Eric Lathrum
It is disappointing to read the errors and misinformation about the post office in the recent Gardner News editorial column by Rebekah Rast.
Rast claims that if the post office were a private company it would no longer exist due to financial losses.
The fact is that if the post office were a private company it would not be put in this position by Congress.
In an op-ed piece to the Washington Examiner on July 8, Fredric Rolondo wrote, “I’d like to provide some facts for your readers to consider the next time they herar about multibillion-dollar losses or potential bailouts.
“For starters, the Postal Service doesn’t use a dime of taxpayer money and hasn’t for more than a quarter-century. Its revenue comes from the sale of its products and services. And those services are delivered to residents and businesses at the best rates in the industrialized world.
Customer satisfaction and on-time delivery are at record highs.
“Further, the USPS runs a net operational profit delivering the mail. Even with the worst recession in 80 years, even with Internet diversion, the USPS takes in more money than it spends. Over the past four years, revenues exceeded costs by $837 million; last quarter’s net operating profit alone was $226 million.
“The $20 billion in losses cited over the past four years has surprisingly little to do with declining mail volume or the Internet.
“Rather it stems from the 2006 congressional mandate that the USPS prefund future retiree health benefits for the next 75 years, and do so within a decade — something no other public agency or private firm does. Those roughly $5.5 billion annual payments since 2007 are the difference between a positive and negative ledger. Remove that unreasonable obligation and the Postal Service would have been profitable.”
On top of that, the Postal Service has overpaid as much as $75 billion into the federal retirement fund over the last 40 years, money that Congress should allow the post office to apply to their rediculous prefunding mandate.
I am not saying that there is no mismanagement in the Postal Service, but it seems clear that the financial problems are the result of congressional meddling.
Rast’s claims that taxpayers are are funding a failing government entity and that billions of tax dollars are wasted each year on the Postal Service are totally false.
Currently, the post office is the only company allowed to put mail in and take mail out of your mailbox. If the first-class monopoly were lifted, as Rast suggests, anyone and everyone can deliver anything and everything to your mailbox, including the local high school kids, illegals, or transients that any business may hire to deliver their advertisements.
“Would the post office survive without the assistance of the federal government?” Rast asks.
The answer is yes, it has for years.