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Going, Going, Gone Postal?

Going, Going, Gone Postal?

The Cost of Service

Conservatives dislike wasteful government.  The list of inefficient and ineffective expenditures is far too long.  But there are some programs and services which are unavoidably costly and absolutely required.  The military and law enforcement are two examples.  Bridges to nowhere, night time basketball and Elvis museums are not.

A civilized society depends on regular mail.  The Internet and private enterprise have reduced that dependence, but not eliminated it.  In time, private initiatives may eliminate the need for a federal postal service.  Conservatives like that idea, but it is not possible at the moment.  It is unrealistic to think the USPS can be replaced overnight.

Our postal service hemorrhages tax money.  It has operated for a loss since its foundation.  A great many of those tax dollars are spent wastefully, but as mentioned above, there are some government programs that lose money because of their nature.  It is the nature of the USPS to lose money.  It is hard to imagine the U.S. Postal Service operating efficiently, but even then it would still lose some money.  Serving citizens costs money and in most instances, it makes very little if anything in return.  Government is not and never has been a profit making entity.  If it were, we would not need to pay taxes.

Conservatives do not want the government to be in business.  If anything, they want them out of business.  The USPS is not a business.  Like most of the government is supposed to be, it is a service, albeit a ridiculously expensive and inefficient one.

The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy. Benjamin Franklin, First Postmaster of the United States

Right now, rural communities depend on a viable, full featured mail delivery service and the only institution capable of doing that is the United States Postal Service.  As we have said, that agency is horribly wasteful, over-staffed, over paid and tone deaf to its customers.  It is overseen by the U.S. Congress and an entrenched union which explains its massive losses.  Faulty as the USPS is, rural communities like McLeod, Greycliff and Melville need it, even though it loses money.

In typical political fashion, the USPS and Congress are attempting to punish the citizenry and make them feel the pain of Congressional overspending and Postal Service inefficiency.  Saving money by reforming the USPS is a good idea, but cutting services is not.  The Congressional shenanigans forced on the Postal Service would be illegal in the private sector.  Congress requires the USPS to hugely overfund its retirement benefit programs, then takes the money, and calls it income.  Ordinary citizens have gone to prison for less deceptive accounting.

It is past time the bureaucrats in the Postal Service and Congress are forced to realize that they serve the people.  We acknowledge they cannot always make a profit doing it, but that is why we pay taxes.



One Response to “Going, Going, Gone Postal?”

  1. Maggi Dunakin says:

    The federal government bullies are trying to punish us for their sins. They have threatened all long time postal employees with loss of pension, hours, places to work. In the meantime, I’m seeing special printed marketing materials ending up in even the most rural post offices. A multi million dollar campaign to market post office boxes? Seriously? In the post office right next to all the post office boxes?

    We need to advocate for these long time employees. They are being given the short shrift because our politicians don’t want to make the tough choices and are looking for an easy answer. Maybe they should cut their own pensions and salaries.

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