PARKERSBURG - A West Virginia senator said he would first look at the management decisions by the U.S. Postal Service before cutting facilities and services.
"And why they made so many bad decisions," Manchin said Friday during a telephone conference from Washington, D.C., with West Virginia reporters on President Obama's proposed jobs bill.
Manchin was asked about the postal services announcement on Thursday that three mail processing sites in West Virginia, including Parkersburg, were being studied for closure and consolidation to save expenses. Including a facility in Athens, the postal service is looking at closing 252 such faciltiies across the country.
The post office budget deficit will reach $9.2 billion this year and the postmaster has recommended several cost-cutting steps like discontinuing Saturday mail delivery, closing up to 3,700 postal locations and furloughing 120,000 employees, a fifth of its workforce.
Manchin, D-W.Va., said he supports parts of the president's jobs bill, but the payroll tax cuts haven't produced the number of jobs hoped for,
"None of that happened," Manchin said.
Extending and expanding the payroll tax cuts comprise $240 billion in the total package, however, that directly impacts funding for Social Security, Manchin said.
Manchin earlier said he was skeptical of the $447 billion proposal President Obama gave to Congress last week. Now he's more certain after his office broke down the president's plan, although parts have merit, such as bringing fairness to the tax system by closing loop holes, credits, offsets and shelters enabling the wealthiest Americans and companies to not pay taxes, he said on Friday.
"That needs to be done," he said.
At a time of spiraling debt in the trillions of dollars, Obama's proposal spends billions more with questionable results, Manchin said. If massive spending worked, "we wouldn't have a problem right now," Manchin said.
Obama's plans include the payroll tax cuts, unemployment benefit extensions and new infrastructure projects. Manchin said he supports the proposed infrastructure bank and extension of unemployment benefits with retraining for the jobs available.
Manchin this week joined 36 other Democrat and Republican, split evenly, senators to encourage the 12-member super committee looking for spending cuts to consider more than the $1.2 trillion it was charged to find.
"We're talking much bigger than that," he said.
Taxpayers are reluctant to send more money to Washington, Manchin said.
"People are afraid to give the government more money because they're afraid we're going to waste it," he said.