We need to sort this out

Proposal to end mail processing here ought to be stamped out

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Normally, a delay at the Post Office isn’t such a good thing.

This one may be a godsend.

The U.S. Postal Service has plans to close some 3,700 local post offices and 252 mail-processing facilities – including Augusta’s processing facility, meaning local mail would be routed through Macon or Columbia, depending on your zip code.

That’s just crazy. Why would Georgia’s second-largest city be first in line for such a closure? And to think, a letter you send to your neighbor would be trucked down to Macon or over to Columbia, then sorted and sent back? How inefficient and silly is that?

Thankfully, the Postal Service has announced a five-month reprieve, until May 15, to give Congress (and the rest of us) time to consider alternatives.

There are many. Changing to five-day delivery is one. And there is a lot of fat in the civil service system that could be trimmed with a little courage.

Restructuring and, yes, closing some facilities will likely be necessary; mail volume, and revenue, has dropped over the years as more consumers use electronic bill payment and e-mails to communicate. As a result of this, and high legacy costs, the Postal Service is facing an estimated $14 billion in fiscal 2012.

But we need to make sure the reorganization is done wisely, with efficiency front and center – and not the meat-cleaver methods so often employed in political decision-making. In addition, if the changes only add to delivery time – as they surely will – then that will likely further erode the public’s reliance on what they call “snail mail.” The danger is that a spiral downward becomes a nosedive.

People who rely on such things as government checks would no doubt be hit hardest.

A public hearing on the proposed closing is still scheduled for tonight at 6 o’clock at the Kroc Center, 1833 Broad St. We still need to show up and voice our concerns. While the reprieve has been granted, the mail processing center still sits on death row.

Tell them to take their proposal and mark “Return to Sender” on it.

Comments (46) Add comment
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blues550
376
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blues550 12/15/11 - 06:41 am
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How very phony of you. Always
Unpublished

How very phony of you. Always talking about cuttinh weaste. Judt not I'm your backyare. And goverrnment checks...got direct deposit!

agustinian
689
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agustinian 12/15/11 - 07:48 am
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That's right, reform the Post

That's right, reform the Post Office, just don't do it here in Augusta. This is the problem in Government, we're all in favor of reforming government so long as our own ox isn't being gored.

Government checks for people -- are you kidding? They have phased that out long ago, you get an electronic deposit in a bank account or a credit on a debit card.

So, complain about the PO operating deficit, complain about "snail mail", complain about the cost of postage -- and then when they try to fix it system-wide GIVE IT TO THEM BROADSIDE -- We didn't mean that kind of fix which would affect us, we meant fixes for Buffalo Snot, Montana and those places. NIMBY

etlinks
20728
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etlinks 12/15/11 - 08:48 am
0
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From the junk mail I receive

From the junk mail I receive EVERYDAY in the post a 4 day delievery nationwide would be more than enough.

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 12/15/11 - 09:14 am
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Editors, as a admirer of the

Editors, as a admirer of the Chronicle for most of my life, I must say that this is the most ridiculous editorial that you have ever produced. This is like saying that we should throw the bums out and then voting for your own senator that has been in office for thirty years.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 12/15/11 - 10:01 am
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The US Post Office has just

The US Post Office has just pulled a fast one. They are doing to the American public EXACTLY what the public schools are doing.

Threaten to close offices, make things more inconvenient (in the case of the schools, they threaten to get rid of sports programs, art, music, increase class sizes, decrease the quality of instruction, etc).

All this is done as a threat to scare the public into supporting them and not fighting the tax increases that will be needed to keep the government beasts operating.

Looks like its working - the public outcry has begun, just like it did for the school systems.

We will never make any cuts as long as everyone "doesn't want it done in their back yard".

We will all feel the pain of the govt cuts that will be coming. The current model is unsustainable and has led to dozens of trillions of dollars in federal, state & local govt debt.

