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Full postal story

Published: Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

The news media, politicians and bureaucrats all seem eager to bash the U.S. Postal Service regarding its poor financial situation. The problem is that either by omission or design, they neglect to tell the full story.

1) The U.S. Postal Service is not subsidized by any taxpayer money.

2) Over the past five years, the USPS has cut more than 110,000 employees, closed 230 mail processing centers, and saved $1.2 billion annually.

3) USPS has overpaid pension benefits by $11.1 billion, which currently is being withheld by the U.S. Treasury. An act of Congress is required to refund these funds to the Postal Service. Our Senate has passed a bill to accomplish this, while the House has done nothing.

4) The biggest impediment to solvency goes back to the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. This act requires the USPS to fund 75 years of health care benefits over a 10-year time period. Eighty percent of the USPS red ink stems from this pre-funding burden. There are no other government agencies that are held to this standard.

Our do-nothing politicians lack the brains or courage to refund the pension overpayment or revisit the 2006 act and correct it. Our politicians have or will be bailing out GM, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; sending foreign aid to countries that despise us, but can't use common sense to allow the USPS to at least have a level playing field. These facts are brought to you by a frustrated, retired letter carrier.

Tom Richards


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