Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Are These Stamps Licked?

Rallies are scheduled for today in every congressional district across the nation in support of the U.S. Postal Service, which is facing a financial crisis because of past congressional action. Participants will be asking lawmakers to approve a bill that's been introduced to fix the problem.

In 2006, Congress passed a postal reform law that, among other things, required USPS -- a self-funded agency that receives no taxpayer money -- to pre-pay 75 years' worth of retiree health benefits within just 10 years. The mandate, which no other federal agency is under, costs USPS $5.5 billion a year -- and accounts for all of the Postal Service's $20 billion in losses over the past four years.

In that time, USPS actually made a net profit of over $600 million sorting and delivering the mail. But it ended up in the red after it was forced to deposit billions from its operating budget into the retiree health fund.

As a result, 120,000 postal workers are now facing the threat of layoffs, and thousands of post offices and mail-processing centers are targeted for closure. There are also plans to eliminate Saturday mail service, which would hit residents of rural areas especially hard. Last week President Obama joined those who endorse dropping Saturday service.

~ from Nationwide Rallies Aim to Save US Postal Service by Sue Sturgis ~
I ask you, why on earth would Congress mandate prepaying "75 years' worth of retiree health benefits within just 10 years?" That's fiscally insane! No corporation would do such a thing!! If some crusading Congressperson proposed this strategy as a mandate for business, corporate lobbyists would flood the nation's capitol in rabid outrage.

For me, this mandate only makes sense IF the underlying goal is to kill the postal service. If the postal service goes away, then guess who gets to deliver YOUR mail for whatever amount they decide to charge?

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