Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire Respond to Governor Romney’s Endorsement of Scott Brown

Massachusetts Senator Brown

Today in Stratham, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney endorsed Scott Brown for US Senate here in New Hampshire. Romney and Brown share similar views regarding fire fighters and public safety. Their views are not supported by the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire.

“Mitt Romney’s endorsement of Scott Brown for US Senate today comes as no surprise to us, because both of these individuals have not shown a commitment to safety in our communities. Scott Brown voted against the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act that would have provided $1 billion to rehire laid off fire fighters, law enforcement officers and teachers. He voted against the American Jobs Act, which would have put thousands of fire fighters and police officers back to work making our communities safer,” stated David Lang, President of the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire. “Both of these previously elected officials have a history of not supporting policies that would make our communities safer. Their priorities do not protect the people of Main Street, and are not helpful here in New Hampshire. This is yet another reason why the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire are supporting Senator Jeanne Shaheen,” Lang continued.

“The citizens of New Hampshire deserve better than Scott Brown. They deserve someone who has a proven track record of fighting for fire fighters and for public safety every single day. We didn’t buy Romney’s plan in New Hampshire during the 2012 campaign, and we certainly won’t buy the same plan spoken by a different Massachusetts politician. Both Scott Brown and Mitt Romney failed fire fighters in the Bay State, and we won’t give Brown the chance to do that to us here in New Hampshire,” stated Chuck Gallant President of IAFF Local #4411 Professional Firefighters of Rye.

The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire represent over 2,000 active and retired fire fighters and paramedics across New Hampshire in 43 locals.

The GOP Tears Itself Up, Just Not As Much As I Do

GOP Labor Day

The internet is filled with political bloggers. Some lean left, some lean right.  Right now many of these political bloggers are talking about the new GOP “Autopsy” or as the GOP calls it, the “Growth & Opportunity Plan.”   This new report is giving a very in-depth look at what the GOP needs to do if they want to take back the White House.

The national political commentators and comedians have all had their fun with this already, but now the plan is starting to reach the rest of us.  Recently on “the Exchange” with Laura Knoy, they talked about this 100-page plan with Steve Duprey (former NH GOP Chair, and current RNC Executive Committee member), Jennifer Horn (current NH GOP Chair) and Dean Spiliotis (Civic Scholar in the School of Arts and Sciences at Southern New Hampshire University and author of the popular website www.NHPoliticalCapital.com).

The meat of this 100-page report was boiled down to a few main pieces by Dean Spiliotis.

  • Demographics
  • Tone vs Substance
  • Taking control over the primary process

NH GOP Chair Horn was the first to say it, “this report confirmed what we already knew.”

Actually, it is what everyone outside of the GOP leadership has been saying since last summer, including me. The GOP does not care about minorities, women and middle class workers.  When you cut those groups out of the demographics, you are left with exactly what everyone has been saying:  the GOP is the party of stuffy out-of-touch white men.   Shockingly, this is exactly what the focus groups and polling showed.

Horn believes that it is because the Republican “message was not well articulated” and the message did not get through.  But how could it be possible that your message did not get through? The GOP and sympathetic PACs spent $844 million dollars on the Romney campaign.

Horn believes the problem was the message delivery; I believe it was the message content.  You cannot tell undocumented workers to ‘self deport’ and expect them to vote for you.  You cannot tell women that there is such a thing as ‘legitimate rape’ and expect to win their hearts over.

The GOP’s leadership is very confused about who they are talking to.  Steve Duprey seemed bewildered by the fact that Hispanic voters did not support Mitt Romney in 2012.  He said:

“They should be natural allies. They tend to be Catholic. They tend to be faithful. They tend to have strong family units. They are entrepreneurial and hard working.”

But Latinos care about other issues, too – including healthcare and gay marriage.  “More than half of all Hispanics think that gay people should be allowed to marry.” Opposing those two issues are two of the key planks in the GOP party platform.  It is no wonder the GOP did not gain much Latino support.

The GOP realized that the Obama campaign was making real connections with voters of all ethnicities on the streets.  The Obama campaign had thousands of people hitting the street every day to talk one-on-one with people.  Even Jennifer Horn admitted that making these personal connections was the real way to gain support and turn out voters.

