Once again, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is showing the world how pigheadedly ideological and out of touch he is.
He just proposed repealing recently cut military pensions and making up the difference with cutting Saturday mail deliver http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/01/03/issa-bill-would-end-saturday-mail-to-repeal-military-pension-cut.
Obviously he hasn’t heard the news that the U.S. Postal Service’s reputation is way up now because it was able to deliver Christmas packages on time, something United Parcel Service and Fedex could not do. And the USPS also came through in storm-ravaged parts of this country, including conservative places like Indiana and St. Louis http://www.wbiw.com/local/archive/2014/01/us-postal-service-will-attempt-to-deliver-mail-today.php http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/local/2014/01/06/usps-st-louis-mail-delivery/4338347/
Even Business Week has to grudgingly acknowledge the USPS’s performance during this period http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-12-30/an-unlikely-star-of-the-holiday-shipping-season-the-u-dot-s-dot-postal-service.
I guess Issa, chairman of the House Government Reform Committee and fierce proponent of Postal privatization, hasn’t heard from enough from his constituents about postal service performance. Or he just doesn’t care.
Either that or this bill is just a cynical gesture, By pitting the heavily unionized USPS against veterans maybe he thinks he can get widespread public support on his side http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/01/07/a-deeper-look-at-issas-plan-to-replace-military-pension-cuts-lic with-postal-savings/.
But on a practical level, how would this work? Since the USPS is an independent self-funded agency, it’s quite unclear how cutting Saturday could benefit veterans. Military pensions are paid for out of U.S. Treasury funds.
It looks like Issa wants to capitalize on people’s ignorance of how the federal government and USPS work. He wants to do anything he can look good in the eyes of union-hating and military-loving conservatives. Maybe he thinks this measure would improve his chances for further advancement in the GOP should it take control of Congress early next year.
What a mediocre opportunist.
Issa still doesn’t have a good record in getting traction for his postal reform bills in Congress. For example, one past measure that would have replaced the existing USPS Board of Governors with a “financial control board” never made it out of committee in the House. Such a board would have been the first major step toward privatization.
What’s more, Issa ignores the postal service’s progress in reducing its deficit over the past few years. For the year ended Sept. 30, the USPS reduced its deficit to $5 billion http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2013/pr13_087.htm and its more than $5.8 billion obligation to fund he healthcare costs of future retirees.
Without that unnecessary onus the postal service would actually have become profitable again.
Maybe the Congressman’s taking cues from the more extreme elements of his party and is trying to impose an unworkably uncompromising and reactionary agenda on the country. But he apparently suffers from the same myopia that cost the Republicans the 2012 election and even the recent Governor’s election in Virginia.
It’s not so much that the GOP didn’t communicate its message effectively as it claims. The party did so loudly and clearly and the public rejected it.
Even with a possible political shift in the 2014 Congressional elections, the GOP could still seriously misjudge the electorate.