Letter: Correct mandate and let USPS do what it does bestDavid Radziej's recent letter on postal reform noted the key role of the U. S. Postal Service in Minnesota's economy and the thousands of private-sector jobs it supports. The USPS, which is based in the Constitution, provides Minnesotans and all Americans with the world's best and most affordable delivery service.
By: Employees of the Red Wing Post Office, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
David Radziej's recent letter on postal reform noted the key role of the U. S. Postal Service in Minnesota's economy and the thousands of private-sector jobs it supports. The USPS, which is based in the Constitution, provides Minnesotans and all Americans with the world's best and most affordable delivery service.
And it hasn't used a dime of taxpayer money for more than 30 years.
The Postal Service's financial problems need to be addressed. Radziej calls for the passage of the bill by Darrell Issa of California. That bill, however, which sharply reduces services to the public, wouldn't save but rather destroy the USPS. Let us explain by offering some easily verifiable facts.
The red ink you hear about has little to do with the Internet, email, declining mail volume or other mail-related factors. USPS financial records show that more than 80 percent of the red ink stems from an external political factor, the 2006 congressional mandate that the Postal Service pre-fund future retiree health benefits for the next 75 years and do so within 10 years.
No other public agency or private company is required to pre-fund at all, let alone so aggressively.
This mandate is leading the USPS off the financial cliff and distracting the agency from doing what it's done for 200 years, develop a sound business plan to meet the needs of an evolving society. Instead, it's spending all its energy, savings, borrowing authority and operational profits in a struggle to meet this unnecessary burden.
If Congress fixed the pre-funding mess it created, the USPS could seize the opportunities that exist, such as the exploding e-commerce market, with goods ordered online that need to be delivered. Already, UPS and FedEx are turning to the efficient USPS network to deliver millions of those packages.
Issa's bill not only ignores the problem, it degrades the unparalleled service the USPS provides Minnesotans and their businesses, ending Saturday delivery and most home deliveries, reducing postal services across the board, firing thousands of hard-working postal workers (one quarter of whom are military veterans) and appointing an unelected board of Washington bureaucrats to run the agency.
In the interests of Minnesotans and all Americans, Congress must step up and do what's right.
Bruce K. Brage
Employees of the Red Wing Post Office