Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What's really going on with the Postal Service

If you watch the nightly news, you've probably heard that the U.S. Postal Service has had $20 billion in lost revenue. You've probably also heard some Congressional leaders suggest this means the Postal Service must be slashed to make it more "efficient." But the news stories are leaving out a lot of relevant facts, painting an inaccurate picture of the state of the Postal Service.

Once you've learned more, I hope you will sign this petition from America's postal workers to preserve Saturday delivery. (Scroll down past the petitions you can download, and you'll find an online version you can sign.)

What you need to know about the U.S. Postal Service:
  1. The Postal Service does not use any taxpayer dollars, and it has not for the past 30 years. All its funding comes from the sale of products and services.
  2. In recent years, the labor productivity of postal workers has doubled.
  3. Despite the recession, over the past four fiscal years, the Postal Service has earned a $611 million net profit delivering the mail.
  4. The $20 billion in postal losses you've heard about are not related to mail delivery. The real reason behind them is legislation passed by the 2006 Congress that has the ridiculous requirement that the Postal Service pre-fund its future retirees' health benefits for the next 75 years, and that USPS must do this within the next decade. You read that right - Congress is requiring the Postal Service have funding now for retirees who haven't even started working for the Postal Service yet. This is a burden that no other public or private business is required to meet.
  5. Lawmakers can fix this mess without taxpayer dollars by passing House Bill 1351, which would give the Postal Service access to the funding it has already set aside for these future benefits.
  6. The Postal Service also has tens of billions of earned revenue in surplus funds, which other businesses would tap into during a recession. However, the Postal Service can only draw on this money with Congressional approval.
  7. While cutting Saturday delivery represents a 16 percent cut in services, it does not save the Postal Service much money.
  8. If Saturday deliveries are eliminated, it will undercut the Postal Service's ability to deliver parcels, which is the fastest growing part of its business right now.
  9. Cutting Saturday delivery is likely to drive mailers away, making the Postal Service's financial problems worse.
Please support your postal workers by signing the petition today to keep six day delivery.

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