Save First-Class Mail
The Postal Service in January plans to shut down as many as 82 mail processing plants, eliminate up to 15,000 decent-paying jobs and end overnight delivery for first-class mail. Sen. Bernie Sanders has teamed up with Sens. Jon Tester and Tammy Baldwin to prevent the Postal Service from making these devastating cuts. They’ve called on Congress when it reconvenes in November to impose at least a one-year moratorium on the cuts. Altogether, 51 Senators signed onto a letter including Majority Leader Reid and six Republicans (James Inhofe, Roy Blunt, John Thune, Susan Collins, John Hoeven and Orrin Hatch). They want the moratorium to give Congress time to enact a comprehensive postal reform bill.
The Postal Service says it needs to make cuts because it is going broke. In fact, the Postal Service has made nearly $1 billion in profits since the fall of 2012. What the Postal Service says puts its accounts in the red is a $5.5 billion annual payment Congress required to pre-fund 75 years of future retiree health benefits. The $5.5 billion a year mandate was insisted upon by George W. Bush. No other government or private sector entity in America is burdened with this mandate. In fact, the Postal Service has not made the payments for years. What’s more, the payments are not needed. The fund already has enough set aside to cover the health benefits. Sanders has introduced a bill in the Senate that would end the pre-funding mandate and allow the Postal Service to sell new products and services.
- Bernie vs. Big Oil: Sen. Bernie Sanders challenged Chevron’s bid to install company-controlled candidates in municipal offices in Richmond, California, a San Francisco Bay Area city that is home to a giant petroleum refinery. “Why is a company like Chevron willing to spend $3 million in a small citywide election? What do they want? Is it really in the best interests of working families or low-income people or the elderly? I think common sense suggests it is not. What you have here fairly uniquely in this country is a mayor and city government prepared to stand up to them and say to them, “You know what? You’re going to have to work with the community. You can’t have it all.’ The job of government is to protect all of the people, not just the wealthy, not just the powerful, not just the oil companies,” Sanders told Richmond Confidential.