CHUCK MUTH'S NEWS & VIEWS

The good, the bad & the ugly. Liberal excesses. Conservative successes. Clowns to the Left. Jokers to the Right. Read all about 'em in Chuck's FREE hard-hitting, no B.S. newsletter of current events and political goings-on you won't find in the "mainstream press."

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Chuck Muth is President and CEO of Citizen Outreach and a professional political consultant. Mr. Muth is a professional campaign trainer, a newsletter publisher and talk-show host who regularly appears on political TV and radio programs.

Monday

News & Views, 12/27/04


THE SANCTITY OF THE MAIL

“A postal worker was fired and could face charges after federal authorities, acting on a tip, found thousands of pieces of undelivered mail in the letter-carrier's home and garage. U.S. Postal Inspector Brett Brumbaugh said a citizen who discovered more than 500 pieces of undelivered mail contacted law enforcement officials Thursday. He would not elaborate on where the mail was found. The investigation led authorities to search a temporary postal worker's home Friday, Brumbaugh said. He said the mail found at the home included everything from credit card applications to packages to bills. Some of the mail had been opened, he said.”

- Associated Press, 12/22/04

MONEY ORDER THIEF

“A postal manager was charged with stealing $373,000 after allegedly telling clerks he needed blank money orders for official U.S. Postal Service business, according to a federal complaint unsealed Monday. Robert F. Lenz, 55, was charged with two counts each of theft of public money and money laundering. The complaint alleges that Lenz, while working as manager of internal controls for a USPS Processing and Distribution Center, stole postal money orders and engaged in financial transactions to conceal the source of his criminal proceeds.”

- SignOnSanDiego.com, 12/20/04

INQUIRING MINDS WANNA KNOW

Postal workers and officials are always quick to point out that the post office is no longer an actual government agency, but a private entity which just happens to enjoy a government-enforced monopoly. But if the USPS is truly a private, non-government business operation, then why - as reader Lou Cook of Goldboro, NC, points out - doesn’t the post office have to register its vehicles and pay for state license plates like you and I and every other “real” private business around the country?

The idea that the post office is a “private enterprise” is a crock.

POST OFFICE HELL

“I had to return a package so I went down to the Forest Hills, New York post office on Queens Blvd. I went early in the day - I was there just before 9 a.m. on December 8, 2004 - in the mistaken belief that maybe I could complete my simple transaction - sending a small box to Ohio - in a few minutes. I was wrong. When I came in the post office, there were exactly 32 people ahead of me in a line that never seemed to end. And it was early in the day, who knows how many people would be there by midday or at the peak hours?

“There are some seven windows in the office. Two were open. Several employees ambled around the back in the office. Apparently, they were not available to pitch in. Gee, I hope none of the patrons planned on getting to work soon. I hope no one was planning to go somewhere quick. All of us now had a new job - waiting in line at the post office and taking orders from surly civil servants...

“(Thirty minutes later) there were three windows open. Still, the line moved very slowly. Forest Hills residents, who have been sentenced to the cruel and unusual punishment of going to their post office - or any post office - are advised to bring beach chairs, a hot meal and a radio...

“If the government took over the bagel and fruit and vegetable stores many of us would die of hunger waiting to buy our food. Correction, the food would never get there in time. It would be stuck back in New Jersey with my check. Or maybe it would get here, but then they’d have to search for it at the post office. Lenin was right: the postal service pretty well sums up what happens to any institution managed by the state.”

- Columnist Gregory Bresiger

AUNT MINNIE MAIL NO MORE

“As the U.S. Postal Service struggles through the holiday season and its busiest time of the year, John Jose, like many mail carriers around the country, has noticed a difference in his deliveries.
December always meant heavy loads, but in the past few years, the burden has not necessarily been because of Christmas cards. It's all Victoria's Secret catalogs and Macy's and ShopRite advertisements these days,’ said Jose, who has been a carrier in Somerset for 11 years. ‘Personal letters and greeting cards get less every year.’