This is also where Steve Duprey got in his jabs about the New Hampshire unions and their role in the election.  The fact is that many of the unions in New Hampshire are regionally organized.  For example, Ironworkers Local 7 is based in Boston, but they cover all of NH, MA, and ME.  This is also true of the Carpenters Union, IBEW, and many more.  Because of the size of New Hampshire and New England, members can live and work in different states.

In all honesty, after listening to these three go on for an hour, I felt nauseous. They kept saying it was the way their message was being delivered that was the problem.  Jennifer Horn even said “I don’t think the problem is the message.”  Wrong!  Republicans are not the same party they used to be in the days of Reagan or Eisenhower.  What happened to Republican support for unions? Did that go away after Reaganomics took over?

One last thing, the issue of Gay Marriage.  For many this was just another example of why the GOP was viewed as a elitist group of bigots.  They call for freedoms, except when gay people are asking for the same thing.  The RNC has adopted the Tea Party’s line that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. This alienated many people who support the LGBT community. The majority of Americans believe gays they should be able to marry like anyone else.

The most ironic part of the GOP’s marriage position is that William Weld – a Republican from Massachusetts – was the first Governor to move the country forward on gay rights.

“William Weld, governor of Massachusetts signs an executive order granting lesbian and gay state workers the same bereavement and family leave rights as heterosexual workers.”

Not all Republicans are bad, and not all Democrats are good.  We need balance.  At the same time, neither party will win elections if they spew hate at me, then want me to vote for them.

 

Sheldon Adelson: One Man’s Influence Over America’s Politics

We_the_People

Remember Sheldon Adelson, our poster child for dividend tax reform?

“As CEOs receive more of their compensation in stock, they have a bigger personal stake in decisions about what to do with corporate profits.  Should the company reinvest profits by expanding operations and hiring new employees? Or pay profits out to shareholders as dividends?   Implement a long-term growth strategy?  Or loot the company for as much immediate payout as possible?  When top executives own millions of shares, they have a huge personal stake in that decision.”

“Remember how casino mogul Sheldon Adelson pledged to spend $100 million on Mitt Romney’s campaign?  Wonder how he could afford it?  It was only a fraction of the amount Adelson received this year in stock dividends from his company – even though ‘Dividend payments to shareholders are not standard in the casino industry…’ “

Read the full story here.

Turns out, Adelson spent more than he pledged.  According to yesterday’s Huffington Post, Adelson spent about $150 million trying to get Mitt Romney elected.

As [President Obama’s] second term begins, Adelson’s international casino empire faces a rough road, with two federal criminal investigations into his business.

This coming week, Adelson plans to visit Washington, according to three separate GOP sources familiar with his travel schedule. While here, he’s arranged Hill meetings with at least one House GOP leader in which he is expected to discuss key issues, including possible changes to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the anti-bribery law that undergirds one federal probe into his casino network, according to a Republican attorney with knowledge of his plans.

Read more here.

Also yesterday, Politico reported

A week after Election Day, three Republican governors mentioned as 2016 presidential candidates — Bobby Jindal, John Kasich and Bob McDonnell — each stopped by the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino to meet privately with its owner Sheldon Adelson, a man who could single-handedly underwrite their White House ambitions.

Planning a presidential campaign used to mean having coffee with county party chairs in their Iowa or New Hampshire living rooms. The courting of Adelson, a full four years out from 2016, demonstrates how super PAC sugar daddies have become the new must-have feature for White House wannabes.

Read the Politico report here.

Is this what American democracy is coming to?  The personal preference of one very rich man is more important than the New Hampshire primary?

Remember, this is the same man who had tax breaks worth $2.3 billion riding on the outcome of the 2012 elections.

And whatever tax reforms Congress makes – or doesn’t make – as it resolves the fiscal cliff

…well, all those reforms could be changed again, by a new Congress and a new President, depending on the outcome of the 2014 and 2016 elections.

This is a long-term game, folks.

Please learn about and support the Saving American Democracy Amendment to the US Constitution.

 

What Mitt Romney Taught Us about America’s Economy

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney ran on his record as a businessman.  But over the summer, when bloggers and journalists started taking a closer look at that record, they shined some light into the shadows of the private equity industry.

