The Big Talk examines state enticements to get the vaccine, more post office problems and COVID spikes next door

CHAMBERSBURG – Every weekday morning on First News, the local – live morning radio information show with Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen features the big talk topics and opinion from local Attorney Clint Barkdoll.

On August 11, the Big Talk discussed Governor Wolf’s paid day off for state workers who get the vaccine, the USPS adding yet another cost and the COVID rise in Adams County.

Governor Wolf hands out the peoples’ money pretty easily

Apparently if you are a state worker and can prove you are vaccinated, you will get a paid day off after October 1.

Governor Wolf announced this yesterday in conjunction with a new directive that all Pennsylvania employees in state hospitals and the state prison system have to be vaccinated or be tested weekly, starting September 7.

Barkdoll said, “We’re talking thousands and thousands of workers that have been mandated to be vaccinated.”

Governor Wolf is also looking at giving every Pennsylvanian $100 if they can prove they got the vaccine. That would come from the federal stimulus money. That has not been approved yet.

Barkdoll said, “It’s not clear how that would be implemented or if the legislature would have to be involved.”

Ryan wondered, “Does anybody ask where is this money coming from? Where does it come from? I’m flabbergasted at that. I’m flabbergasted at this infrastructure bill and another $3.5 trillion that they’re talking about. Where is the money coming from?”

Barkdoll pointed out, “$1.2 trillion passed yesterday for infrastructure and then last night another $3.5 trillion package passed by the Senate so $4.7 trillion in new expenditures. The House won’t take this up until late September. They’re on recess. But it appears the votes could be there to pass these things. The national debt is now pushing $29 trillion, no end in sight. It seems like every week there’s a new spending package. I don’t see how it’s sustainable. We are all going to pay for this eventually. We can’t just keep printing money like this.”

The Post Office wants even more money

After the announcement that first class postage stamps will go up in price and mail delivery will go down in speed, the United States Postmaster General now wants to add a surcharge to holiday packages.

The rise in stamp prices and slowing down delivery in certain parts of the country has passed. It’s a done deal, but the surcharge on holiday packages still needs to go through the USPS Board.  

If it makes it through, we could be looking at anywhere from a 25 cent to $5 surcharge on packages from October 1 through December 26.

Ryan asked, “There’s the old keyboard warriors that were fast and furious blaming Donald Trump for the post office woes. It’s a Donald Trump guy that’s in for the post office that’s caused all of this. Is it all Donald Trump’s fault? It seems to be the go-to right now. Everything’s Donald Trump’s fault. Do we point at Donald Trump for the post office woes?”

Barkdoll said, “The postmaster general, Lewis DeJoy, was a Trump appointee and he is the guy that’s pushing a lot of these things. He’s saying the post office needs to be run more like a business. They’ve been bleeding red ink now for years. Remember all of these proposals, DeJoy can’t unilaterally do these. They’re still subject to the postal service board’s approval. That board is composed of members both from Trump, Biden has even filled some seats on there. DeJoy, there’s no doubt he’s steering the ship, but he’s not unilaterally able to implement any of these things. The board still has to approve it.”

Adams County in the red zone

The CDC has announced that rising cases of COVID have pushed Adams County into the red zone. That’s the high transmission zone.

Franklin County seems to follow the patterns of Adams County, so we could be next.

Barkdoll said, “Franklin County is not in the high zone yet, but if we continue on this trajectory we’re on now with new cases and positivity rates we’re getting dangerously close to also being put into that red zone.”