“The heavier loads may make life tougher for the carriers, but they don't necessarily mean more money for the Postal Service. Catalogs and similar forms of advertising generate much less revenue per delivery than personal mail. And on the flip side, more people are turning to e-mail for personal correspondence, depriving the Postal Service of its traditional main source of cash, first-class mail.”

- Contra Costa Times, 12/25/04

CYCLING TEAM FINDS NEW SPONSOR

Turns out that Lance Armstrong’s cycling team didn’t need to be sponsored by a government-protected, taxpayer-subsidized monopoly after all. In response to growing objections to the USPS spending a bundle on Team Armstrong, the post office announced earlier this year that it was ending its sponsorship.

Not to worry. Team Armstrong picked up a new sponsor for 2005: The Discovery Channel...an actual private enterprise.

CAGW ENDS CYCLE OF PORK

“The US pork barrel patrol Citizens Against Government Waste - a self-appointed guardian of what is and isn't a waste of taxpayer's money - is claiming victory. It and it alone forced the US Postal Service to cease sponsoring Lance Armstrong's pro road team.

“In an end of year report on the group's progress, the right-wing Citizens Against Government Waste claims its criticism ‘led to the United States Postal Service's (USPS) ending its multi-million dollar sponsorship of Lance Armstrong's Pro Cycling Team. At the time of the contract, the agency was losing money even while raising postage rates. USPS claimed the sponsorship generated $18 million; it was found to generate only a measly $684,000.’

“Pork. Best eaten with a pinch of salt.”

- BikeBiz.com, 12/23/04

HOPPING ON THE POSTAL REFORM BANDWAGON

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has committed his administration to privatizing his nation’s postal service and has been pushing strenuously to get it done. Apparently, he must be making some headway, because opponents in his own Liberal Democrat Party last week announced their own postal privatization alternative, saying they hadn’t made a final decision yet on whether or not to support Koizumi’s proposal.

The powers-that-be behind the postal monopoly must really be feeling some pressure...because they’re really starting to push back. The closer you get to the stove, the hotter it gets in the kitchen.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH POSTAL REFORM

“(The) House and Senate (postal reform) bills fall far short of the comprehensive reform that is needed and, in some ways, would make the current situation worse:

* The bills provide for billions of dollars in new subsidies for the Postal Service. The legislation relieves the Postal Service of its obligation to pay postal retirees some $27 billion over the next few decades in pension benefits for prior military service. Instead, the U.S. Treasury would assume this obligation. However, these obligations are Postal Service costs, triggered by retirees' postal employment, and part of the total compensation paid for postal work. Taxpayers should not be saddled with this burden.

* The bills keep in place--or even expand--political restrictions on the USPS's ability to cut costs. For instance, the Postal Service would continue to be banned from closing post offices because they run a deficit. Moreover, the bills ignore a proposal by the President's reform commission to streamline closures of other facilities through a process similar to that used to close unneeded military bases.

* Most of the special privileges enjoyed by the USPS would remain in place, including the most important one: the statutory monopoly that makes it illegal for anyone else to deliver letter mail. This monopoly should be repealed. Short of that, a number of important changes could be made. For example, the President's postal reform commission proposed giving the Postal Regulatory Commission the authority to determine the extent of the monopoly rather than letting the Postal Service define the limits of its own monopoly.

* In addition, the USPS enjoys a monopoly on the use of customers' mailboxes. This also should be repealed. Individual consumers--not the Postal Service--should decide which providers can use their own mailboxes.”

- James Gattuso of the Heritage Foundation

*********************************************
GOIN’ POSTAL is published by:

Citizen Outreach
Chuck Muth
President/Editor
611 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, #439
Washington, DC 20003
(410) 391-7408

For more information on the issue of postal reform, visit www.postalreform.com

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This morning, 1/18/05, the people of MN have set themselves up for eco-nut attacks. They went into coffee shops on 1/17/05 and did not turn the car off since it was -54 degrees. Here in NJ, leaving a car running while inside the 7-11 will garner a fine of $3000.00 for the pollution being created.

January 18, 2005 at 2:21 PM  
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