The companies’ names change, but the sequence of events is basically the same:

  • Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi:  “Bain put up a mere $18 million to acquire KB Toys … Less than a year and a half after the purchase, Bain decided to give itself a gift known as a ‘dividend recapitalization.’ The firm induced KB Toys to redeem $121 million in stock and take out more than $66 million in bank loans – $83 million of which went directly into the pockets of Bain’s owners and investors, including Romney. ‘The dividend recap is like borrowing someone else’s credit card to take out a cash advance, and then leaving them to pay it off.’ “
  • Pensions and Investments writer Aaron Elstein: Hospital operator HCA borrowed $2.5 billion in October to help finance a $1.2 billion dividend payout, 40% of which went into the pockets of private equity owners Bain Capital and KKR & Co.
  • Bloomberg News blogger William Cohan: “Welcome to Mitt Romney’s America. This is the true story of how in October 1993 buyout firm Bain Capital LLC, which Romney founded and ran from 1984 to (roughly) 1999, and its partners bought a steel mill in Kansas City, Missouri, from Armco Steel Corp. for $75 million, merged it with other steel companies, loaded it with too much debt, paid themselves big dividends and ran the company into the ground.”
  • San Diego Free Press writer John Lawrence:  “In 1994, Bain bought medical equipment manufacturer Baxter International. After a merger with another company, it became known as Dade Behring.  Bain froze the workers’ pension benefits … it used the projected savings as the basis to borrow $421 million…  Dade paid Bain and its partner, Goldman Sachs, the entire amount as a dividend. … Bain and Goldman had only put down $81 million to buy the company in the first place. Yet, in June 1999 they received $365 million from the dividend—a gain of 4.3 times their initial investment.”
  • Forbes Blogger Peter Cohan: “Consider Bain Capital’s Thomas Lee Partners’ $26 billion acquisition of Clear Channel Communications — home of Rush Limbaugh … This takeover has turned a company that formerly earned net income of nearly $1 billion into a money-loser (almost $4.7 billion in cumulative losses), resulted in thousands of layoffs, extracted millions in fixed management fees, and recently resulted in a multi-billion special dividend for the two PE owners paid for by highly risky borrowing.”
  • David Stockman, Former Budget Director for President Ronald Reagan:    American Pad and Paper was a 20-bagger—that is, $5 million was invested in 1992 for a $100 million profit, a miraculous outcome for Bain, but hardly so for the Ampad workers and shareholders left holding the bag when the company went bankrupt in 1999 with massive debt.  … Ampad generated barely enough operating income during the first six months of 1996 to cover its swollen interest payments… Yet since Bain Capital had now harvested a dividend that was 12X its original investment, it was basically home free.
  • Bloomberg News writer Anthony Luzzatto Gardner:  What’s clear from a review of the public record during his management of the private-equity firm Bain Capital from 1985 to 1999 is that Romney was fabulously successful in generating high returns for its investors. He did so, in large part, through heavy use of tax-deductible debt, usually to finance outsized dividends for the firm’s partners and investors.

Time and time again, companies controlled by Bain Capital borrowed money to pay a dividend to Bain Capital.  [Bain Capital then passed the dividends through to its partners and investors, including Mitt Romney.  Want to see all the different ways that dividends were passed through to Romney?  Read his Personal Financial Report here.]

Dividends are supposed to be a method of profit-sharing.  Companies figure out what their income and expenses have been, and how much they will need to invest in growing the business.  Then the rest of the profit is divided among the stockholders (that’s why the payments are called “dividends”).

Dividends used to be taxed as “ordinary income” – and for a lot of years, high-income taxpayers paid a 90% tax rate on dividend income.  That tax mechanism tended to encourage corporate decision-makers to reinvest profits in growing their business, rather than paying profits out as dividends.

But the Bush tax cuts changed the law so that dividends are treated as “capital gains” – which are currently taxed at a 15% rate.  That tax mechanism tends to encourage corporate decision-makers to pay out as much money as possible in dividends.

Bain, and some other private equity companies, took things one step further: they had companies paying dividends using borrowed money, not profits.

Does anyone think Bain Capital would be operating that way if dividends were still taxed at 90%?

For the past decade, our country’s tax policies have provided the wrong incentives to corporate decision-makers.  The low tax rate on dividends has encouraged executives to wring as much money as possible out of companies (however they can!).

That’s not good tax policy.

Good tax policy wouldn’t provide a financial incentive for executives to mortgage their companies, inflate the books and pay bootleg dividends.

Good tax policy would encourage executives to invest in growing their businesses; to structure their companies to succeed over the long haul; and to borrow only for legitimate business needs.

