Thursday, March 15, 2012

The truth about the USPS

Conservatives want us to believe that the postal service is going bankrupt because they are inefficient and cannot compete. Let UPS and FedEx take over completely, since they are a private business and do it better. But is this all true? This Salon article begs to differ. Republicans have hobbled the post office under conditions no other business must endure, public or private. And they did so deliberately to destroy it and further weaken public unions so that private business could take over. Please inform yourself and support the legislation proposed at the end. From the article:

"The post office’s immediate crisis is largely of Congress’s own the first quarter of this fiscal year, the post office would have made an operational profit, if not for a 75-year healthcare 'pre-funding' mandate that applies to no other public or private institution in the United States.

"This death hug was part of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which was passed on a voice vote by a lame duck Republican Congress in 2006.  As I’ve reported, the mandate required the Postal Service, over 10 years, to pre-fund healthcare benefits for the next 75.  This unique burden costs USPS $5.5 billion a year. The new law also restricted the Postal Service’s ability to raise postage rates, or to provide "nonpostal services" that, in an e-diversion era, could be key to its future.  American Postal Workers Union president Cliff Guffey says the bill was designed 'by those people who hate government … to destroy the Postal Service.  And that’s what they did.'

"Twenty-six Senate Democrats, plus Sanders, have signed a letter raising similar concerns about service cuts and calling for an alternative approach: ending the pre-funding mandate, allowing the Postal Service a refund on billions in overpayments to pension funds, and allowing and encouraging USPS to diversify its services.... Sanders is among the backers of the Postal Service Protection Act, whose recommendations are similar to the ones in the senators’ letter."

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