Save America’s Postal Service

What can you buy with 44 cents? These days it doesn’t even buy a candy bar. If you’re lucky 44 cents will get you package of ramen noodles. With 44 cents you can buy a first class stamp that can be used to send a letter to any address in the United States. That’s pretty amazing. I often take for granted all the great stuff done by the Postal Service and some of my fondest memories are of receiving that “something special” in the mail, be it a special present or a simple “thinking of you” card.

Mail is delivered to every address in the nation six days a week. That’s no small feat when you consider the number of addresses they service. For me the postal service represents quality and equality of service. Nothing says “equality” like having mail delivered to the poorest areas with the same frequency and quality of service as the wealthiest neighborhoods.

Each day more people are using electronic methods to communicate instead of sending letters, but remember these methods of communication aren’t universally accessible like the postal service. How many people can’t afford to pay for Internet service? How many people just don’t want to use computers? There’s no sign up fee or learning curve when it comes to receiving mail. All you need is an address and the post office takes care of the rest.

Yesterday postal workers held more than 400 informational rallies across the country. Their goal is to educate the public on the true financial status of the Postal Service and to ensure passage of H.R. 1351. Under a law passed in 2006, the USPS is required to pre-fund 75 years of health care for their retirees in 10 years. H.R. 1351 will allow the Postal Service to take money that was overpaid into retirement funds and use it to pay for current obligations.

I’ve often heard from conservatives that public services should be run like private businesses. Which private industry routinely sets aside 75 years of pension funding in 10 years? Which specific company plans for the retirement of people who haven’t even been born yet? I believe in saving for the future just as much as the next person, but think this is taking that idea a bit too far.

Rep. Darrell Issa and Re. Dennis Ross are cosponsors of H.R. 2309. Text for that bill can be found here.

From an article at the Herald-Times.

“Postal workers oppose HR 2309, which would give the service the option of eliminating Saturday service and also close various postal offices that bill sponsors estimate could save $1 billion.”

Contrary to popular belief, the Postal Service isn’t going broke, in fact in the last 4 years they made a net profit of $600 million. The Postal Service is completely self funding and doesn’t cost the taxpayers a penny. This “crisis” is an artificial one that was created by Congress in 2006. Congress created this mess and Congress should be the ones to fix it by passing H.R. 1351.

Please take the time to complete either the site. online petition or better yet, use the printable version of the petition and send it in the mail.

Please take the time to do your part to strengthen the Postal Service. Do you think any private business is going to charge only 44 cents to deliver a letter? Is anyone naive enough to believe private industry is going to jump in and deliver to every address in this country 6 days a week? By supporting USPS we support mail delivery to everyone in this country, not just the profitable delivery areas. We also back living wages, fair compensation and decent retirement packages.

Some pictures from the Save America’s Postal Service Rally in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Photos from a similar rally in Madison, Wisconsin.

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….and still more Madison rally photos are on the blue cheddar facebook page.