As our nation teeters on the fiscal cliff, there is also an opportunity: Congress can get rid of this obscene tax incentive that we learned about from Mitt Romney.

 

Telling the Truth About Unions And Hurricane Sandy

photo by Dan DeLuca via Flikr

photo by Dan DeLuca via Flikr
Have you heard the story about non-union utility crews getting turned away, after Hurricane Sandy?

The story isn’t true – but it’s still being spread.

It started before the election.  The story spread so far and so fast that five utility companies issued public statements saying it wasn’t true.

A full week later, the story was still being spread – by an anti-union newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Does this remind you of anything?  Maybe Mitt Romney’s infamous allegations about Jeep moving production to China?  Again, that story was immediately and thoroughly debunked – by the company – but Romney’s campaign kept spreading it, through television and radio ads.

Truth? Romney’s pollster said it didn’t matter:  “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.”

Yes, there’s a connection here.  Romney’s campaign was funded by many of the same people and corporations that have invested millions in the “union avoidance” industry.  Take a few minutes and read this analysis of the 2010 electionsIt’s the very same players, now:

  • Karl Rove, of election night meltdown fame, toured the country in 2009 opposing the Employee Free Choice Act;
  •  “Americans for Job Security” is a secretive group run out of a mail-drop box in a UPS store, but they spend millions on false advertising attacking candidates who support labor unions;
  •  “Americans for Prosperity” is run by the Koch brothers, spends tens of millions on misleading ads; and in 2009 sponsored a multi-state publicity tour opposing the Employee Free Choice Act;
  • and the list goes on, and on.

The “union-avoidance” industry doesn’t care about the truth – it just cares about results.  Haven’t heard of the industry before?  Read more about it here and here.


Looking for the truth about how labor unions responded to Hurricane Sandy?
  Read more here and here, and updates on the Teamster’s blog here.

 

[Top image of ConEd workers is by Dan DeLuca via Flickr/Creative Commons]

 

Mitt Romney’s Auto Industry

Chinese Flag

Rally in Manchester tomorrow — Monday, November 5th — details below!

So, is Mitt Romney lying – or just confused?

Last week, Mitt Romney told a whopper:  he said that Jeep is “thinking of moving all their production to China.”

That’s not true.   Chrysler’s CEO immediately set the record straight: the company has no intention of shifting production of Jeep models out of North America.

But dig deeper behind the headlines, and you will find an auto industry company that is planning to ship production to China.  An auto-parts company based in Freeport, Illinois plans to close its factory in December 2012 and ship all 170 jobs to China.  Right now, the company is threatening its employees with an immediate shut-down, unless the workers stop protesting the decision to close the plant.  So far, employees have filed two unfair labor practice complaints against the company with the National Labor Relations Board.

That company, Sensata, is controlled by Bain Capital.  According to press reports, Mitt Romney owns about $8 million worth of the Bain fund that controls Sensata.

So yes, on one level, Mitt Romney is right: American auto industry jobs ARE being sent to China.  But not by Chrysler.  It’s Bain Capital that is sending even MORE jobs overseas.

So maybe Romney didn’t really mean to lie last week.  He apparently has multiple investments in the auto industry (read more about his Delphi investment, below).  Maybe he just got confused about which company was shifting production overseas.

————————————-

Appearing in tomorrow’s edition of The Nation magazine:

Mitt Romney’s Bailout Bonanza

“Mitt Romney’s opposition to the auto bailout has haunted him on the campaign trail … But Romney has done a good job of concealing, until now, the fact that he and his wife, Ann, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout…”

“It all starts with Delphi Automotive, a former General Motors subsidiary whose auto parts remain essential to GM’s production lines. … in addition to making massive loans to automakers in 2009, the federal government sent, directly or indirectly, more than $12.9 billion to Delphi—and to the hedge funds that had gained control over it.”

Read the complete article here.

The UAW is holding a rally in Manchester tomorrow, to draw attention to Mitt Romney’s profiteering off of federal bailout money.  You can join the UAW and other guests on Monday, November 5th starting at 2:30 pm at 40 Lake Avenue in Manchester.

Read more here and here.

