By Naomi Fisher
The USPS, with 640,000 employees, is among the largest employers in all 50 states – and the single largest civilian employer of veterans!
Consider: If USPS is destroyed all those employees will join the ranks of unemployed. Our Nation is having trouble making unemployment payments now. What will happen when they hit those lines? What about those of you that will have to compete with all them in the job market?
Some of you say: But USPS is financially unstable.
Let’s review facts. To begin with the USPS was doing pretty good until 2006 when a catastrophic financial burden was mandated. USPS had to come up with enough money to prefund the retirement & healthcare plan for employees for the NEXT TEN YEARS! Something NO OTHER Federally affiliated agency has had to do! So the USPS’s demise was planned years ago. It’s rather amazing that it has taken the would be destroyers this long to finally have the USPS at the threshold of closure!
A bill, H.R. 2382, the USPS Fairness Act, designed to repeal the USPS’s prefunding of retirement benefits and thereby make significant progress in solving its financial difficulties was introduced in the House on April 14, 2019. Advocates claim that it could single-handedly put the Postal Service out of the red and into the black. It passed the House on 2/05/20, was received in senate 2/10/20.
A Senate bill, the USPS Fairness Act (S. 2965), is identical to House legislation (H.R. 2382). It has been read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
NOTE: Congress will reconvene on July 20th. Apparently one or both bills will be reviewed and/or voted on. So it is vital we contact our Congresspersons to vote FOR either of these bills!
Meanwhile the destroyers persevere: The $2 trillion stimulus package, Cronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act, P.L. 116-137) signed into law on March 27, 2020 gave support for airlines ($61 billion), private cargo shippers ($17 billion), other corporations ($425 billion) – USPS NONE.
Facts: On average, the Postal Service processes 19.7 million mail pieces each hour, that’s an astounding 327,838 each minute. USPS delivers mail to every home, including all rural locations. Before you say rural has nothing to do with you, consider the fact rural usually means farm lands – produce we eat. Or ranches raising cattle, hogs, chickens, – our meat. Now add all small towns, the elderly, military veterans, most American companies which are typically small and you begin to see the logistics. And yes, those rural farms and ranches rely on their mail just like all of the above.
It’s pretty common knowledge that during this pandemic USPS has been delivering packages for Amazon among others. But if profit driven companies take over mail delivery will they want to spend the time and money on extra miles to deliver for each and every USPS stop? If private carriers take over USPS’s infrastructure they will be profit driven because of shareholders = RISING COSTS for you and me.
It’s important we remember USPS is part of our culture, part of who and what formed our United States: the dedicated postal deliverers, “Neither rain, nor snow….”, the Pony Express, the first rail cars bringing mail from East to West, then the first airplane carriers – now include today during covid-19.
We must not let those Destroyers destroy part of our History and our Cultural Heritage!
Please. Let’s begin by protecting our USPS.
Let’s contact Congress and demand the unfair financial mandates be ended and the constant siphoning from USPS allocated funds to other uses be stopped. Let us also demand that a severe penalty be enforced when siphoning is discovered. No more white collar exceptions!
This is urgent. Because of the COVID19, mail volume itself has plunged by the largest percentage since the Great Recession of 2008-2010 and is likely to drop by more than it did during the Great Depression of the 1930s – which will give the destroyers even more ammunition against USPS.
Be aware, I have been told that it takes Congresspeople TWO WEEKS to read their newest letters so I suggest you email or telephone.
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS, Legislative Updates, Week in Review (June 22-26, 2020)
The Postal Service’s $15 billion debt is a direct result of the mandate that it must pay about $5.6 billion a year for10 years to prefund the retiree healthcare plan.
Download a Copy of this Factsheet
Hart Research Results
ON TWITTER: Letter Carriers @NALC_National – (National Letter Carriers Union – nalc.org:)
NOTE: At bottom is a place to add comments.
An online petition
PLEASE TELEPHONE OR EMAIL YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVE PLUS THESE:
The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, Phone: (502) 582-6304 or (202) 224-2541.
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, House Republican Leader, Phone: (661) 327-3611 or (202) 225-2915.
Homeland Security and Gov’tAffairs Chair, Ron Johnson (R-WI), (414) 276-7282 or (202) 224-5323
Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL), (334) 223-7303 or (202) 224-5744
Oversight & Reform Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH), (419) 999-6455 or (202) 225-2676
Appropriations Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX), (817) 338-0909 or (202) 225-5071
(I was unable to find email addresses hopefully you can.)
A Suggested Short Script:
Dear The Honorable
As a citizen (or resident) of our United States of America I DEMAND the unfair financial mandate retirement/healthcare restrictions on USPS be dropped. I DEMAND the constant siphoning from USPS allocated funds to other uses be stopped. I DEMAND that a severe penalty be enforced when said siphoning is discovered. No more white collar exceptions!
Furthermore, I DEMAND our culturally historic USPS be saved and allowed to continue it’s “Neither rain nor snow nor dark of night…”. We, The People want and NEED our United States Postal Service!
Respectfully, (Your Signature)
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal
Naomi Fisher is a resident of Ventura County