Lloyd Rollins: In defense of the postal system
September 9, 2011
To the editor:
The U.S. Postal Service does not use one cent of taxpayer money. The USPS is the most efficient and economical postal system in the world.
Several post offices — Maybell, Hamilton, and Slater, Dixon and Savery, Wyo. — in our area are on the USPS list of post offices to possibly close.
The USPS will conduct a study on each office and then make a decision on each one.
Without proper changes, your post office could be on a list to close in coming years.
Why is this being done?
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It is the result of USPS financial problems.
USPS financial problems have little to do with delivering the mail. In the four fiscal years since 2007, despite the worst recession in 80 years and Internet diversion, revenues for postal operations exceeded cost by $611 million.
The problem lies with the 2006 congressional mandate that USPS pre-fund future retiree health benefits for the next 75 years and do so within a decade, an obligation no other public agency or private firm faces. The more than $5 billion annual payments since 2007 — $21 billion total — are the difference between a positive and negative ledger. That's the elephant in the room.
Is there light at the end of the tunnel for USPS or is it an oncoming train? Both.
House Resolution 1351 provides light at the end of the tunnel. It would allow an internal transfer of pension surpluses, surpluses of $75 billion, to be transferred to meet the obligation of the 2006 congressional law.
HR 1351, with zero taxpayer involvement, would restore the USPS budget to financial soundness, and do so in the near future, if not immediately.
The oncoming train is HR 2309, which allows for thousands of additional post offices to be closed in the next two years. HR 2309 does nothing to address or change the direct cause of the USPS current financial situation.
The post office provides a unique public service that is still a necessity for many people. It is the focal point of many small communities. It is "where the flag flies." It is where the government provides support for the community. The post office was inspired by our Founding Fathers (Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution).
If you love your post office and want to preserve it, you will need, among other things, to call Rep. Scott Tipton at 202-225-4761 and ask him to support HR 1351 and oppose HR 2309. The USPS is the one government agency that uses no taxpayer funds.
If HR 1351 isn't passed, it could be your post office closing next year.
American Postal Workers Union-Western Colorado Area Local