published Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Deficit-ridden Postal Service needs reform

When our Constitution was being written in "horse and buggy days," our Founding Fathers provided for a national postal service.

Well, mail demands expanded as population and commerce grew.

But technology has a way of rewriting the rules, and email correspondence has now vastly reduced traditional mail. About 43 billion fewer pieces of traditional mail will be sent this year than were sent four years ago!

As a result, there sometimes is not enough work to be done by some of the modern Postal Service's hundreds of thousands of employees.

We want good mail service, and we want it promptly and at reasonable cost. But with volume plunging, the Postal Service is facing multibillion-dollar deficits. And its union work rules deny it the nimbleness to adjust its workforce to meet actual demand for its services.

So President Barack Obama has proposed that Congress reduce postal deficits by letting the Postal Service cut delivery from six days a week to five -- and raise postal rates. He also would provide a $6.9 billion "refund" to the Postal Service from its pension fund, and he wants to restructure the pension plan.

He says that unless the government acts quickly, the Postal Service will be broke by the end of the month, having used up its cash reserves and hit its $15 billion borrowing limit. It would be unable to make a $5.5 billion payment on its retiree health program, too. The postmaster general, meanwhile, proposes closing hundreds of post offices nationwide.

Many in Congress and others object, so the president's proposal may go nowhere. But it should be clear to everyone that the Postal Service needs major reform to reflect true market demand.

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EaTn said...

Why are the right-wingers willing to bend the Constitution on the Post Office but draw the line on gun rights? (yes this is a troll).

September 21, 2011 at 6:50 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

The Post Office is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the Constitution. Funny how this editor is so pliant about our Constitution when it comes to the Post Office but on matters like government funded health care, education, mass transportation, or any service or institution not specifically mentioned therein, he, like every other Tea Party conservative, stands as firm as a rock in their interpretation of it. He's willing to concede that because our society has changed in ways our forefathers couldn't have imagined back in the "horse and buggy days," now the Post Office is need of “major reform.” Of course, by "major reform" he means privatization.

This is a clear example of how phony the rabid right wingers are in their pretend reverence for the Constitution. They interpret it simply as they see fit to serve their needs. They blather about how inviolable it is when it suits them, but if there is the least little thing they don't like, such as our Constitutionally sanctioned Post Office, then they're quick to point out how antiquated a document it is. After all, it was written back in the "horse and buggy days," you know.

September 21, 2011 at 10:51 a.m.
SCOTTYM said...

O.K. ETN, I'll bite,

Article 1, Section 8

"The Congress shall have Power To....establish Post Offices and post Roads;"

That's it. That's all the U.S.Constitution says about the postal service.

It doesn't say Congress HAS to maintain a postal service. It doesn't say how many post offices Congress must maintain. It doesn't say how often the mail service should show up at each persons house to collect and/or drop off the mail.

So who's "bending" the U.S.C.?

September 21, 2011 at 7:04 p.m.
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