————————————-

 Learn more about what is happening at Sensata, in this YouTube video:

 

Oh, Ovide: Video from 2010 Contrasts Ovide’s “Agnostic” Views on Climate Change

Ovide Lamontagne tells Granite State Debate viewers he’s “agnostic” on climate change; Video from 2010 US Senate race says otherwise

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Ovide Lamontagne has spent most of his campaign trying to hide his extreme record as a tobacco lobbyist, deny his support to block grant Medicare and put our seniors at risk, and downplay his position of putting politicians between a woman and her doctor. Tonight he added climate change denial to his long list of shifting and hidden policies. 1

Ovide told Granite State Debate viewers that he’s “agnostic” on whether climate change exists. Granite State Progress released a video tonight entitled “Ovide Lamontagne: Climate Change Denier” showing the candidate at an August 2010 US Senate Primary debate expressing strong opinions on the matter.

Ovide Lamontagne: Climate Change Denier

http://youtu.be/bLxsbWwPVXQ

Transcript: Debate moderator Nancy Stiles: “Ovide, do you believe that man-made global warming has been proven without a doubt?” Ovide Lamontagne: “No.”

—————————–

“Ovide has spent most of his campaign trying to hide his extreme record as a tobacco lobbyist despite public evidence to the contrary, deny his desire to block grant Medicare and put our seniors at risk even though it’s on his own website, and downplay his position of putting politicians between a woman and her doctor while receiving endorsements from groups that support that very position,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, Director of Granite State Progress. “Tonight he added running from his own record as a climate change denier. Ovide also tried to tell voters that he doesn’t support teaching creationism at the same time he said he would allow creationism to be taught in public schools. Ovide Lamontagne is fast becoming a Mitt Romney flip-flopper replica in his constant quest for higher office.”

“Ovide Lamontagne’s extreme policies would take New Hampshire in a radically different direction.”

 

1 The Lobby NH 10/18/2012; New England College Debate 10/4/2012; Ovide 2012, http://www.ovide2012.com/news/entry/new-hampshire-needs-to-invest-in-its-own-exceptionalism; Keene Sentinel 10/22/2012

Guinta cut FEMA money

Congressman Guinta has decided that it is important for congressional candidates to weigh in on state issues, yet in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, he has dodged questions about why he voted to cut funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  Congressman Guinta voted for the Ryan budget which cuts disaster preparation and response, and passed a continuing resolution that provided $3 billion less in disaster funding than requested by the President.

“Congressman Guinta has a heartless record of voting to cut the funding for FEMA, money that  communities depend on for disasters,” said Carol Shea-Porter.  “Now, he needs to explain whether or not he agrees with Mitt Romney that FEMA should be privatized or left to the states.  New Hampshire, which has just received a federal emergency declaration, deserves to know why he voted against protecting the state and its citizens.”

Background:

  • Romney’s budget cuts FEMA, on its face, by 40%.  Romney has vowed to cut federal spending to less than 20 percent of GDP by 2016 without touching entitlements or defense. That means that non-defense discretionary spending–which includes FEMA aid–would have to be reduced by an eye-popping 40 percent. The Romney campaign won’t say whether FEMA would be spared from those cuts but stresses that the necessary funding would be available.” Washington Post.
  • On September 23, 2011, Guinta voted in favor of HR 2608, a continuing resolution meant to fund the federal government through November 18, 2011. The legislation provided $3.65 billion for disaster assistance, roughly $3 billion less than what the Office of Management estimated the federal government needed in funding. [HR 2608, Vote #727, Office of Management and Budget, 9/5/11; The Hill, 9/23/11]
  • Ryan budget could hammer storm aid, critics say:  Mitt Romney says he wants to give states more power to deal with disasters like Sandy. But his running mate’s budget plan would threaten states’ ability to respond to massive storms, some experts say.  Paul Ryan’s House-passed budget would cut non-defense discretionary funding by 22 percent starting in 2014, according to the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which said in an August report that about one-third of that money goes to state aid for a range of needs including disaster response.  [Politico, 10/30/2012]

 

Open Letter About Mitt Romney’s Record as Governor of Massachusetts

MA Building Trades

Open Letter to Building Trades
About Mitt Romney’s Record
as Governor of Massachusetts

I am sure that many of you share my frustration at trying to sift through campaign commercials and talking points to find out where the candidates for President really stand on issues that are important to you.  Part of the problem is Mitt Romney’s habit of changing his positions to suit his audience.

One thing he can’t change is his record.  I had a front row seat for Mitt Romney’s term as Governor of Massachusetts.  His positions and his actions on the issues that have a direct impact on Building and Construction Trades workers were not good for our members.

