13 thoughts on “Forbes Post, “Why AOC Is (Mostly) Wrong About Post Office Pensions: An Explainer”

  1. This woman is a threat to common sense and financial well-being everywhere.
    We need laws to prohibit morons like her from serving elected office. She can’t perform surgery or practice law without being licenses, why should she be allowed to screw up a $20 trillion economy and wreck $100 trillion in financial assets owned by Americans ?

    1. The Postal Service is not a ” Solvent Entity ” or private enterprise. It is part of the US Government. The reality is no other Federal agency has to pre-fund retiree benefits. Not the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines, the Secret Service, Not Congress. No other part of the Federal Government has been forced to do this. The entire intent of the PAEA was and is to bankrupt the US Postal Service so it can be privatized for profit. In the hands of Vulture Capitalists the $70 billions dollar non profit will be become $100 billion dollar plus enterprise at the expense of the citizens of the US. Increasing cost and decreasing service. Precedent in the Privatization of the UK Royal Post has shown that postage will more than triple. There is an effort to privatize postal systems around the world., not just the US. The USPS is service to the American People, just like Social Security, Medicare, your library, ect; not a business enterprise. The PAEA was passed in response to Congressional hearings several years prior,in which Fed-Ex and UPS claimed the US Postal Service was unfair competition.

      1. The mandate was not for retirees benefits but retirees health benefits 75 years into the future. No private company OR federal government agency is required to do this. Congress wanted to make the USPS a cash cow for the U.S. deficit. I think the author with her extensive education should be able to do a little research on the subject before writing a false narrative.

  2. Are there any public companies that have similar funding requirements as the USPS? I know FedEx and UPS have some kind of pension funds, but I don’t understand the topic well enough to figure out how similar they are. According to some random googling it looks like neither have fully met their pension funding obligations. I’ve seen a few articles comparing the existing financial obligations of the three together but it never explains how the obligations are found/defined. Are they using the same metric, so to speak?

    Each ‘side’ seems to give people the bits of the information that fit their narrative best. Since this topic is so convoluted and complicated for the typical lay person, it’s difficult for me to figure out what the actual situation is.

    1. Hi, Shawn,

      (I usually don’t reply to comments but I’m having that putzing-around sort of day.) All public companies – all companies regardless of public or private – which sponsor pensions are required to fund them. It is unusual for the USPS to be required to fund its retiree medical, but there’s some justification for that, since FedEx or UPS, to the extent that they provide medical benefits for retirees, can end it at any time, but the USPS can’t. It used to be acceptable to just say, “the Post Office isn’t going anywhere, so why prefund?” but when e-mail started replacing letters, it became clear that this wasn’t a good approach.

      Jane

      1. It seems that the IRS, Social Security, and other Federal agencies are not p refunding the same as our dear USPS (
        the most trusted Federal agency year after year).

  3. Namecalli g by your commentors shows the lack of respect by the right and fundamental misunderstanding of what she said.

    The author even agreed with her and you all missed it. Prefunding 50 years of pensions affects cash flows he said. Of companies did that they would never grow, nor be able to compete.

    Now stop namecalling and actually make a good argument if you can.

    1. What is the truth in the statement that the post office was unfair competition? Thx and what about the distinction that the prefunding was actually for medical benefits not pension benefits?

  4. What happens to the money in the pension fund (both for pensions and medical), if the postal service is privatized? Do private businesses get to keep it? It’s something to think about. Then who will bring my letters to me since I live 20 miles from any post office? And how much will it cost me? It was an informative article. Thank you.

  5. The fact remains that the USPS was screwed. You said yourself that allowing only 10 years to pre-fund its pensions (private businesses are allowed up to 40 years) the USPS was put in an impossible position. On top of that they were prevented from increasing revenues (rate increases limited to inflation) or implementing cost-cutting measures (cutting Saturday hours) to deal with a ridiculous mandate that no private business could have dealt. Between 2007 and 2016, the USPS lost $62.4 billion; the inspector general of the USPS estimated that $54.8 billion of that was due to prefunding retiree benefits.

    If the morons in Washington really wanted to treat the USPS like a business they would let them actually make prudent business decisions like maybe cutting unprofitable rural routes. If, however, they are an independent government agency then they should have been subject to the same pension-funding standards as other agencies.

  6. The only thing more laughable than requiring the post office to prefund 75 years of pensions in the span of 10 years is the article authors’ inane desire to write for buzzfeed entertainment, or their asinine argument that life expectancy could be up to 120 in modern times and it’s actually probably only 50 years instead of 75 when you get down to brass tacks, and therefore the myth in the common rallying cry of 75 years and unborn workers being funded is deserving of intense scrutiny and altogether an entire article with no substance.

    I am gladdened that this is more likely a clickbait article concocted to satisfy her editors grueling demands of 2 articles a week with the spice time-tested AOC hit job piece rather than any actual political commentary. I applaud the author for refraining from speculation over the intent of a republican led congress pushing unheard of 10 year funding requirements while simultaneously screaming “the public service is on fire, we must let the markets be free!” I’m sure the post office has had no issues revamping their business model while running the largest deficits in their 200 year history as I’m sure all would agree home remodeling is best done when you are hemorrhaging money.

    And lastly I am saddened that it is not a sad case of cognitive dissonance or a malignant tumor ravaging away at the already molded brain stem that inspired the author to end her article and fabricate a title that AOC is “mostly” wrong and not “wholly” wrong with her statement on the Post office in the same breath as agreeing with the woman on the issue but rather the free market economy doing what it does best, serving the american people.

    As I’m sure you’d agree the post office, a service to americans, should raise their prices drop their monopoly on serving every american regardless if they have 7$ to send a letter, and close most of their offices. Our postal system ought be privatized rather than modernized and our public service of payday lending must be protected and strengthened rather than allowing branches to retool for the modern America by allowing them to do what 92% of other postal systems in the world already do; provide savings accounts; cash checks; offer low interest loans to the poorest citizens.

    But alas, we both agree on these issues and I am merely writing this to stand in solidarity that anything other than straight blue or straight red Is a threat to our democracy! Thank god we have people like Elizabeth Baeur doing they always dreamed they of accomplishing – absolutely nothing.

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