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Misdirected Mail: White House Budget Proposes Damaging Postal Service Cuts

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Sanders begins with the basic premise that, "first, prefunding must end. The future retiree health fund now has some $50 billion in it. That is enough. This step alone will restore the Postal Service to profitability."

But Sanders does not stop there. The senator and his allies argue that the "Postal Service should have the flexibility to provide new consumer products and services--a flexibility that was banned by Congress in 2006. It is now against the law for workers in post offices to notarize or make copies of documents; to cash checks; to deliver wine or beer; or to engage in e-commerce activities [like scanning physical mail into a PDF and sending it through e-mail, selling non-postal products on the Internet or offering a non-commercial version of Gmail]."

And, along with Senator Warren, Sanders is making the case for postal banking:

"A recent report from the Postal Service Inspector General suggests that almost $9 billion a year could be generated by providing financial services. At a time when more than 80 million lower-income Americans have no bank accounts or are forced to rely on rip-off check-cashing storefronts and payday lenders, these kinds of financial services would be of huge social benefit."

That's the right reform. The White House should rewrite the sections of its budget proposal relating to the postal service, reject austerity and embrace an agenda that it good for the USPS and the communities it serves.

Read Next: Why we need a bank at the post office

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

Nichols writes about politics (more...)
 

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The United States Postal Service (USPS) is one of... by Dennis Kaiser on Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 7:30:25 AM
We have to protect the USPS, thanks a lot. ... by BFalcon on Saturday, Mar 15, 2014 at 3:35:53 AM
This is a good example of how we lost our democrac... by Dennis Kaiser on Saturday, Mar 15, 2014 at 3:56:32 AM