Wages:

  • Mitt Romney filed legislation to Eliminate the Prevailing Wage on broad segments of public construction projects.
  • Mitt Romney Vetoed a Minimum Wage increase just two years after promising to support raising it in his campaign.
  • Mitt Romney Vetoed legislation to stiffen penalties on employers that cheat workers out of their proper wages.

Unemployment Insurance:

  • Mitt Romney filed legislation to reduce the number of weeks you could collect benefits, make it far more difficult for construction workers to be eligible for benefits, and cut premiums to the point of jeopardizing the financial health of the unemployment fund.

Construction Safety:

  • Mitt Romney Vetoed a bill to require OSHA 10-Hour Training on public projects.  Romney said it “would increase the cost of doing business for contractors” even though they are only required to maintain a copy of a worker’s OSHA 10-Hour card.  Ironically this was one time when Romney brought the Democrats and Republicans together when members of both parties in both the House and Senate voted unanimously against Romney and overrode his veto.

Apprentice Training:

  • Mitt Romney tried to eliminate the State Division of Apprentice Training in his first state budget.  He tried to undercut the Division’s funding every year after that.

Candidate Mitt Romney often changes his positions to suit varying segments of the electorate.  On issues impacting Building & Construction Trades workers he has been consistent:  Candidate Romney has vowed to repeal Davis Bacon Prevailing Wage, ban Project Labor Agreements, and pass anti-union Right To Work Laws. This is one area where Romney’s rhetoric matches his record. As Governor of Massachusetts, every time Mitt Romney had a choice between supporting workers’ interests and the interest of Big Business he chose Big Business every time.

Please keep this in mind when you cast your vote on November 6th.

Fraternally,

Francis X Callahan Jr

President, Mass. Building Trades Council, AFL-CIO

 

Facing the Cliff

As Postal employees, we are in a unique situation in that we have the opportunity to vote on the future direction of our employer. In a few days we will head to the ballot box to decide the fate of our jobs and pensions.

Our choices for President are between two candidates who have a starkly different vision of the Postal Service’s future.

President Obama will  continue to work towards a long-term viable Postal Service. His message to Letter Carriers this summer in Minneapolis was inspiring: “Together, you represent  what’s best about this country. Your work isn’t easy, but day in and day out, you provide a service that keeps our country’s economy on track.” Obama continued, “We are pushing back on the assault on unions because the values you stand for — hard work, responsibility, looking out for one another — those are not just union values, they are American values.”

If Governor Romney were to take control of the Oval Office, he would most certainly begin the process of eliminating the Postal Service as we know it. He is surrounded by economic advisers like Kevin Hassett, who dream at night to not only see the most effective part of the federal government eliminated but to see hundreds of thousands of union jobs vanish.

As shown by his dismal job creation numbers as an unpopular Governor of Massachusetts, Romney has no skill at working for the advancement of ordinary citizens. Romney, besides being born extremely wealthy, has made his ridiculous amount of money presiding over Bain Capital. Bain Capital didn’t make money by creating jobs — they became wealthy by eliminating them. Gutting and then selling off companies is what Romney did at Bain and he will now do that to the Postal Service.

Having a $5.6 Billion annual payment mandated by Congress to pay for retiree health care costs 75 years in the future has placed the Postal Service in a difficult place. This burden  was placed as a political statement by the Bush administration. Adding to the problem is that the 112th Congress has been not only obstructionist but fervently anti-worker and anti-government. So it’s not even a possibility that Postal Reform could get a fair hearing. Though a bi-partisan postal reform bill garnered over 230 co sponsors, it was denied a vote by the Government Oversight Committee whose GOP members are well-financed by the Koch Brothers and other extreme anti-worker groups.

Just like Sandy was a “Perfect Storm”, so is the situation the Postal Service finds itself in. A manufactured crisis has placed the Postal Service on the precipice of a fiscal cliff. The Republican Party Platform is trying to use this crisis to advance their ideological crusade and privatize the Postal Service. That would have detrimental effects to millions of Americans who depend on the Postal Service, as well as postal workers and 7-8 million mailing industry workers who would soon be on the unemployment line.

Our choices are between President Obama, who will pull us away from the edge, and Mitt Romney — who would be more than happy to push us and our jobs off the cliff.