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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: The Postal Service helps define our nation. Losing it would be devastating

Postal worker
A postal worker wearing a mask and gloves because of the COVID-19 pandemic delivers mail in Torrance on March 14.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: In my life, the U.S. Postal Service has delivered mail to me with its Rural Free Delivery service and at post office boxes, apartments, businesses and now my house. Aside from nostalgia, it is one of the necessary elements that keeps us together as a country. (“The Postal Service is America’s lifeline. Save it,” editorial, April 16)

While party, religion and language can keep us together as groups, it is the postal service, highways and electronic communications that provide us the physical unity necessary to be one country. It is how our institutions, commerce and shared ideals can reach us all.

To lose one of these services would be a tear in the fragile fabric that unites us. We cannot consider ourselves a first-world country without at least all three. Let our elected officials get over the bickering and political gyrations and do the right thing to save the U.S. Postal Service.

Michael Telerant, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Your editorial omits fundamental and important facts.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has structural and operational problems that long precede the COVID-19 pandemic. It has had losses for the past 13 years, including throughout the historic 10-year economic expansion.

At the end of fiscal year 2019, the USPS reported a negative net worth of $71 billion and it has unfunded liabilities exceeding $140 billion.

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The Trump administration sought to break this pattern via a Postal Service Task Force report, issued in December 2018. Half the recommendations involved actions the USPS could take, and half require legislation.

Subsequently, the House has held only one hearing on postal reform, and reform legislation has not been introduced.

Without substantive reform, any financial assistance to the USPS should be in the form of loans and for emergency purposes only, given the billions of dollars it owes to taxpayers.

Paul F. Steidler, Arlington, Va.

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The writer is a senior fellow at the Lexington Institute, a public policy think tank.

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To the editor: Another thing that the USPS does is provide mailing addresses to the U.S. Census Bureau for sending out the decennial census forms and, this year, instructions on how to respond online. This includes the addresses of dwelling units sometimes unknown to city and county agencies.

In the postal service’s absence, how would that work?

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Gregory Mohr, Santa Barbara


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