As I gave up my land line years ago, I don't really see the point of having a mailbox anymore. After checking for mail, I usually stop at the trash can on the way inside and deposit the entire wad.
But an interestingly one-sided article concerning the closure of 2,000 post offices around the country recently caught my eye. The premise, put forth by the CBS correspondent Michelle Miller, was that the post office is a place for folks to gather, the vital hub, the "glue of the community." As if every city in the country was Mayberry, USA.
Many see the post office, and its $23 million per day losses, as I do: an antiquated system which only stays in operation because of its connection with the federal government and the loans it takes from the US Treasury.
I recently bought some stamps at the post office. It wasn't the one in my neighborhood, because it is inconvenient to stop on the way to work, or on the way home from work, and you can buy stamps at the grocery or online (oh, the irony).
I came away from my visit with the distinct feeling that none of the customers were happy to be there. Not the sort of place one would think of as "community glue", as Ms. Miller would have you believe. It was easy to see that most all the customers on that day were irritated at the slow moving line, and more interested in getting their business taken care of and getting the hell out of there.
Yes, the post office, or USPS since 1971, has had its ups and downs. Mostly downs, the lowest perhaps being the decision to unionize, otherwise known as "the Kiss of Death". This year, the amount of debt owed by the USPS will total $8.5 billion. But more is on the way.
On Thursday, April 15, 2010, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing to examine the status of the Postal Service and recent reports on short and long term strategies for the financial viability and stability of the USPS entitled "Continuing to Deliver: An Examination of the Postal Service's Current Financial Crisis and its Future Viability." At which, PMG Potter testified that by the year 2020, the USPS cumulative losses could exceed $238 billion, and that mail volume could drop 15% from 2009. (source: Wikipedia)
Of course, any business flushing this kind of money is a candidate for a government bailout. And, as an extension of the executive branch, this surely gets a spot at the front of the line.
With the possible bailout for the USPS looming in the near future, I am wondering how Obama is going to sell this additional
(we now join the President's address, already in progress)
Not only should we not allow these American institutions to close, but we should begin to built more! Hundreds more, all across America, built by American workers, creating jobs for Americans, in America, shining monuments to the spirit and determination that has made this country great.
This is why today, with bipartisan support, I have assembled a team of the best and brightest minds available, from both sides of the aisle, and put in place the Community Recovery Action Program. My new CRAP is essential in order to determine the best way to combat our crisis, perhaps the worst crisis we've faced as a nation since the last really bad one.
The $300 billion CRAP is designed to search for and eliminate waste from our systems, and to deposit this waste where it can do the most good, or the least harm, for hard working, middle class Americans.
The pipeline of our economic growth has been plugged with years of waste and abuse. My new CRAP will replace the inefficient and bloated Federal Accounting Recovery Target, a lingering remnant of the previous administration, which has only clogged our system and led to the severe irregularity that threatens the bowels of our economy.
This may not be the best move, and I'll be the first to admit it's not perfect. But we cannot afford to sit and do nothing. We can all agree that some movement is essential for the health and well being of our country. If we have learned anything from the past eight years, FART was only effective as a short-term remedy, and the need for a good CRAP is now evident if we wish to effect long-term relief.
This is not anything new, it's not as if someone suddenly lit a match and cleared the air. These are simply solid and sound principles that our country was built on. But the time for waiting is over, the status quo is unacceptable, and so we must let go of FART in order to allow for CRAP to succeed.
Henceforth, CRAP will work in conjunction with a newly combined Senate and House Investigative Taskforce, which will add the pretense of transparency and accountability to the entire process of eliminating all waste accumulated as a result of our government's improper diet and decades of gorging itself on taxpayer dollars. And you will be happy to know that this SHIT will not add one dime to our deficit.
Under the combined leadership of Rep. Norm Dick and Sen. Dick Durbin, SHIT has been structured such that no one legislative body can abuse its majority, regardless of which Dick is out on the floor.
I wish to thank Rep. Barney Frank for graciously volunteering his services to work hand in hand with the Dicks. It is my understanding that Rep. Frank has an excellent record of service to either Dick, as well as all others, regardless of their congressional weight. I think we can all agree that these distinguished gentlemen are, without doubt in most people's minds, two of the biggest Dicks in Washington.
Now, let me be clear on this - I'm not going to lie - this isn't going to be easy. It will take a lot of hard work and determination from all of us. And education, too, lots of education, the really expensive kind, in order to compete in the high-tech global postage marketplace of the future.
But if we can put aside our differences and work together, I know we can be successful, because that's who we are as Americans. Now is not the time to shy away from our goals, but to reach out and seize the moment - and to win the future.
This investment in our future will do more than create jobs, and rebuild our communities. It will once again place America at the forefront of worldwide postal inefficiency. Thank you, good night, and God bless the United States of America.
Obama: "Think they bought it, Joe?
Biden: " Who cares? They're all idiots. I mean, Christ - they voted for us, right?"
Obama: "Hahahahahaha. Yes, they did, Joe...they sure did."