Starving the Postal ServicePosted: August 5, 2012
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has announced that starting July 1st he will begin the closure of half the mail sorting plants in the country and cut hours from 25 to 75 percent in half the nation’s post offices. Tens of thousands of jobs will be eliminated and delivery standards relaxed.
It is important for all who rely on the maintenance of our postal service to have Donahoe suspend cuts and closures, and allow Congress to stop starving the USPS by repealing a prefunding mandate and refunding a pension surplus. Many people from low income neighborhoods have already been hurt by the closure of neighborhood post offices.
America’s postal service is being starved to death. A 2006 Congressional mandate forces the USPS to prefund retiree health benefits 75 years in advance. Ten percent of the postal budget, $5.5 billion per year, goes to prefund benefits for people who aren’t even born yet. Not only would the postal service have been profitable without the mandate, the USPS has also overpaid tens of billions into two pension funds.
Not the internet, not private competition, not the recession – Congress is killing the postal service. Corporate interests, working through their friends in Congress, want to undermine the USPS, bust the unions, then privatize it. The Postmaster General’s response is to speed the death spiral by pushing forward massive cuts to service, closures of facilities and the decimation of living-wage jobs.
We invite all who care about our national treasure – enshrined in the Constitution, serving over 150 million households and businesses six days a week, providing universal mail services at reasonable, uniform rates – to speak out in behalf of the United States Postal Service.