October 18, 2011
As a postal worker, I am sensitive to the love/hate relationship people have with the post office. Sure, the long lines annoy me, too. However, lately people are now more anxious- “What’s going to happen to the post office?” The issues are clouded by a flood of misinformation which leaves the public baffled and confused.
“Everywhere you turn; there is so much misinformation about the U.S. Postal Service and its financial crisis. From cries that it is funded by taxpayers (it’s not) to concerns that it wants a bailout (it doesn’t) to explanations that e-mail is what is killing it (it’s not), so much of what the public is hearing is flat out wrong.” Postal Record October 2011
In June 2011, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said that if it were not for the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement law, “the Postal Service would not be operating in the red!”
This new law requires the USPS to pre-pay the cost for future retirees’ health care to cover a 75 year period, and do it within a 10 year time frame. Basically, this fund is socking away money for future employees who have not been hired or even born yet!!!??? No other government agency or private business is required to do this. “Pay as you go” is the norm. This annual bill amounts to $5.5 billion. Asking the USPS to continue these payments now is the reason for the crisis. The payment was due September 30th. The USPS could not make the payment and that is why the word: “Default” came up.
President Obama gave the USPS a 90 day reprieve so some options can be considered.
Most people are astonished to learn that the post office actually brings money into the government’s coffers. The USPS is not dependent upon taxpayer money. And, there IS plenty of money to meet the future retirees’ health care requirement. There was an overpayment in the civil service fund of at least $50 billion (perhaps more). Congress needs to agree (the hardest part) to transfer the overpayment to pay off the USPS’ bills and debts.
Congress is a broken system. Unfortunately, several legislators and the Postmaster General want to downsize the Postal Service out of existence! WHY? Well remember the “deficit crisis?’ It seems we’ve fallen (like Alice in Wonderland) down the rabbit hole in this country, and not a heck of a lot makes any sense! -F.V.Rolando
The U.S. Constitution- Article 1, Section 8 states that “Congress shall have Power To establish Post Offices and post Roads.” Over 200 years ago, the Founding Fathers wanted the citizens in their fledgling nation to have a guaranteed right to communicate by mail. This is an important fact. We have more power than we think. Any drastic changes in the postal service must go through Congress first. That is why your legislators need to hear from you. Your voice matters!
We have to hope that folks from all parties across the country love the post office more than they hate it. Presently, for 6 days per week, your mail which includes …newspapers, magazines, personal letters, bills, checks, credit cards and medicines…merchandise from catalogs, Netflix and Amazon packages, -is delivered by an honest professional. In today’s culture where you can’t trust the government, the banks, the police or the clergy, finding someone who is honest is a small miracle.
One last word, as a cornerstone industry, the USPS supports an 8-million job mega-mailing business and generates more than a $1 trillion in commercial activity every year. So when someone says, “I don’t care if the post office disappears.” Tell him, it’s not about him!
What you can do…Focus on what you love about the post office!
Contact your legislators http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
Visit: http://www.savethepostoffice.com Click on “Send the love.”
Write more letters!
Write to the editor of your local newspaper & get the word out.
Gather friends & neighbors and rally around your post office.
Remember it is YOUR post office.
“Alice survived her Wonderland,” and so will we! -F.V.Rolando
Deliver Magazine. June 2011
NALC Postal Record.October 2011
The Constitution of the United States
The Nader Page. nader.org