Reader Pat Reynolds (a postal employee) has discovered a video shot in 2009, at the height of the health care reform debates, in which Obama talks about the wonders of privatization, and how a public option in health care would not necessarily hurt the for-profit insurance industry. To prove his point, he compared the post office unfavorably with FedEx and UPS. "I mean, if you think about it," he says, "UPS and FedEx are doin' just fine. It's the post office that's always havin' problems." (Yeah, he was at one of those folksy, g-droppin' town halls).
Bear in mind that during this August 2009 appearance, Obama had already taken the public option off the table even as he continued to pretend it was still viable, and that he was actually for it. Of course, in retrospect, his praise of those fine folks at WellPoint and Aetna and UnitedHealth was painfully prescient. Thanks to what Jon Stewart recently called a "2,000-page clusterf**k", the insurance companies are still "doin' just fine" (especially with no Public Option to compete and make them behave). They are raking in record profits after sometimes doubling the premiums of policy holders. The net effect is that people are so broke after paying the bills they have nothing left over to see an actual doctor or dentist. The insurance companies are in a win-win situation. They collect the money, impoverish the patients, and don't have to pay out nearly as much to the health care providers. It gives a whole new meaning to hoarding. It makes normal every-day capitalistic greed look beneficent.
So this is what we can expect if the post office is privatized. FedEx (which treats its employees abysmally and has been known to fire drivers when they have accidents in their crappy trucks so they won't have to pay medical costs) will raise the price of a 44-cent stamp to four or five bucks, fire the union postal employees who haven't already been laid off, hire a bunch of people out of the millions who are desperate for a job, pay them maybe $10 a hour, put them in poorly maintained vehicles and pay no benefits as they sleepily careen down the interstates in 12-hour marathons, and probably lose a large portion of the letters and packages entrusted to their care. It's the new normal. To use Obama's two favorite words when he talks about jobs, it's "innovative" and "competitive."
|"FedEx is Doin' Just Fine" -- Barack Obama|
Oh, and speaking of that Jobs Bill -- you know, the one where Barry whips the crowds into a frenzy with his jeremiad-like "PASS THIS BILL! PASS THIS BILL!" PASS THIS BILL RIGHT NOW!!!" harangue -- well, not so fast. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is in no hurry to take it up, because a sudden new urgency has developed about punishing China for its currency manipulation. That, according to Reid, is more important than JOBS RIGHT NOW.
The Washington Post quoted Reid as saying: “We understand that there’s conversations going on about the president’s jobs bill — which I support, I’m in agreement with. We’ll get to that. But let’s get some of these things done that we have to get done first.”
You can't even make this stuff up. No wonder Barry finally chose to go to Hollywood to spin his fantastical yarns.
P.S.: For a cogent analysis of the craven machinations of those who want to destroy the post office, read this New York Daily News editorial by Juan Gonzalez.