Contrived deficits part of broader Rightwing plan to eliminate government as source of public service...
UPDATED to include Credo Action on-line petition
By Ernest A. Canning on 2/8/2013, 11:47am PT  

The massive operating deficits that have driven the U.S. Post Office to announce an end to delivery of First Class mail on Saturdays, beginning in August, are not the product of postal service ineptitude. Those deficits are not the product of increased public access to emails or from competition by private delivery services like UPS or FedEx.

The U.S. Postal Service has been victimized by the Orwellian-labeled Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA), which embodies a scheme designed to destroy the constitutionally established U.S. Postal Service in order to privatize mail and parcel delivery. In a lame duck session, at the peak of the USPS' profitability and productivity, a then Republican-controlled Congress forced the U.S. Postal Service "to pre-fund 75 years worth of pensions" in the span of ten years, "a requirement not made of any other public or private institution." If not for the onerous and unprecedented requirements of the PAEA, the U.S. Postal Service, which is not funded by any taxes, would now be experiencing a $1.5 billion surplus.

The contrived demise of the postal service must be understood within the broader subversive goals of libertarian and right wing philosophy --- a philosophy which, despite the express provisions of both the Preamble and Article I of the U.S. Constitution, rejects the right of government to "promote the general welfare"...

'Privatization' threatens democracy

"The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself," President Franklin D. Roosevelt warned in a speech to Congress on Apr. 29, 1938. "That, in its essence, is fascism --- ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power."

In The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein provided valuable insight on "privatization," a concept in which wealthy elites seek to turn everything that was historically considered part of the public domain into an activity or resource that can provide the billionaire class with an opportunity to extract a profit.

Klein offers concrete examples documenting the authoritarian repression and economic desolation that befell every nation that embraced "neoliberal" free market economics and its accompanying austerity measures. As historian Chalmers Johnson observed on the book's cover, The Shock Doctrine "rips away the 'free trade' and globalization ideologies that disguise a conspiracy to privatize war and disaster and grab public property for the rich few" --- all, as part of "our headlong flight back to feudalism under the guise of social science and 'freedom.'"

Where Klein discussed the disturbing prospects of privatized police and fire services, the ultimate absurdity came during the Sept. 13, 2011 'Tea Party' Presidential Primary Debate when former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) went beyond a call for the elimination of the of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Romney suggested that FEMA's critical disaster relief function should be privatized.

Hurricane Sandy so exposed the folly of privatized disaster relief that the mendacious Republican Presidential candidate evaded reporters and the issue, even as he shamelessly sought to exploit the disaster via a staged photo op that included fake food donations.

So when Sandy slammed into the Jersey shores and the President called for swiftly cutting through red tape to insure prompt assistance from FEMA and other federal agencies, the climate-science denying, oil industry oligarch Koch Brothers' keynote speaker, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), had a very significant decision to make. He could responsibly step forward on behalf of the citizens of the Garden State or he could abide by the ideological dictates of his plutocratic benefactors and be reduced to the same feckless sycophant that his party's standard bearer displayed with his fake food donations.

To Christie's credit, he chose the former. Orwellian hard-right ideology simply gave way to a profound reality. No private organization is capable of handling a disaster of that magnitude, which requires res publica in the form of a coordinated effort of government at the federal, state and local levels. Thus, despite his prior commitment to the Koch brothers' privatization agenda, the harsh reality of the massive scope of Sandy's devastation compelled Christie to opt for sanity.

But the U.S. Postal Service is not FEMA. The absurdity of privatization is not as readily apparent, and, as forcefully demonstrated during a Feb. 6 segment of The Ed Show on MSNBC (posted below), host Ed Schultz appropriately notes that a wide swath of the corporate-owned mainstream media has failed to report the fact that the forces of privatization, not the rise of email, explains the U.S. Postal Service's economic woes.

Where were the Democrats?

Schultz correctly notes that the scheme to destroy the U.S. Postal Service was hatched by Republicans during a lame duck session of Congress. Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress from 2008 to 2010. Why were there no efforts to repeal the PAEA during that session?

Schultz discusses whether or not the GOP will succeed in destroying the Constitutionally-mandated U.S. Postal Service all together. The answer to that question, it seems, depends largely on how forceful the President and Congressional Democrats are in both speaking out and acting on the issue. It also depends on the extent of which the corporate media bothers to exercise its own Constitutional mandate to inform the electorate by addressing the real source of the Postal Services demise. It depends upon how forceful we the people are in speaking out as well.

UPDATED 2/9/13: Credo Action is now circulating an on-line petition, which reads:

Repeal the pre-funding mandate of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, implement common sense postal service reforms, and stop undermining the USPS with needless and unfair legislation

Those who agree can sign the petition here.

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Video of the 2/6/2013 Ed Show segment on the U.S. Postal Service's announcement to end Saturday deliver of First Class mail beginning in August, follows below...

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Ernest A. Canning has been an active member of the California state bar since 1977. Mr. Canning has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science as well as a juris doctor. He is also a Vietnam vet (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968). Follow him on Twitter: @Cann4ing.

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