REFLECTIONS

Posted on May 1, 2012

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CONGRESS MUST FIX POSTAL SERVICE

The current crisis facing our national postal system is essentially manufactured by Congress. So Congress needs to fix it now.

It is true the Internet has transformed how Americans communicate with each other and pay their bills. Also, the recession has contributed substantially to a steep decline in volume of first-class mail.

But his is not the main reason why the quasi-government Postal Service is in the red.

In 2006, in  an obvious attempt at union busting, Congress passed a law regarding the Postal Service to fund 75 years of employee health-care benefits in just a decade, something that no other government agency or Congress must do.

This funding costs $5.5 billion per year. Last year’s deficit was $5.1 billion. If need be Congress should provide funds to keep the Postal Service going for years to come.

The Senate pasted a bill to postpone the closing of 3,700 rural post offices, 252 regional sorting centers and ending Saturday delivery by May 15.

The House of Representatives should pass this bill even though it is flawed. The president should sign this bill.

But this is just the beginning to the mail problem, as the Postal Service is not a business but a vital government service and civic institution, it should remain so. We are part of an international mail delivery service for nations around the world.

Privatizing the Postal Service will deliver the nation to second-class status and do that very quickly.

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