Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Here's What Darrell Issa Actually Said -- But Don't Ask What He Meant

A couple of people have complained that my article yesterday on Rep. Darrell Issa (Is Darrell Issa Getting Cold Feet About Postal Service Downsizing?) misrepresented his comments at a recent Congressional hearing on the Postal Service.

Here is the passage in question, starting at the 2:28 mark in the video (which was uploaded to YouTube today):

"Postmaster General, I appreciate the fact that you have come in and re-looked anew at your predecessor's initial ideas, and I have seen some innovative and, I think, very worthwhile suggestions you have made, and some of them are tough. As we were talking before we came out here, the good news is there are at least two post offices that need to be closed in every congressional district in America. Let's hope there is not one or three in mine."

Issa's words are open to interpretation, but seeing the video leads me to believe he was making a joke and not a threat. (Some advice, Congressman, if you're thinking about becoming a comedian: Don't give up your day job.)

I'm guessing he meant that if an average of two post offices were closed in every Congressional district, fewer than two closings in his district would look like special treatment and more than two would get him into trouble with his voters. But I welcome other interpretations (and think I fixed the problem that prevented readers from commenting on this blog).

After a long history of politicians complaining about inefficiency at the Postal Service but then blocking any austerity moves in their own district, some of us may have been too quick to conclude that Issa was playing the "not in my district" game. The proof will be when the inevitable post office closings and USPS job cuts hit home in his district.

Issa's brief statement also left room for interpreting his position on ending Saturday delivery. Saying that the Postal Service should deliver "a level of service that Americans have come to expect," he added: "If at all possible, we want that to include all categories of mail, all types, and all delivery dates, meaning six days a week is a goal if we can achieve it."

But this statement is certainly clear: "The cost of mail is a cost to American commerce and to the American people, so every time there is an increase in postal rates, it is to the detriment of American efficiency and disposable income to the American people."

Amen to that, Congressman!


Anonymous said...

Boy if the cost of a postage stamp is critical to the American household imagine what gas prices are doing!

MikeShaw said...

If Issa thinks a couple dollars a month in stamps is affecting American's disposable income maybe he should push for an increase in the minimum wage. Maybe we can send a $10 stimulus check to everyone to pay for stamps this year.

Anonymous said...

efficiency hey .. last time i knew 44cents to send a letter from maine to california or florida to alaska was pretty *&^^*&% efficient. i cant drive 10 feet in my car for that. Issa and well the washington Republican biased paper after reading so many articles yes thisis the crap they put out need to get a reality check. thank god fox new networks dont own the paper or maybe they do that would explain many things.

Bigwheel said...

I think you got it just right.. Issa is a complete clown, just like most republicans. Keep up the good work of exposing their lies.I wonder why republicans are not producing any jobs for American workers?

Anonymous said...

We have the most affordable rates in the world! Maybe we should increase rates to what the private sector is charging, such as UPS, FEDEX, DHL, then we could have a serious revisit of the issues at hand!

wassr said...

Bigwheel, the democrats ran congress from 1-2007 till 1-2011 and nobama was president for 2 years of that. facts. if you do not believe it, what are you doing holding a job. the destruction of this country by democrats will take more than 2 months to fix. by the way, every ghetto and slum in this country is run by democrats and full of democrat voters. conservatives have never ran a slum or ghetto.explain that to me. dems only run slums. nobody else.