Congress Erred on Postal Service

To the Editor:

Tax Day reminds us that there is one place where no tax dollars are spent — on the United States Postal Service (USPS).

While providing universal service at uniform, reasonable rates to 157 million addresses, our national treasure runs its operation on funds received from postage, products and services.

Letter volume is decreasing, but there is still lots of mail, with almost 500 million pieces processed and delivered daily.

Package volume is rapidly increasing. With the e-commerce revolution, the USPS is as vital as ever, delivering some 40 percent of Amazon packages and a host of small business products.

Unsurprisingly, the Postal Service, with its trained and dedicated workforce, consistently rates as the most trusted government agency, including among young adults.

The current USPS financial challenges were largely manufactured by a 2006 congressional action mandating the USPS to pre-fund retiree health care costs 75 years into the future. No other company or agency faces this crushing financial burden. It has led to short staffing, diminished services and slower mail.

There are common-sense, bipartisan “Postal Reform” bills pending in both the House and Senate. Congress should fix the pre-funding problem they created and ensure a vibrant, public Postal Service for generations to come.

Dan Davis, president

Wheeling, WV Area Local No. 4571

American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO

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