Target: United States Congressman Darrell Issa
Goal: Demand that Congress end its campaign to dismantle the United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is in serious trouble. While the media and many politicians would have you believe that the institution is deeply in debt, this is at best a half-truth and at worst, it is an intentional effort to defund and dismantle USPS. These sabotage efforts, culminating in Congressman Darrell Issa’s Postal Reform Act of 2013, seek to weaken unions, privatize operations, and eliminate door-to-door service for most Americans. Not surprisingly, FedEx is among the bill’s top supporters.
The Postal Service reported an operating profit of $600 million for 2013, yet the agency’s balance sheet shows billions in losses. How has it come to this? In 2006, USPS was mandated to pre-fund 75 years of retiree health benefits, and was given just a decade to do so. According to Congressman Peter DeFazio, 80% of USPS losses can be traced back to the pre-funding mandate. No other federal agency is burdened with this insane policy requirement.
What’s at stake here? Congressman Issa’s proposed bill would eliminate an additional 100,000 postal jobs at a time when unionized, living wage employment is increasingly difficult to find. For-profit companies will benefit, filling the service gap they helped engineer; but the average American will lose. While the advent of email and other electronic media have certainly changed the game, the Postal Reform Act of 2013 has nothing to do with reform, and everything to do with the death of this institution. Demand that Congressman Issa end his attack on the United States Postal Service.
Dear United States Congressman Darrell Issa,
As the holiday season came and went, Americans around the nation delighted to see their packages and cards delivered by postal employees. Some consumers complained of service delays, largely caused by the gutting of the United States Postal Service. Shortened work hours, layoffs and closed locations have achieved the desired result, it would seem.
The Postal Reform Act of 2013 will only worsen the situation, ensuring the loss of an additional 100,000 jobs. Many Americans remain ignorant of the mandate to pre-fund retiree health benefits 75 years into the future, and how it has artificially created budget woes for the agency. But awareness is growing. While corporations like FedEx and UPS stand to benefit from cuts to the postal service, consumers stand to lose a cherished institution: one which facilitates connection to remote rural communities, and provides living wage jobs in a still-recovering economy.
As a nation we should be exploring ways to strengthen the postal service while adapting to the changing realities which affect it. Downsizing and privatizing USPS is not the answer. I urge you to put the needs of your constituents above the wants of lobbyists, and to end the pre-funding mandate. End your attack on the postal service without delay.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ammodramus via Wikimedia