Letter: U.S. Postal Service is a true public serviceEach day, six days a week, letter carriers traverse 4 million miles carrying an average of 563 pieces of mail, reaching to our very doorsteps in every single community in America.
By: Ray Anderson, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
Each day, six days a week, letter carriers traverse 4 million miles carrying an average of 563 pieces of mail, reaching to our very doorsteps in every single community in America. They ride snowmobiles to reach iced-in villages, fly bush planes into outback wilderness areas that have no roads and run mail boats out to remote islands in places like Maine and Washington state.
Everyone in America depends on the postal service. All that for 45 cents. And if you've written the wrong address, you'll get your letter or package back at no charge.
Right-wingers say that USPS is bogged down with too many overpaid workers and costly buildings. Since it can't keep up with instant messaging of internet services and corporate competitors as FedEx, it must be destroyed.
They say USPS is unprofitable, is costing taxpayers billions of dollars a year in losses and will go into bankruptcy.
In the past four year USPS produced a $700 million profit, but in 2006 Bush and Congress whacked USPS with an act that requires the agency to prepay the health care benefits not only of current employees but also of all employees who will retire during the next 75 years (that includes employees who are yet not born!) and fully fund this burden by 2016. That mandate is costing USPS $5.5 billion a year.
Also due to a 40-year accounting error, the federal Office of Personnel Management has overcharged USPS as much as $80 billion for payments into the Civil Service Retirement System. Restore that money to USPS & the impending "collapse" goes away.
Obviously USPS is not the only player making the rounds and it must make major adjustments to find its proper place. However, America's postal service is a true public service, an unmatched bargain, a civic treasure, and a genuine public good that links all the people and communities into one nation.
In a 2009 Gallup Poll 95 percent of Americans maintained that USPS must be continued.