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REP. STEPHEN LYNCH (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I want to make sure America gets this story, because I think it`s part of our infrastructure, I think it`s huge to small business, into the ag community especially. It`s going to hurt the poor. It`s going to
hurt the disabled. It`s going to hurt seniors.
Is there any way you think your bill is going to be able to pass to turn this around?
LYNCH: Well, I think it can be part of the solution. We`ve been meeting. There have been full members of the House, full members of the Senate, and we`re -- although the elements of an agreement are there, it
doesn`t involve laying off 125,000 hard-working postal workers.
Right now, the federal employee retirement system actually owes the Post Office about $7 billion, and one of the things that my bill would do is allow some of that money to be used for a retirement incentive for
workers right now who are eligible for retirement. But because of this economy and because their housing values are down, because their 401(k)s have been cut in half, they`ve been hanging on. So, this would allow us to downsize by attrition, by having voluntary retirements of hundreds of thousands of these employees --
SCHULTZ: But the financial issue here, Congressman, is that the law was passed by a lame duck Republican Congress in 2006 before Nancy Pelosi got her hands on the gavel and the Democrats took over the House. This was one last shot at the working folk of America in an attempt to destroy the Post Office.
And they have put a harness on them to fund 75 years` worth of pensions and health care and do it in a 10-year window. Why don`t we do that to Wal-Mart? They`re the number one employer in the country. I mean, what other business has to do this?
LYNCH: There is no other business in America that has to do what thePost Office is being required to do, which is to prefund their retiree health care. You`re absolutely right, Ed.
And this is a target using unions here, the postal unions as a target, and I think that there is a belief, and you`ve hit on it already, there is a belief that we can privatize the Postal Service. But as you`ve already
noted, there are many rural towns that the Postal Service is the only entity that delivers in those areas.
SCHULTZ: Well, it would be 25 percent of America if you go by today`s standards -- 25 percent of America doesn`t get private service. They have to depend on the Postal Service which, of course, is obligated to be in
those communities. And we`re talking about closing thousands of facilities across America.
So, this is not only going after collective bargaining rights, but what about the voter suppression issue? I mean, we`re looking at Oregon and Washington that vote by mail. This will affect elections, will it not?
LYNCH: Well, there is certainly the trust issue. You know, we see the Postal Service as being a very trustworthy. Year after year when Americans are asked what branch of your government or what part of your government do you have the greatest confidence in and the greatest customer satisfaction, and the Postal Service comes out on top time and time again.
So I don`t think that people have the same regard for the private companies that are trying to move into the market.
SCHULTZ: Well, whether they trust them or not, it`s an issue of access. If you don`t have a private company working in a rural area, how are these folks going to vote? It`s a disincentive. They`re going to have to get in their car and drive somewhere and hand it off? I mean, this is just horrific, I think.
Congressman Lynch, I hope your bill gets support of every Democrat and the White House. Thank you.
LYNCH: Thank you, Ed.
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