The Aug. 4 “Cheers and Jeers” editorial dramatically missed the mark regarding the financial woes of the Postal Service. The “Jeer” blamed “bitter partisan wrangling in Congress” for the danger of financial default strangling our postal system.
On Dec. 7, 2006, HR 6407 was introduced. Designed to financially eviscerate the Postal Service, within days the bill passed a Republican House and Senate and was signed into law Dec. 20 by President Bush. Bill passage cannot be faster than this.
The bill’s name: The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. Irony: No one was accountable for their vote.
The bill’s “enhancement” required the USPS to pre-fund $5.5 billion in annual installments for retirement and health benefits of employees for the next 75 years. This economic poison pill is to be paid by the USPS annually until September 2043. No other public agency, federal, state, or municipal, is required to pre-fund 75 years of benefits. Consequently, the USPS is without enough revenue to pay this unprecedented demand. Close to default, facing layoffs, planning closures of hundreds of post offices and eliminating Saturday deliveries is probable.
Why do corporate Republicans want to sabotage the postal system? It’s to privatize another government service in the name of profit. Elimination of political influence from postal unions remains the final goal.