The Postal Service has defaulted. But who really defaulted? Could it be those members of Congress who have failed in attempting to fix the problem?
The pre-funding of future retirees’ health benefits has placed an unreasonable burden on the Postal Service — to the tune of 85 to 94 percent of its red ink, a burden no other public agency or private company faces.
Rather than fixing this problem created in 2006, some members of Congress want to degrade the world’s most affordable delivery network by reducing services to the American people and businesses, which would only worsen the financial problems by driving customers away and reducing revenue.
In addition to bringing the Postal Service to the financial precipice, pre-funding has prevented the agency from doing what it has done for 200 years — adapting to an evolving society.
This artificial political crisis has focused management’s energy on a desperate attempt to pay bills that no one else has to pay. Rep. Glenn Thompson has been asked to join more than 200 of his colleagues to co-sponsor legislation to develop a forward-looking plan to address the structural challenges and opportunities that letter carriers acknowledge exist. So far, he has failed to do so.
The Postal Service already has $45 billion set aside for future retiree health benefits— more than any other organization in America — and yet some members of Congress want to drain still more from the USPS.
Joseph G. Antal Ebensburg
The writer is president of the Pennsylvania State Association of Letter Carriers.