I write in reference to the recent letter to the Times concerning the United States Postal Service and its decision to cut back to five days a week. Either the writer didn't do his homework, or he's very selective with the facts. I think it's only reasonable to expect those who sneer at an organization created by our Constitution to at least include all relevant information.
It's true that the USPS has serious problems. First, it hasn't been allowed to modernize and expand its services to replace the loss of traditional mail. There's much that can be done to bring it into the 21st century and congress should put some idea people to work on this.
The second problem is much more intransigent. In 2006, with a Republican president and a Republican-controlled congress, a "poison-pill" piece of legislation was passed that required the USPS to fund 75 years of pensions, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act.
No other government agency has had to do anything like this, funding pensions for people who haven't even been born yet. $5.5 billion dollars has to be diverted every year to the US treasury, and there's no way that the USPS can continue to operate successfully under this ridiculous, unnecessary burden. And by the way, the USPS takes no tax money, it exists entirely by its earnings.
This is a blatant attack on one of the most beloved organizations in our history; a deliberate attempt to bankrupt it, bust its union, and privatize it. 500,000 postal workers across this country make a good living, and they earn every penny of it by their hard work and dedication. They do an outstanding job day in and day out.
If these corporate-owned, right-wing politicians get their way, do you really expect profit-motivated companies to give us the low cost and excellent service that we get from our post office? Costs will most assuredly go up while service degrades, especially in rural areas.
The USPS was created to serve the needs of the American people, and it must be defended by those people or it will not survive. Have we become so indifferent to the common good that we are willing to allow this venerable institution to be brought to its knees and tossed aside for the sake of greed? If we can't even muster the citizenship required to save our post office, then we might as well rip up the Constitution and replace it with a sales receipt.