Get facts straight on postal reform PDF E-mail

Dear editor:

The problem with the USPS is the 2006 Postal Reform that mandated the "prefunding" of 75 years worth of future retires health care benefits be paid in 10 years. Just imagine if you had to pay off your entire 30 year mortgage in about four years. Could you do that? There is over $45 billion in that horrendously over-funded account today. The USPS is the only government agency required to this, from a "lame duck" Republican controlled Congress with the outgoing house and senate which then President Bush signed into law. This requires the USPS to pay $5.6 billion each year, which has accounted for 85 percent of the losses since 2006. The USPS in fact for the first half of this current fiscal year the "prefunding" accounts for $6.2 billion of the $6.5 billion red ink.

The USPS has cut over 130,000 jobs over the last five years. It is also delivering "the last mile" of tens of thousands of parcels from UPS and FedEx each day, that is delivered to post offices, and mail processing plants all over the country for our clerks and mail handlers to sort and our carriers to deliver. The USPS has and will continue to adapt to the internet and any other future changes.

The only "snail mail" going on around here is Congress not fixing the mess that it created. The crisis created by the "prefunding" mandate has put the USPS in a panic mode to cut your service. This is not the answer. Congress must act now.

Currently in the House there are two bills with enough co-sponsors to pass both. HR-1351 with 230 co-sponsors addresses the Civil Service Retirement System that was over funded by $50-75 billion. This bill would transfer the overpaid money to the current "prefunding" account to fully fund that account without any taxpayer money.

The second bill, HR-137, all but insures six-day mail service. A recent study by the USPS showed that ending one day of mail service would lead to close to 11 percent mail volume loss, thus posing grave danger to the entire $1.3 trillion mailing industry with 7.5 million private jobs.

Now, why are these bills not on the House floor getting passed, you say? Well, Darrell Issa is the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and he can decide what bills go to the floor, and he has his own bill, HR-2309, which does not even address the mandated prefunding problem. His bill completely dismantles the USPS, and your mail service.

Oh, and did i mention yet that Adrian Smith is on board with Issa’s entire plan, in fact they are best buddies it seems now. I got a letter from him to prove it.

We must act now. call Adrian Smith, tell him to vote no on HR-2309. Tell him that any new postal reform must end the senseless prefunding mandate. Don’t let him also tell you that this is some kind of "bailout." Nothing could be further from the truth. The USPS has not used any taxpayer money for more than 30 years.

Call Adrian Smith 308-384-3900 at his Grand Island Office, 308-633-6335 in his Scottsbluff office and 202-225-6435 in Washington DC. Call House Speaker John Boehner at 202-225-0600 in Washington DC, or 513-779-5400 or 513-837-1524 in Ohio, tell him to make Darrell Issa put the two bills, HR-1351 and HR-137, with the co-sponsors to pass, on the House floor for a vote.

In my opinion, this is nothing short of an attack on unions by the far right Republicans, with the USPS, and the American people the hostages. If the USPS is dismantled, the unions will basically fall apart. The USPS is the nation’s second largest employer after Wal-Mart, in the day now of all the "big money Super PACS", big business, corporations, and the extreme wealthy will control our government. We cannot allow this to happen.

Postal reform needs to happen now. As stated before the USPS is in a current panic mode. Do not let them cut your service. Find your real facts at NALC.ORG

Ken Nickerson

Letter carrier, Branch 312 Steward; Nebraska Congressional District 3 Liaison Asst.,


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