- - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

In a commentary piece on the U.S. Postal Service‘s plans to upgrade its vehicle fleet, Ken Blackwell called the Postal Service “the poster child for government waste” (“How the Postal Service continues to burn money,” Web, Aug. 27). He’s wrong on the merits and the facts.

It’s difficult to waste government funds if you have none. For decades, USPS has by law relied not on taxpayer dollars but on revenue earned by selling stamps.

Mr. Blackwell labels USPS inefficient. Actually, numerous studies have found the postal service to be the industrial world’s most affordable and efficient delivery network, benefiting Americans and their businesses.

Moreover, the postal service is operationally profitable. Fiscal 2014’s earned revenue exceeded business expenses by $1.4 billion; this year’s operating profit already exceeds $1 billion.

There is red ink, but it stems from Washington politics, not from the mail. In 2006, Congress mandated that the U.S. Postal Service prefund future retiree health benefits. No other public or private entity has to prefund for even one year; the postal service must prefund 75 years into the future and pay for it all over a decade. That $5.6-billion annual charge is the red ink.

A helpful Mr. Blackwell could use his lobbying skills to persuade lawmakers to address this fiasco.



National Association of Letter Carriers


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