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It's the Postal SERVICE, Stupid

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It's called the U.S. Postal Service because it's a service, not a corporation. Who decided the Postal Service must be profitable? Do other government agencies, like the Defense Department, the V.A., and the Department of Education, have to turn a profit? Of course not, so why should the Postal Service?

The story line you'll hear from the corporate media is that the U.S. Postal Service is losing money and something drastic has to be done.  But this is a manufactured crisis.  In real life, the post office is an American success story. The Second Continental Congress created it in 1775 and made Benjamin Franklin the first Postmaster General. In fact, if you read Article One, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, you will find, under enumerated powers of Congress: "To establish Post Offices and post Roads."


United States Postal Service by MoneyBlogNewz

The Post Office has been humming along quite nicely since Ben got it started. Let's face it, sending a letter from one address to a different address across town or clear across the country for less than two quarters is a pretty good deal by any reasonable standards. Most Americans appreciate their post office and the services it provides and are not anxious to see them cut or eliminated.  The elderly, the disabled, and rural communities depend on the Postal Service for more than just junk mail and bills.  The post office is a vital human connection to their community and the world. Many businesses also depend on regular postal service.

The latest proposed postal austerity measure, cutting Saturday delivery, will only make it harder for the USPS to survive.  "The postmaster general cannot save the Postal Service by ending one of its major competitive advantages," explains Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont. "Cutting six-day delivery is not a viable plan for the future.  It will lead to a death spiral that will harm rural America while doing very little to improve the financial condition of the Postal Service."

Despite over 237 years of unparalleled  success and popularity, the U.S. Postal Service has been under siege for years by Republicans in Congress and by powerful interest groups in Washington. The reason the USPS is under attack is because it  is a success story. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency six consecutive years and ranked the fourth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

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The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. And it provides a livable wage to over 574,000 mostly unionized workers. All of that doesn't fit in with the right-wing mantra that government doesn't work and government agencies should be replaced by private corporations.

True, it has been losing money recently, but you can blame Congress for that.Republicans in 2006 made postal workers pre-fund their health care retirement costs an unprecedented 75 years in advance--at a cost of over $5 billion a year over a decade--making it nearly impossible for the USPS to make a profit. That's right, Congress was mandating payment of retirement health benefits to workers not even born yet. To make matters worse,  Congress has resisted efforts to allow the Postal Service to recover billions of dollars of overpayments of pension payouts and expand into new areas of business.

Let's be clear: conservatives are at war with the Postal Service because they want its services privatized to powerful companies like FedEx and UPS, and they want to cripple the labor unions that represent postal employees.

I'll say it again: why does a popular government agency that has consistently and effectively served the American people for over two centuries and is a valued part of the American way of life need to make money?

Even if Congress insists that the USPS be profitable--which they shouldn't--that  problem can be readily solved: Raise the price of stamps a few cents. Now how difficult is that?

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thebigpicturereport.com

Arlen is a writer/blogger living in Monterey, CA. His political blog is thebigpicturereport.com. He writes a weekly quotation quiz "What's Your QQ?" (Quotation Quotient) for the Monterey Herald, as well as a quotationquotient.com website and (more...)
 

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Since when is serving the American people a bad th... by Arlen Grossman on Friday, Feb 8, 2013 at 11:00:51 AM
This draconian pre-funding requirement was put out... by Scott Baker on Friday, Feb 8, 2013 at 12:44:02 PM
It would cast Ryan and those who support the pre-f... by Rob Kall on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 10:17:19 AM
The Constitution authorizes the creation of a post... by June Genis on Friday, Feb 8, 2013 at 2:43:45 PM
This post office has served the country well, is s... by Arlen Grossman on Friday, Feb 8, 2013 at 3:52:37 PM
that there is no authorization for such service to... by June Genis on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 11:53:31 AM
One of the great, yet modern only, myths is that a... by Scott Baker on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 12:39:36 PM
The plutocrats who are well on the way to destroyi... by Rob Kall on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 10:15:50 AM
Once mistake made in your article was saying that ... by David McCorquodale on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 10:54:18 AM
Meanwhile the "Postal Service" is losing $25 milli... by FrankieC on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 2:52:39 PM
The Defense Department is not "bleeding money".The... by BFalcon on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 1:24:16 AM
As a fanatic about Worker Owned Cooperatives, whic... by Michael Dewey on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 4:12:16 PM
While I agree with the author's premise there is a... by Art Costa on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 4:42:17 PM
Like every other problem that our country faces at... by Matthew Peters on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 6:44:23 PM
Congress and other powerful forces have been doing... by Arlen Grossman on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 1:53:18 AM