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WILL CONGRESS DELIVER ON POSTAL REFORM?

Oct 1, 2012 12:00 AM


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Congress didn’t act on postal reform prior to the August recess. Bad news awaits the legislators upon their return: USPS reports that it lost $5.2 billion in the April–June quarter of this year, over $2 billion more than the same period last year.

MFSA urged its members to contact Congress. According to MFSA’s suggested text, key elements to consider in any postal legislation include the following:

In 2006, Congress mandated that the USPS pre-fund its retiree medical system. Those payments exceed $5 billion per year for a ten-year period that began in 2007. In the severe recession we have faced, these payments have ensured the USPS incurs annual deficits.

In 2010, two independent actuarial studies showed that the portion of federal retirement attributed to postal employees is over funded by between $50 and $75 billion.

If the USPS collapses, the impact on the mailing industry will be severe. This industry includes paper, printing, mail service, equipment manufacturers, software developers, internet sales, publishers, greeting card manufacturers and the millions of businesses that rely on mail to communicate with customers and potential customers.

If Congress takes no action and the USPS collapses, the taxpayer will be obligated for the entire failure of the system, since previous Congresses guaranteed all of the retirement benefits of postal employees.

Congress created the Postal Service as an independent federal service forty years ago. At the same time, it created an arbitration system that compromises the ability of the USPS to reduce labor costs, limits the ability of the USPS to close and consolidate facilities, and yet requires universal service six days per week. Source: MFSA