If we are unwilling to accept the cuts, then we will be bankrupt within 3-4 years. And then you will know REAL pain - watching your nation break up or be taken over by the Chinese.

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 12/15/11 - 10:09 am
0
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Why can’t they increase the

Why can’t they increase the price of stamps?

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 12/15/11 - 10:16 am
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Good morning , BJ. It is my

Good morning , BJ. It is my understanding, and I could be wrong, That they can't raise the cost of stamps above the cost of living increase.

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 12/15/11 - 10:32 am
0
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chillen wrote If we are

chillen wrote
If we are unwilling to accept the cuts, then we will be bankrupt within 3-4 years. And then you will know REAL pain - watching your nation break up or be taken over by the Chinese.

That's funny. I can remember as a child that I told to eat my liver or some other distasteful food with ," Think of the poor Chinese children who would love to have your dinner." Now we are concerned about them taking us over.

burninater
9580
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burninater 12/15/11 - 10:55 am
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Threaten to close offices,

Threaten to close offices, make things more inconvenient (in the case of the schools, they threaten to get rid of sports programs, art, music, increase class sizes, decrease the quality of instruction, etc).
-------
Ummm, what do you THINK happens when you decrease operational budgets? These things aren't free. You cut budgets, you cut services ... pretty simple.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 12/15/11 - 11:10 am
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That's right burninator. And

That's right burninator. And that's OK. But they go right for the jugular. Instead of cutting pensions, cutting staff in admin, cutting secretaries, scaling back on the state of the art buildings, they threaten to cut education quality or mail service.

My point is, they are using fear and bullying to try & keep their department and agencies intact.

You are smart enough to understand that.

burninater
9580
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burninater 12/15/11 - 11:14 am
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Chillen, my point is that

Chillen, my point is that this isn't bullying. This is reality. Things have to be cut when there is less money. There is no way around this. Do you honestly believe there is a way to reduce operations budgets without reducing services? That there is some section of invisible, intangible services that will be cut first and we will all pay less taxes and everything will stay the same?

You are smart enough to understand this.

burninater
9580
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burninater 12/15/11 - 11:25 am
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You added some specifics to

You added some specifics to your past post, let's consider these:

Cut pensions and you will need to increase salary to attract the same labor.

Cut admin and secretaries and the workload shifts to those they formerly supported, meaning 1) the work is now being performed at a higher wage level, and 2) that person (such as a teacher) now has less time for their primary role (such as teaching).

State of the art buildings? Have you been to a school or post office lately? And I'm not talking about schools that are funded by a wealthy local tax base.

There is some SERIOUS denial occurring right now in the starve the beast contingent.

follower
59
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follower 12/15/11 - 11:45 am
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Chillen and Burn, you both

Chillen and Burn, you both have a point. Chillen; the government is trying to hit folks in the "convenience" button to make them yell.
Burn; you rightfully point out that conservatives have screamed for cuts, and now that some are proposed, some conservatives are yelling when the cuts affect them.

Chillen, I remember well many of your post where you said, "cut, and cut deep" [my phrasing].

The post office has been a fat tick for a long time. It's as good a place as any. But I also agree that there's tremendous waste in so many other places that are being ignored.

Many painful decisions are coming. Hold on.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 12/15/11 - 11:53 am
0
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Only government could

Only government could practice such poor standards and still remain in business.

onlysane1left
216
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onlysane1left 12/15/11 - 11:57 am
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Cutting back to a 5 day

Cutting back to a 5 day delivery schedule, trimming some non-essential personnel, and another bump in the price of a stamp to $0.45 per should get the ship right. Saying they would close the Augusta facility was a scare tactic, but I dont understand how the heads of the aslyum wanted to close the Augusta facility, yet, keep a small town one like Macon open, especially when Augusta has twice as many people as Macon. The USPS needs to be reformed and operate more efficently without a doubt.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 12/15/11 - 12:25 pm
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burninator. I'd be willing

burninator. I'd be willing to bet my entire life savings that private schools and private businesses could operate more efficiently that the govt facilities. If they can do it, the govt should also be able to do it.

