Your View: Privatizing Postal Service is a bad idea

Dec. 18, 2012 @ 12:07 AM

In 2006, a lame-duck Congress passed a deeply flawed and politically motivated bill mandating the U.S. Postal Service to pre-fund its retirement benefits 75 years into the future over a 10 year period at a cost of $5.5 billion a year.
Regrettably, there were those who thought placing this burden on the Postal Service during the country’s worst financial crisis since the Great Depression would lead to its downfall. But why? Why would anyone want to destroy an American institution, a federal agency rooted in our Constitution, an agency that faithfully delivers the mail to more than 150 million addresses every day, six days a week, and is fully self-supporting, requiring no taxpayer money? Why would anyone want to destroy a business that has been voted the most trusted federal agency for the past six years?
The answer: Greed. There are those in Congress, and those behind those in Congress, who view the Postal Service as a potential cash cow once it’s privatized.
That attempt in 2006 failed. But now the lame duck Congress of 2012 is attempting to finish what the one in 2006 failed to do. Rather than address the pre-funding mandate that accounts for 80 percent of the Postal Service’s losses, it is pushing for the elimination of Saturday mail delivery. This could happen with the passage of a fiscal cliff bill, even though the Postal Service adds nothing to the nation’s deficit. If successful, it will add 100,000 to the unemployment rolls and result in a downward spiral that will eventually end in its privatization.
A privatized postal service will be good news for its new CEO, executive officers and stockholders, but bad news for the American public. On that sad day, the postal service eagle will be replaced by a vulture.
The writer is editor of The North Carolina Letter Carrier, a publication of the North Carolina State Association of Letter Carriers.


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