disconcerting...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2013
  8. Feb 6, 2013 #7

    Evo

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    Yes, you're right, but they're borrowing billions of dollars from taxpayers to fund it and have already been defaulting. They cannot afford it.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-02/understanding-the-post-office-s-benefits-mess.html

    They've got Medicare, so I don't see ending the private healthcare as a big deal. And I don't see how the taxpayer is going to escape footing the bill unless it is scraped.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2013
  9. Feb 6, 2013 #8
    I think it’s effectively similar to any retiree group that gets supplemental medical retiree insurance, since either their postal health plan or Medicare will be declared primary and the other will only cover the excess. Even if the postal service doesn’t fulfill the requirement to fund they are still better funded than the majority of private retiree medical plans.

    I can understand concern over the financial future of the service, but I don’t see how the outrage is warranted.
     
  10. Feb 6, 2013 #9

    jtbell

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    Postage rates here are lower than in most other developed countries. In Canada, for example, it costs 63c to mail a first-class letter or postcard, compared to 46c for a letter here, and less for a postcard. The Postal Service is forbidden by law from raising rates faster than the overall inflation rate. That worked while mail volume was still increasing, or at least holding steady. But mail volume has been dropping for the last decade. Something has to give.
     
  11. Feb 6, 2013 #10
    I for one would have no problem paying 50-60 cents for a stamp.
     
  12. Feb 6, 2013 #11
    Will PF still be available on Saturdays?
     
  13. Feb 6, 2013 #12
    Server fees are rising fast! PF will now announce a new operating schedule of 3am-7am M-F and 5am-8am Sat-Sun and close all day every third wed.
     
  14. Feb 6, 2013 #13

    jtbell

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    Or put all the residentlai delivery routes in two groups. One group gets deliveries on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; the other gets deliveries on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. This would cut the number of residential mail carriers roughly in half. Businesses could still get daily deliveries.
     
  15. Feb 6, 2013 #14

    Evo

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    I guess I am alone in being upset that they have already defaulted on 15 billion in taxpayer loans that seem unlikely to be repaid (according to everything I've read) and all due to a retiree health care plan which isn't necessary.
     
  16. Feb 6, 2013 #15
    It isn't clear what you mean by saying their medical plan wasn't necessary. Had medicare been paying primary and the PS been paying less, it just means taxpayers would have had higher Medicare expenses. Since the current health plan was previously (before the prefunding requirement) being funded through postal sales, relying more on medicare would have actually cost taxpayers more.
     
  17. Feb 6, 2013 #16
    One question I don't think is asked often enough is why we allow most postriree medical benfits in the US (both public and private) to be unfunded to begin with.

    I believe the answer is that they used to be too small to be worth funding, and now are too big to fund.

    It's an upsetting answer.
     
  18. Feb 6, 2013 #17

    Evo

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    It was initially just my confusion due to the issue of the retirement health plan being in the news so much the past 2 years. I was tired and thinking it had gone back to being taxpayer funded as opposed to them "borrowing" the taxpayer money to fund it.

    Medicare will still pay the brunt of medical bills for hospitalization and long term care.

    I'm not sure if we should start a new thread discussing the USPS situation or leave here since the delivery change is part of trying to save money.

    The USPS does receive ~ 96 million dollars of taxpayer money each year that goes into the "Postal Service Fund", but it's purpose is not to fund retiree pensions.

    http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/consumerawareness/a/uspsabout.htm
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  19. Feb 7, 2013 #18
    Medicare does not cover long term care.

    Why is it Medicare will pay the brunt of hospitalization? Anytime a medicare enrollee has other insurance coverage, Medicare always pays secondary. Shouldn't their primary plan pay the majority of hospital related bills?
     
  20. Feb 7, 2013 #19
    I think the outrage is over the suspicion that the postal service's retiree medical plan will be bailed out if it comes up short, while private plans (for anyone other than GM and Chryslter!) won't get that kind of taxpayer support.
     
  21. Feb 7, 2013 #20

    turbo

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    IMO, the current troubles at USPS can be traced back to PAEA, which requires the postal service to pay over $5B a year to pre-pay the service's retirement accounts for 75 years. The problem is that the 75 years' worth of retirement funding has to be paid for in just 10 years. That's a tough nut to crack. Congress was responsible for causing this problem, and they have shown no inclination to fix it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postal_Regulatory_Commission
     
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