You can scream and moan all you want about the cuts affecting services, but the fact remains that there is a TON OF FAT that can be cut before services are even affected. Bloated pensions, bloated administrator pay, bloated benefits, bloated salaries (does a PE teacher really need to make $100,000 per year?!), state of the art buildings, secretaries for the Dept of Transportation in a relatively small county, etc etc etc etc. The list is endless.

Once you cut that, then you start cutting services that affect taxpayers.

But noooooo, they want to START with the ones that affect taxpayers and scare the bejeezus out of citizens so that they will cry "OK, we'll pay for it!". To protect their precious agencies and tax wasting ways.

Yes. I say cut & cut deep. It is the only way we will survive as a nation. Have you folks seen our debt and our unfunded liability commitments? Have you seen the rapid failure of socialism occurring in Europe right now? THE MODEL DOESN'T WORK.

Good Lord, wake up liberals.

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 12/15/11 - 12:39 pm
0
0
Chilen wrote: You can scream

Chilen wrote:
You can scream and moan all you want about the cuts affecting services, but the fact remains that there is a TON OF FAT that can be cut before services are even affected. Bloated pensions, bloated administrator pay, bloated benefits, bloated salaries (does a PE teacher really need to make $100,000 per year?!), state of the art buildings, secretaries for the Dept of Transportation in a relatively small county, etc etc etc etc. The list is endless.
My response: It you have read several of my comments I am sure that you know that I am conservative and I agree with you on most of your observations about cutting fat. Pension cost, however, is the sticking point. From what I have read the Congress , for reasons that are difficult to understand, has mandated that pension cost should be paid by the Post Office up front. Could this be true? Is it a fact then the Post Office is required to do something that is not required for any other entity. If it is so than the Post Office is between a rock and a hard place. Maybe, one of you younger fellows will research this. In the meantime, I am going to take a nap.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 12/15/11 - 12:49 pm
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I don't see how that could be

I don't see how that could be true Carleton, the post office has no idea whether an employee will live to be 35, 65, 95 or 105. How could they put that pension money aside up front?

Bottom line. The problem in the post office is this:
Public Sector Unions
Government Incompetence
The Internet

Don't raise my stamp price or cut delivery days, just cut the fat. Kicking the unions to the curb would be a great starting place.

harley_52
23195
Points
harley_52 12/15/11 - 12:49 pm
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0
Chillen said "You are smart

Chillen said "You are smart enough to understand that."

Indeed.

But understanding it isn't the problem here. It's an agenda thing.

You're right. Every time someone mentions "spending cut," or "budget cut" the first thing these liberals do is go find the most necessary and important jobs/services from the public's point of view and insist the first things to go will be those. In private industry if a division of a large corporation were told to reduce costs and the division manager said the only way he could do it was to reduce production he'd be fired. So it should be with the Federal government.

There is plenty of waste, fraud, and abuse in ALL Federal agencies. Find people who will do it without regard to their political agenda and show the others the road.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 12/15/11 - 01:27 pm
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Couldn't have said it better

Couldn't have said it better myself harley.

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 12/15/11 - 01:39 pm
0
0
chillen wrote I don't see how

chillen wrote

I don't see how that could be true Carleton, the post office has no idea whether an employee will live to be 35, 65, 95 or 105. How could they put that pension money aside up front?

Yes ,they can. They use life expectancy tables to do that. Actuaries work on these kind of calculations daily. Sure, it is a best guess calculation but it is done all of the time. The question is not can they do it but did Congress mandate them to do it.Trust me on this . i worked with pension plans for 20 years. BTW, I agree with your 11:49 post.

burninater
9580
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burninater 12/15/11 - 02:33 pm
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"almost all of the postal

"almost all of the postal service’s losses over the last four years can be traced back to a single, artificial restriction forced onto the Post Office by the Republican-led Congress in 2006.

