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Letters to the Editor: One draconian law is killing the U.S. Postal Service. Rescind it

Postal Service
Letter carrier Felipe Raymundo moves a tray of mail to his truck at a post office in Seattle in 2011.
(Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

To the editor: The Lexington Institute’s Paul F. Steidler writes that the U.S. Postal Service had experienced enormous financial problems for more than a decade before the COVID-19 crisis hit.

What he neglects to say is that this is a direct result of the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, a law passed by a lame-duck Republican-controlled Congress. It requires the Postal Service to do something no other federal agency has ever been required to do: pre-fund health benefits for future retirees.

Steidler says the Postal Service has had losses for the past 13 years, and that it owes taxpayers billions of dollars. The Postal Service is not a for-profit agency; it is supposed to operate strictly on revenue from stamps and services provided. Add to that the onerous requirement for pre-funding retiree health benefits, and it’s not a surprise the agency is running in the red.

There are numerous ways to improve this situation, including adding services like postal banking. But the first step should be to rescind the 2006 law that has contributed nothing to the efficiency of the agency.

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Americans depend on the U.S. Postal Service, and we can do better than this in maintaining it.

Scott W. Kirby, Lompoc


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