Toledo Talk

Another nail in the Post Office coffin...

The US treasury announced that by March 2013 it will phase out paper checks for all benefit programs. This covers social security, veterans benefits, railroad pensions and federal disability payments. Tax refund payments are exempt from this change.
The new directive will require people to get payments electronically, either through direct deposit or a prepaid debit card for those without a bank account. Fortunately the move to paperless payments will only affect a small set of recipients, since about 90 percent of people who receive federal benefits already get their payments electronically.
Walt Henderson, director of the Treasury Department’s electronic funds transfer division, said that electronic payments are safer and more efficient than paper checks; in 2010, more than 540,000 federal benefit checks were reported lost or stolen. The switch will save the government about $120 million a year. Social Security will save $1 billion over the next decade, according to the Treasury Department.

created by nana on Apr 17, 2012 at 09:28:40 pm     Business     Comments: 9

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Comments ... #

posted by shamrock44 on Apr 17, 2012 at 09:44:25 pm     #  

Did social security, the VA, etc., really have to pay for postage? Shouldn't have the USPS have been delivering this mail for free, since it is Fed business?

posted by JohnnyMac on Apr 18, 2012 at 02:01:47 am     #  

JohnnyMac posted at 02:01:47 AM on Apr 18, 2012:

Did social security, the VA, etc., really have to pay for postage? Shouldn't have the USPS have been delivering this mail for free, since it is Fed business?

Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!

If you want to treat the PO like any other government sponsored agency and let them fund their retirement as such, I don't remember the last time I had to drop a couple of dollars in a box when I had to go down to One Government Center or had to send in a check when I visited the health department.

If the PO wants to be treated as such than let them put up a tax levy and see how much taxpayers think their service is worth when they get the bill.

You can't have it both ways.

posted by dbw8906 on Apr 18, 2012 at 08:46:09 am     #  

"Shouldn't have the USPS have been delivering this mail for free"

No, because it’s not free. The PO is a CONSTITUTIONLY MANDATED SERVICE, but it doesn’t mean they should work for free for other government branches, it costs money to deliver mail and they should pay for it.

They are in the mess they are in now because the lame duck 2006 congress forced them to fund 75 years of pensions in a 10 year time frame. No other business or government agency is forced to do this.

As for a levy, how about we fund the US military like that? Let the tax payer fund wars through levies we get to vote on. No levy, no war…

posted by SensorG on Apr 18, 2012 at 09:17:58 am     #   4 people liked this

The congress mandated the pre-funding of pensions at the urging of the union!! So don't blame the PO's problems on congress, blame the union. And even without the pre-funding, the post office is still running at a deficit. They have a systemic problem that can only be fixed by lowering wages/benefits or reducing service. Which do you want? I'm good with either but no more bailouts.

posted by MsArcher on Apr 18, 2012 at 10:09:52 am     #  

Bailouts? The PO isn't a business; it's a CONSTITUTIONLY MANDATED SERVICE. If the military needs more money mid year is that a bailout?

So how did the union in 2006 get the Republican congress to make "the change they want"? I mean, Republicans love government unions so much they were happy to help them out in their last month of their lame duck session before they lost control?

The Post Office adds a million new delivery points each year and has simultaneously reduced the number of employees nationwide from over 700,000 three years ago to about 590,000 today.

The Postal Service has performed well, achieving $611 million in net operational profits delivering the mail over the four fiscal years since 2007. On-time delivery and customer satisfaction are at record levels. But because of the recession, the profits were not enough to pay for the $21 billion cost of pre-funding over that period. And so, the Postal Service had to dip into its profits, its savings and its borrowing authority.

posted by SensorG on Apr 18, 2012 at 11:00:20 am     #   2 people liked this

Well if it's "CONSTITUIONLY MANDATED", then let's amend the Constitution and end the Postal Service.

posted by texlovera on Apr 18, 2012 at 01:09:05 pm     #  

Franking privilege may end up being the only thing keeping the Post Office alive.

Interesting fact. Only two places in the US are still served by Postal Mules. Both are in Arizona. Supai AZ and Phantom Ranch AZ.

posted by MikeyA on Apr 18, 2012 at 05:42:28 pm     #  

Universal service by the post office is mandated by the constitution. If not for the 75 year rule on pensions the PO would be operating well in the black.

I can only speak for my family but we rely on the PO for the prompt delivery of most (over 90%) of our drugs. That is mandated by our insurance company. My husband gets his pension check by mail. We both get other monies in the mail, some monthly some quarterly. We also depend on the mail to pay our bills.

I can remember when we got mail delivered twice a day. It seem to me it might have ended in late 1940's.

A constitutional amendment takes years to be passed. Sometimes it fails. There has to be a way to fix the pension problem of the PO without drastic cuts to its service to the people.

posted by jackie on Apr 18, 2012 at 06:01:52 pm     #