Congress to Hightail it Out of Washington With Major Priorities Unfinished

By: Tuesday September 18, 2012 6:54 am

Congress is in session this week for the final time this year before the election. I sort of shrugged this off as fairly typical for an election year, but it’s not. Usually, Congress stays in session until about a month before the election. Here they’re leaving with seven weeks to go. The do-nothing Congress has [...]

Responding to Comments on the Future of the Postal Service

By: Friday August 3, 2012 8:55 am

My article about the postal service got an unusually robust amount of play among the blogosphere, so I thought I’d respond to some of the comments. First of all, I think there’s wide agreement on the left that the postal service doesn’t actually have a funding problem at the current time. This recent default stems [...]

Postal Service Challenges Have Plenty of Answers

By: Wednesday August 1, 2012 8:55 am

The US Postal Service will default on a $5.5 billion prepaid retiree health benefit payment today, and this will surely lead to calls for privatization or mass jobs cuts. But the default concerns the unusual way in which the USPS, unlike virtually any other company in the world, pre-pays its health benefits many years out. [...]

Congress Abandons Key Bills, a Mark of Its Historic Dysfunction

By: Tuesday July 24, 2012 6:23 am

It’s the time of the (election) season where Congress does everything it can to delay contentious issues until after November. So it is with two particular measures they’d rather not deal with at this time. Senate-passed bills to cut farm subsidies and food stamps and overhaul the financially teetering Postal Service have been put on [...]

Postal Service to Degrade Quality in a Bid for Competitiveness

By: Monday December 5, 2011 11:35 am

Letters will take longer to reach their destination – so plan birthday cards accordingly – under a new postal service plan to keep the troubled agency solvent. The United States Postal Service said on Monday that it would reduce service to cut costs in a move it said could largely eliminate the chance of next-day [...]

Credit Unions Gained 40,000 New Members on Bank Transfer Day

By: Wednesday November 9, 2011 7:30 am

We’re starting to get hard numbers from Bank Transfer Day. The Credit Union National Association, the leading trade group for credit unions, reports 40,000 new accounts on November 5. This is 24 times the normal rate of membership increases for the industry in 2010, and two times the rate of membership since September 29.  That’s [...]

Postal Service “Crisis” Comes Entirely From Unorthodox Pre-Funding Mandate

By: Tuesday September 27, 2011 11:40 am

I’m a little labor-heavy today, but this caught my eye. We’ve been discussing the imminent demise of the US Postal Service, and the potential loss of 120,000 good-paying jobs. But most of the near-term funding “crisis” for the USPS comes from an unusual pre-funding mandate for retiree benefits. James Parks explains: The USPS economic crisis [...]

A Look at the Underbelly of the President’s Deficit Plan

By: Tuesday September 20, 2011 12:29 pm

Because the April Obama deficit reduction plan played out over a 12-year time horizon, and the deficit reduction plan released yesterday has a more traditional 10-year horizon, some of the presumed changes aren’t really big changes at all. In fact, the plan reads like a rehash of that April document, with the American Jobs Act [...]

A Public Option for Simple Banking

By: Wednesday September 7, 2011 2:17 pm

The US Postmaster General pleaded with lawmakers yesterday to help him avert a complete shutdown of the US Postal Service through default. The Postal Service could miss a scheduled $5.5 billion retirement benefit payment at the end of the month, and cash could run out by next summer, leading to a shutdown of operations. The [...]

Postal Service Wants to Eliminate 120,000 Jobs

By: Friday August 12, 2011 8:10 am

Because we don’t have enough economic troubles right now, the US Postal Service announced that they may cut 120,000 jobs and pull completely out of the federal health care plan, in an effort to cover a budget shortfall. The layoffs would be achieved in part by breaking labor agreements, a proposal that drew swift fire [...]

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