“Why Does Congress Insist on Destroying the Postal Service?”
That's the title of this article. It's a rhetorical question, of course.
As you probably know, in 2006 the lame-duck Congress passed a law requiring the U.S. Postal Service to pre-fund all of its employees retirement pensions for the next seventy-five years. This is billions of dollars beyond what any other government agency is required to do.
And you can't even blame Republicans for this law; plenty of Democrats voted for it too. The Postal Service tried to eliminate Saturday delivery and close their most remote little-used branches. Both of these cost-saving moves are heavily favored by the public. Congress said NO.
And the trillion-dollar-plus spending bill that will probably be passed this week clearly stipulates:
“6-day delivery and rural delivery of mail shall continue at not less than the 1983 level,” and “none of the funds provided in this Act shall be used to consolidate or close small rural and other small post offices in fiscal year 2014.”
Sounds like one of those “Unfunded Mandates” that conservatives always used to scream about.
In other words, stop spending so damn much money, and quit coming up with all these cost-cutting ideas, you cheap bastards.
As the linked article says:
“Lawmakers want the Postal Service to run itself like a for-profit business, but they retain the right of final say over all its major business decisions.”
Imagine driving up to an intersection and seeing a bunch of signs saying “Do Not Enter!” “No Stopping!” “No Right Turn!” “No Left Turn!”
That's about the level of Congress' “reasoning” here. What motive could Congress possibly have, if not the ultimate elimination of the U.S. Postal Service? (Another rhetorical question.)
FedEx and UPS have both purchased a lot of expensive friendships in Congress. And they'd probably love to get rid of their pesky competitor.
Even more importantly, a lot of people vote by mail. In at least one state, all voting is done through the mail. So many well-funded rightwing organizations have worked tirelessly to make sure all voters have at least five pieces of identification before they vote, and to eliminate extended voting and early voting. These dedicated voter suppression efforts are all in vain if voters can just mail in their ballots.
Get rid of that damn Post Office already!