Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

What Is the Truth about Postal Service Problems?

            The big news today is the Postal Service. According to leftists, President Donald Trump is interfering with mail-in ballots by closing Post Office buildings and gathering up postal boxes. As usual, the truth is being manipulated to suit an agenda. The Postal Service has had problems for decades, and billions of dollars have been funneled into it to keep it solvent. There is no question that Congress should act to solve the problems of the Postal Service.

A new Postmaster General was hired, and he has been making some changes. According to leftists, he is acting to sabotage the 2020 election. David Ditch lists ten myths being spread by leftists and explains why they are not true. Here are the first three myths and the final myth with Ditch’s explanations.

Myth No. 1: The Postal Service is removing sorting machines to sabotage delivery.

Reality: The volume of mail has plunged in recent decades…. [People are paying bills electronically. They send emails instead of letters, thank you cards, birthday cards, etc.] The Postal Service has been consolidating operations for years to reduce costs, a practice that predates President Donald Trump.

Myth No. 2: The Postal Service is removing collection boxes to block mail-in ballots.

Reality: The Postal Service has more than 141,000 blue collection boxes spread across the country. Those boxes are moved regularly from low-demand to high-demand areas to maximize efficiency…. [These movement will cease until after the 2020 election as a result of the myths.]

Myth No. 3: The Postal Service is locking collection boxes to prevent public access.

Reality: Locked caps are sometimes put on collection boxes in areas where there is a rash of mail theft. Employees place the caps after the final pickup of the day and remove them in the morning, since collection box theft is overwhelmingly done at night. This practice also predates the Trump administration….

Myth No. 10: The Postal Service loses money only because of unfair funding requirements.

Reality: The Postal Service is weighed down by exceedingly high employee compensation costs, which averaged more than $97,000 per worker in 2019. Part of that includes a retiree health plan, which has obligations similar to a pension.

Bipartisan legislation passed in 2006 required that the Postal Service prefund the retiree health plan like a pension plan, with money deposited as an employee earns future benefits. That’s intended to ensure that there’s money to provide for the health coverage when employees retire.

Unfortunately, the Postal Service has failed to uphold its funding obligations, leaving the plan $69 billion in the hole as of last fall.

Furthermore, the Postal Service would have lost more than $4 billion in 2019 alone even if it had not paid a penny into the health plan.

Claims that the health benefit prefunding is “unfair” ignore the fact that retiree health benefits are uncommon (especially outside government) and ignore the fact that postal employees are entitled to the benefits.

            Ditch continued by explaining that Congress can choose among several options to solve the postal problems. (1) Let it continue to “accumulate massive liabilities [and create] an even bigger financial crisis.” (2) Turn “the Postal Service into a standard government agency” – something Democrats want. (3) Pass “reforms that would enable the Postal Service to raise revenue and lower costs, stabilizing its shaky finances.” (4) Have “a robust debate about the future of the Postal Service and whether its current structure makes sense.”

            Meanwhile, Ditch suggested that people “stop spreading unfounded rumors about the Postal Service.”  Using myths about the Postal Services for political gains is dishonest and prevents real solutions. 

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