Congress destroying the Post Office
For all of my life the U.S. Postal Service has been a reliable and efficient agency, providing a valuable service at very reasonable cost. But now we are hearing that the Post Office is “in crisis” and is cutting back Saturday delivery, laying people off, closing offices, etc. There is a lot to the story that we are not hearing from the “mainstream” media. The story of the intentional destruction of the U.S. Postal Service is one more piece of the story of crisis-after-crisis, all manufactured to advance the strategic dismantling of our government and handing over the pieces to billionaires.
Here are a few things we need to keep in mind about the Postal Service “crisis”:
The Postal Service is the second largest employer in the United States after Walmart. But unlike Walmart, which gets away with paying so little that employees qualify for government assistance, the Postal Service is unionized, it pays reasonable wages and benefits and receives no government subsidies. (Good for them!)
Republicans have been pushing schemes to privatize the Postal Service since at least 1996. In 2006, Republicans in Congress pushed through a requirement that the Postal Service pre-fund 75 years of retiree costs. The Postal Service has to pay now for employees yet unborn. No other government agency—and certainly no company—has to do this.
Unlike other government agencies (like the military) since 1970 the Postal Service is required to break even.
But along with requiring the Postal Service to break even, Congress has restricted the Service’s ability to raise rates, enter new lines of business or take other steps to help it raise revenue. In fact, while detractors complain that the Postal Service is antiquated, inefficient and burdened by bureaucracy, the rules blocking the Postal Service from entering new lines of business do so because the Postal Service would have advantages over private companies.
The Postal Service is a public service for We, the People, not a business. The Service is hamstrung by people who pretend it is supposed to compete and then won’t let it. They give it rules that no private company could survive and when it gets into trouble, say that government doesn’t work and that the Postal Service has to be “privatized” so all the gains will go to a few already-wealthy people instead of to the public.
Congress, not email, is destroying the Postal Service and we should support the Postal Service.
— Darrell K. Hutchins,