Sold out again

BOEHNERThe Drudge headline this morning is uncannily accurate. On it is a photo of John Boehner, looking down his nose at us…just like Obama. Why? Because he, with McConnell, are about to sell us out. Again!

I first saw the news from an email alert by Erick Erickson of Red State. That was followed by others. Then I saw the Drudge headliner and I knew the fix was in. Boehner and McConnell have been embarrassed by the revolt in their ranks by the conservatives. Boehner received no-so-subtle threats to his Speakership. McConnell had a hissy-fit and behind closed doors, cussed Ted Cruz and Mike Lee.

Neither Boehner nor McConnell care about the effects of higher debt, funding Obamacare, the continued degradation of our nation. Nor are they concerned by the growing dictatorial acts by Obama. Boehner and McConnell are firmly entrenched as members of The Ruling Class. Big government is their personal goal as much as it is for Reid, Obama and the dems.

So what is their current plan? To give in and approve a debt-limit increase AND funding Obamacare. No spending cuts. No reining of government. No, just complete capitulation.

House GOP Preparing to Give Up

By: Erick Erickson (Diary)  |  October 10th, 2013 at 04:30 AM

I’m being told by several sources that Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are plotting to give up trying to either defund or delay Obamacare.

This comes at the same time the Obama administration admits it will be months before their Obamacare website will be fixed and Kathleen Sebelius is saying if people want out of the mandate they can pay a fine.

Nonetheless, Cantor, Boehner, and with them Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn are expected to cave in and fully fund, unimpeded, Obamacare.

They will work up a new deal that includes a debt ceiling increase with a few sops to the GOP as cover. The only change they are still considering it the medical device tax repeal, which is being heavily lobbied for by former Boehner and McConnell staffers who left for K Street.

A number of Democrats who are recipients of campaign cash along with these Republicans may provide a crony capitalist bridge over which this one tax repeal can pass while leaving in place all the other taxes, penalties, and fees.

But John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, and John Cornyn will ensure that Obamacare is fully funded and give the American public no delay like businesses have.

In doing so, they will sow the seeds of a real third party movement that will fully divide the Republican Party.

 I’m not so sure about that last paragraph, but Boehner and McConnell are undermining any confidence by the GOP core in the party establishment in Washington. If the rank and file of the GOP have no confidence in their party, what obligation do they have to continue to vote for the party? None.

Time to Privatize the US Post Office?

The US Post Office is the only independent agency specifically authorized by the US Constitution; Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7, “To establish Post Offices and post Roads.  Not only is this the authorization for the Post Office, it is also the authority for the creation of US and Interstate Highways.
In 1787, travel among the new states was difficult, lengthy and hazardous. There was a dire need for communication and that was the impetus for the inclusion of this phrase in the Constitution.
Those conditions no longer exists and there are other, more modern alternatives. Fed Ex and UPS comes to mind.

The U.S. Postal Service Nears Collapse

Delivery of first-class mail is falling at a staggering rate. Facing insolvency, can the USPS reinvent itself like European services have—or will it implode?

Phillip Herr looks like many of the men who toil deep within the federal government. He wears blue suits. He keeps his graying hair and mustache neatly trimmed. He has an inoffensively earnest manner. He also has heavy bags under his eyes, which testify to the long hours he spends scrutinizing federal spending for the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the congressional watchdog agency where he is Director of Physical Infrastructure Issues. As his title suggests, Herr devotes much of his time to highway programs. But for the past three years he has been diagnosing what ails the U.S. Postal Service. 
It’s a lonely calling. “Washington is full of Carnegie and Brookings Institutes with people who can tell you every option we have in Egypt or Pakistan,” laments Herr, who has a PhD in anthropology from Columbia University. “Try and find someone who does that on the postal service. There aren’t many.” 
Yet Herr finds the USPS fascinating: ubiquitous, relied on, and headed off a cliff. Its trucks are everywhere; few give it a second thought. “It’s one of those things that the public just takes for granted,” he says. “The mailman shows up, drops off the mail, and that’s it.” 
He is struck by how many USPS executives started out as letter carriers or clerks. He finds them so consumed with delivering mail that they have been slow to grasp how swiftly the service’s financial condition is deteriorating. “We said, ‘What’s your 10-year plan?’ ” Herr recalls. “They didn’t have one.” 
Congress gave him until the end of 2011 to report on the USPS’s woes. But Herr and his team concluded that the postal service’s business model was so badly broken that collapse was imminent. Abandoning a long tradition of overdue reports, they felt they had to deliver theirs 18 months early in April 2010 to the various House and Senate committees and subcommittees that watch over the USPS. A year later, the situation is even grimmer. With the rise of e-mail and the decline of letters, mail volume is falling at a staggering rate, and the postal service’s survival plan isn’t reassuring. Elsewhere in the world, postal services are grappling with the same dilemma—only most of them, in humbling contrast, are thriving.
The USPS is a wondrous American creation. Six days a week it delivers an average of 563 million pieces of mail—40 percent of the entire world’s volume. For the price of a 44¢ stamp, you can mail a letter anywhere within the nation’s borders. The service will carry it by pack mule to the Havasupai Indian reservation at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Mailmen on snowmobiles take it to the wilds of Alaska. If your recipient can no longer be found, the USPS will return it at no extra charge. It may be the greatest bargain on earth. 
It takes an enormous organization to carry out such a mission. The USPS has 571,566 full-time workers, making it the country’s second-largest civilian employer after Wal-Mart Stores (WMT). It has 31,871 post offices, more than the combined domestic retail outlets of Wal-Mart, Starbucks (SBUX), and McDonald’s (MCD). Last year its revenues were $67 billion, and its expenses were even greater. Postal service executives proudly note that if it were a private company, it would be No. 29 on the Fortune 500. 
The problems of the USPS are just as big. It relies on first-class mail to fund most of its operations, but first-class mail volume is steadily declining—in 2005 it fell below junk mail for the first time. This was a significant milestone. The USPS needs three pieces of junk mail to replace the profit of a vanished stamp-bearing letter. 
During the real estate boom, a surge in junk mail papered over the unraveling of the postal service’s longtime business plan. Banks flooded mailboxes with subprime mortgage offers and credit-card come-ons. Then came the recession. Total mail volume plunged 20 percent from 2006 to 2010. 
Since 2007 the USPS has been unable to cover its annual budget, 80 percent of which goes to salaries and benefits. In contrast, 43 percent of FedEx’s (FDX) budget and 61 percent of United Parcel Service’s (UPS) pay go to employee-related expenses. Perhaps it’s not surprising that the postal service’s two primary rivals are more nimble. According to SJ Consulting Group, the USPS has more than a 15 percent share of the American express and ground-shipping market. FedEx has 32 percent, UPS 53 percent. 
The USPS has stayed afloat by borrowing $12 billion from the U.S. Treasury. This year it will reach its statutory debt limit. After that, insolvency looms.
On Mar. 2, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe warned Congress that his agency would default on $5.5 billion of health-care costs set aside for its future retirees scheduled for payment on Sept. 30 unless the government comes to the rescue. “At the end of the year, we are out of cash,” Donahoe said. He noted that the unusual requirement was enacted five years ago by Congress before mail started to disappear. 

