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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/27/13

Darrell Issa's Got a Plan to Put the Postal Service in a Death Spiral

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So Issa is going at things in entirely the wrong way.

The right route is outlined by National Association of Letter Carriers president Fredric Rolando in a letter to Issa and Congressman Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In it, Rolando writes that comprehensive postal reform must:

"1. Stabilize the Postal Service's finances by reforming or eliminating unwise and unfair pension and retiree health financing policies that have crippled the Postal Service's finances since 2006;

"2. Strengthen and protect the Postal Service's invaluable first-mile and last-mile networks that together comprise a crucial part of the nation's infrastructure;

"3. Overhaul the basic governance structure of the agency to attract first-class executive talent and a private-sector style board of directors with the demonstrated business expertise needed to implement a strategy that will allow the Postal Service to innovate and take advantage of growth opportunities even as it adjusts to declining traditional mail volume; and

"4. Free the Postal Service to meet the evolving needs of the American economy and to set its prices in a way that reflects the cost structure of the delivery industry while assuring affordable universal service and protecting against anti-competitive abuses."

While Issa is using flawed premises and flawed policies to hasten the demise of the postal service, others really are working to save it.

Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and Congressman DeFazio  have proposed legislation that would stabilize the finances of the USPS while freeing it to compete in the twenty-first century.

Says Sanders, "While we all understand that the Postal Service is experiencing financial problems today and that changes need to be made as the Postal Service adjusts to a digital world, these issues can be dealt with in a way which strengthens the Postal Service rather than initiating a series of cuts that could eventually lead to a death spiral."

The USPS is not alone in facing financial difficulties -- millions of Americans are struggling with poverty as well.


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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.

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