Re: [RLC-Action] Tax on Postage Stamps?
- "The concept of the escrow fund originated in our Committee as part of the Postal Civil Service Retirement System Pension Reform Act of 2003. This law relieved the Postal Service of its obligation to pay $39 billion over 10 years, and $154 billion over 25 years, into the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). The escrow account was added to the legislation as a mechanism for ensuring that the savings created by the Pension Reform Act would be used wisely to meet major challenges confronting the Postal Service. As GAO recognized in its report, the reduction in pension costs "has provided an opportunity for the Service to address some of its long-standing challenges" and the escrow requirement "provides Congress an opportunity to review how the Service will address a number of long-term challenges."
----Sounds like the Escrow Fund is just a savings plan to ensure the Postal Service can meet it's pension obligations without needing to turn to Congress for an emergency infusion of funds.
-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: DGHarrison <DGHarrison@...>
> What the heck is the Postal Escrow Fund? Supposedly established by
> Congress, this fund is to receive something like $3 billion annually
> from the USPS, which claims that Congress has yet to determine what the
> funds will be used for. So, even though the USPS had a profit in 2005,
> it still had to raise first class postage rates by 2 cents in order to
> be able to make its annual deposit into the excrow fund. The USPS claims
> that postage will continue to rise in order to maintain the escrow payment.
> I want to know what the money is being used for. This amounts to a
> nothing less than a stealth tax on postage, and I'd like to hear what
> libertarians plan to do about it.
> Doug Harrison
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jonhenke@... wrote: "The escrow account was added to the legislation as a mechanism for ensuring that the savings created by the Pension Reform Act would be used wisely to meet major challenges confronting the Postal Service."
Sounds like the Escrow Fund is just a savings plan to ensure the Postal Service can meet it's pension obligations without needing to turn to Congress for an emergency infusion of funds.
Thank you, Jon. It is apparent that my local news did a very lousy job of reporting on the escrow fund. The story was reported in connection with the 2-cent postage price hike, and the reporter went to interview the "spokesperson" of the USPS here in the Twin Cities. The "spokesperson" was allowed to explain the escrow account as some mysterious money hole created by Congress, thus putting the blame for the 2-cent price hike on Congress -- more specifically, on Republicans who "control" Congress. The USPS "spokesperson" was allowed to hide the fact that the escrow account was required to straighten out the Postal Pension problems. The reporter didn't know anything about the escrow account before he did the interview, and his news editors botched it further by failing to put the truth to the issue in the newsroom. Instead, they just cobbled together graphics to accompany the interview, so they could flash the "$3.1 billion" on the screen. Viewers were left with the impression that the additional 2 cents postage was going into a Congressional slush fund. More liberal shenanigans in news reporting equals more people dissatisfied with the Bush Administration. I will write a letter in protest, but I doubt the station will air a correction to its story. At least it doesn't appear that the RLC needs to do anything.
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