September 22, 2011
Over these past few years, I have listened with great dismay to the financial cries and moans of the US Postal Service.
It took me a while to move beyond the fear and the cover story about lost revenue due to the advancement of technology and the popularity of email. Next came the threats of removing one delivery day combined with the closings of thousands of small post offices Nationwide. It’s no wonder the public feels letdown…It’s like a romance gone bad.
The public loves the post office. On a whole, people love their letter carriers. The USPS is the most trusted agency in the government, (and who trusts the government these days?) So why is the Post Office being so mean to the public?
Back in 2006, President Bush signed a law that requires the USPS to prefund their retirees’ healthcare fund -to the tune of some $5 billion dollars per year. No other government agency has to do that. Everywhere else it’s “pay as you go.” That requirement has depleted all the profits. Postmaster General Donahoe said that -” Were it not for that provision of law the Postal Service would…have turned a profit of $1 billion from 2007 to 2010, a period when mail volume declined 20% due to the recession.” So his next practical step is to ask Congress to rescind that pre-funding requirement and allow the USPS to develop new ideas and methods to survive the changing technology and grow without being mean spirited towards the public.
Contrary to some popular notions, the US Postal Service does not rely on taxpayers dollars to function. The USPS does not need a taxpayers’ bailout, it needs relief from that impractical financial requirement. Plain & simple.
Here’s hoping that common sense prevails!
Deliver Magazine. June 2011. Letter from Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. Page.11
National Association of Letter Carriers. Postal Record. August 2011.