Go here for the complete column.

 The difficult part would appear that it would require a constitutional change to dump the USPS.  However, if you look again, the constitution says it must establish “Post Offices”, not the USPS.  It could, by a legislative act, make UPS (since it’s already unionized) or FedEx (Horrors, a non-union shop) as Post Offices and allow them to carry First Class Mail.  There are other options that could be used to replace part or all of the USPS while still providing for First Class Mail service.
Perhaps it is time we looked at some of these other alternatives instead of forking out billions of dollars that will be used to prop up a dysfunctional bureaucracy.                     

Bye, bye, Gingrich

I remember when Newt Gingrich was elected Speaker of the House.  He had fire and an agenda, the Contract with America. He made significant changes in the operation of the house.  He also helped kill Obamacare ver. 1, aka Hillarycare.  But in politics as with everything, it’s “what have you done lately?”  Gingrich’s recent performance was a surprise to many and revealed the statism in Gingrich that also infests so many of the ‘Pub national elite.

His attack against the Ryan plan is a page out of the liberal playbook. He could have presented a viable alternative, how he could work with Ryan and the Tea Party to make changes to better the plan.  Instead, Gingrich violated the Reagan Rule (never speak badly about a fellow Republican) and killed any chance of conservative support that wasn’t in league with the elites.

Gingrich had so much potential.  But he blew it last Sunday and revealed his true self—a Ruling Class wannbe. Many have spoken about Gingrich’s fiasco so I won’t continue,  However, perhaps this piece from the Investor’s Business Daily will provide better perspective on the Medicare reform debate.

Editorial: Gingrich On Wrong Side In Medicare Debate

Politics: Democrats’ reckless Mediscare attack against Rep. Paul Ryan’s reform is bad enough. But for Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich to feed them ammunition is unconscionable.
Ever since the Wisconsin Republican unveiled his Medicare reform plan, Democrats from President Obama on down have tried to cast it as radical. Indeed, “Ryan’s radical plan to destroy Medicare” is practically their mantra.
So it was disheartening, to say the least, to see Gingrich dropping the R word left and right on “Meet the Press” this past Sunday. “I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate,” he said, adding that “I would be against a conservative imposing radical change.”
Ryan was absolutely right when he said on Monday: “With allies like that, who needs the left?” The true shame is that Gingrich blew a golden opportunity explain why Ryan’s plan is, in fact, the opposite of radical.
First, he could have pointed out that Ryan wouldn’t change anything in Medicare for a decade, leaving all current retirees alone, and giving today’s workers plenty of time to get ready.
Then he could have explained that the reform idea at the core of Ryan’s plan has, in one form or another, been championed by sensible Democrats for many years.
Under Ryan’s plan, rather than creaky government-run insurance, future retirees could choose from a menu of private plans, with the feds picking up the bulk of the premium tab.
This “premium support” idea was first advocated more than 15 years ago by health experts at two liberal think tanks, and by a bipartisan Medicare commission that President Clinton put together in 1998. An earlier version of Ryan’s plan was drafted with the help of Clinton budget director Alice Rivlin.
And instead of casting it as scary “right-wing social engineering,” Gingrich could have noted that Ryan’s reformed Medicare would look very much like what most workers have today — a choice of private plans, with the bulk of the premiums paid by somebody else.
Finally, he could have reminded the public that what’s really radical is what Obama and his fellow Democrats are advocating — do nothing, hope to win some votes by scaring seniors and let Medicare bankrupt the country.
Instead, Gingrich shamelessly echoed Obama’s bogus claim that there isn’t anything wrong with Medicare that can’t be fixed by wringing out “waste, fraud and abuse” — the classic dodge for politicians unwilling to make any hard choices.
On Monday, Gingrich tried to walk back his comments, with his spokesman claiming that what he really meant by “radical” was simply that “politically you can’t get to what Ryan wants from where we are. It will be demagogued to death.”
Maybe that’s true. But we’ll never know as long as Gingrich is the one doing the demagoguing.

Sorry, Newt, you won’t get my vote.  When you start supporting the left and their agenda, you’re no longer part of my Republican party.  I’m not an elitist, nor a Ruling Class wannabe. I’m just a American citizen working to restore the greatness of this nation that’s been stolen by the democrats and their Marxist core.