Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Postal Service faces huge losses
Report exaggerates the problem
The article “Postal Service faces historic $11B default” [Nation & World Report, July 31] dutifully cites the official estimate of $25 million in losses per day, and $14.1 billion for 2012. This figure is, however, not accurate in describing the real financial picture.
The same report shows an operating loss of “only” $200 million for the first six months, and cites exceptional revenue growth from parcels. What gives?
The projected $14.1 billion is an exaggeration, padded by the artificial payment demand of $11 billion for future retiree benefits, the paper obligation imposed by Congress that turned postal profits from 2007-2010 into losses. No doubt, one motive is to press Congress to repeal that unfair burden, with which I heartily agree.
The other motive seems to be beating down opposition to drastic cutbacks in service, closing post offices, and slashing jobs, measures that are not needed, not fair, and not in the public interest.
— David Yao, vice president, Greater Seattle Area Local American Postal Workers Union, Seattle
It’s all about the future
One of the points the reporter should have made was about pre-funding for retiree health-care benefits 75 years into the future. It is kind of like not paying your mortgage because you want to “save” that money instead.
Congress in 2006 mandated by law that the Postal Service pay for employees who are not even born yet. The House bill is stalled because of many provisions that are not conducive to a good business plan, such as creating two new oversight of the USPS commissions. Since the USPS already has two regulatory bodies over it, in addition to Congress, so much for less government oversight.
The USPS favors the House plan because the USPS is under direct control of the House leaders. House leadership does not want the USPS to operate under a realistic, long-term business plan, but see a direct advantage for the USPS to send money to the U.S. Treasury for future payments that may or may not be made.
— Robert James, Lynnwood