At the very end of that year, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA). Under PAEA, USPS was forced to “prefund its future health care benefit payments to retirees for the next 75 years in an astonishing ten-year time span” — meaning that it had to put aside billions of dollars to pay for the health benefits of employees it hasn’t even hired yet, something “that no other government or private corporation is required to do.” "

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/09/28/330524/postal-non-crisis-pos...

Here you go Chillen, typical liberal strategy. Except that it was a Republican Congress under Bush.

I know you "can't see how that could be true", except that it is. BJ deserves the credit to first bringing this requirement to our attention.

burninater
9580
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burninater 12/15/11 - 02:43 pm
0
0
Also, out of respect for the

Also, out of respect for the hard work that is represented by your life savings Chillen, I won't take your bet of public vs private sector efficiency, because I've already done the research, rather than relying on that tired old price of evidence, "everybody knows". Here's a good start on your journey into discovering that study after study of the actual data show that the belief that the private sector is more efficient is a myth.

http://www.politicsplus.org/blog/2011/06/06/efficiency-public-or-private...

Chillen
17
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Chillen 12/15/11 - 02:44 pm
0
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burninator. This does seem

burninator. This does seem more Republican like than Democrat like.

Forcing agencies to actually PLAN for the future. Gasp! The Horror!

My comment that I don't see how it can be true is related to what I detailed - how could they know how long someone would live. As I very clearly stated.

If this had been a democrat congress, they would have told the post office not to worry about the future pensions & healthcare payments, "we'll just raise taxes on the evil rich to pay for them or we'll just print the money".

One group demands fiscal responsibility. The other group just doesn't care about it.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 12/15/11 - 02:48 pm
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burninator. I suggest you do

burninator. I suggest you do some research into how much public schools are spending vs private school spending. The results will astound you.

Here's some help for you. Just one example of thousands.

http://www.publicpurpose.com/pp-edpp.htm

"Total private school costs per student were 30.1 percent less than public school costs.

Private non-elite school costs were estimated to be 42.6 percent less than public school costs.

If all primary and secondary public education could be provided for at the per student cost of non-elite private schools, $115 billion less would have been spent in 1995."

With the federal govt now in education in a big way, I'll bet the savings would be more like $350 Billion at this point.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 12/15/11 - 02:58 pm
0
0
I was just reading the news

I was just reading the news on another site and there was an article about how michelle obama just couldn't wait another second for her 8758th vacation and is headed to Hawaii as we speak.

And then the solution to the post office's problems hit me like a ton of bricks.

Lets have the obama's donate a portion of their budget to fix it. They could cancel all of obama's rounds of golf, the obama's luxury vacations to Spain, England, India, Brazil, Hawaii, Williamsburg, Martha's Vineyard, etc. Then we could take all the "party money" and cancel those too - no more private Stevie Wonder concerts or mo-town parties.

With the billions we save there, we can SAVE THE POST OFFICE! Yahooooooooo! See everyone, the obama's are good for something after all.

burninater
9580
Points
burninater 12/15/11 - 03:25 pm
0
0
Alright, let me see if I'm

Alright, let me see if I'm following this so far: liberals are gutting the post office to preserve big govt, but actually the USPS cash shortfall is a result of a Republican requirement, so now gutting the USPS Is a prudent financial decision.

Sounds like Romney will be the perfect candidate to represent his party's way of thinking.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 12/15/11 - 04:33 pm
0
0
No Postal Service, No Santa,

No Postal Service, No Santa, No Santa, No Christmas:

http://www.imdb.com/video/hulu/vi602079257/

harley_52
23195
Points
harley_52 12/15/11 - 04:58 pm
0
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Bjphysics, why do lefties so

Bjphysics, why do lefties so often find it necessary to address real world problems with comics, movies, tv shows, or other scripted and made up media?

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 12/15/11 - 05:04 pm
0
0
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