New Castle News

April 10, 2013

Postal service’s profits siphoned by Congress

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

For the past several months, assorted corporate front groups, some congressional right-wingers and a bunch of mainstream media sources have been pounding out a steady drumbeat to warn that our postal service faces an impending doom.

It’s “broke,” they exclaim.

Even the current postmaster general, Patrick Donahoe, has added to the din by declaring “we’ll be out of cash by next August.” All of this has been reported by Jim Hightower, a well-known reporter who “answering the lies that privatization zealots and Fed Ex are peddling, the post office is not broke — and it has not taken any of our tax money since 1971.”

The postal service was instituted to perform a service to the community, not to earn a profit like a corporate entity, and that it has done. Each day, six days a week, letter carriers traverse 4 million miles toting an average of 563 million pieces of mail reaching the very doorsteps of our individual homes and workplaces in every single community in America.

From the gated enclaves and penthouses of the super wealthy to the inner-city ghettos and rural colonies of America’s poorest families, the USPS delivers.

The postal service has made a profit in the millions in many of its years of operation and yet, it now shows a loss. Why?

In 2006, President Bush and the Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act requiring the agency to prepay the health care benefits (within a 10-year period) not only for current employees, but also for all employees who’ll retire during the next 75 years.

Yes, that includes employees who are not yet born. This politically motivated mandate is costing the service $5.5 billion a year. That’s the real cause of the financial crisis squeezing America’s post office.

Richard J. Audino

Kings Chapel Road

New Castle