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Sherrod Brown’s Big Idea: USPS as Bankrupt Coffee Shop

Cross-posted from Breitbart.com.

This spring The Columbus Dispatch reported on a story playing out across the country, as the U.S. Postal Service began announcing plans for long-overdue closures and consolidation. USPS lost $3.3 billion in the last quarter of 2011 alone, but to this day Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and other leftists in Congress continue to demagogue reform.

In December 2011 USPS agreed to delay restructuring until May 2012, at the behest of Socialist Bernie Sanders and several Senate Democrats. USPS has been running deficits for years and is losing roughly a billion dollars a month, but Progressives won’t acknowledge market realities or admit the postal union’s demands are insane.

Ever the spokesman for unicorn economics, “Postal Service Protection Act” co-sponsor Sherrod Brown created an online petition to “SAVE OUR POST OFFICES!”

Sherrod Signal

For anyone familiar with Sherrod Brown, the federal-government-as-Batman rationale is familiar here:

Ohioans rely on post offices to do business and communicate with family – and thousands of Ohioans rely on them for jobs.

We can find a solution to our budget crisis that doesn’t involve shuttering these community institutions and handing thousands of workers a pink slip.

That’s why I’m joining Sherrod Brown’s fight to keep these post offices open!

If I’m reading Sherrod correctly, it’s evil to stop paying people who we can’t afford to pay. In what sense is this Progressive standard any different from Socialism?

To be fair, Sherrod has “a solution” to that nagging bankruptcy problem:

“Why couldn’t they serve coffee at a post office and charge a little?” he said.

Watch out, Starbucks! Americans will soon be congregating at their local post office for a cup of federal java.

To be a little fairer, the coffee caper isn’t Sherrod’s whole plan -

He said Congress should free the postal service from having to pre-fund its pension obligations for 75 years. He called that a “unique” requirement that costs the mail service more than $5 billion a year.

Unfunded state pension liabilities contribute to an estimated $4 trillion in debt, and leftists blame the states for not hiking taxes to cover Big Labor’s demands. With that in mind, Sherrod Brown’s big idea is to stop requiring USPS to sock money away in advance? This is a Progressive solution through and through – we’re running out of cash, so stop saving and spend, spend, spend!

Not everyone agrees USPS could be “saved” by fudging accounting rules. Take, for instance, the Postmaster General:

He also said, “Roughly 25,000 out of our 32,000 Post Offices operate at a loss” and that thousands of post offices generate less than $20,000 in annual revenue yet cost more than $60,000 to operate, and many of these unprofitable locations are a few miles away from another post office. He bemoaned the response to even the slightest effort to close any Post Office, as well as interference in other proposals to address the USPS deficit.

Who has a better grip on USPS finances: the Postmaster General, or Sherrod Brown and Socialist Bernie Sanders? If you thought Sherrod’s line about selling coffee was stupid, try this on for size:

“The postal service has been very restricted in what its [sic] allowed to do under law. It’s not been given opportunities to generate revenue,” Senator Brown said.

The U.S. Postal Service has a government-mandated monopoly on first class mail. Either Sherrod Brown is incredibly stupid, or he thinks Ohio voters are.

Well… we did elect Sherrod Brown. So maybe he’s onto something, after all.

Follow me on Twitter: @jasonahart

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