Postal Service can thrive if we end retiree mandate

Something amazing happened while our government leaders were busy dealing with the federal budget, the debt ceiling and the implementation of Obamacare. While they continued to do nothing about the made-up crisis surrounding the Postal Service, the agency actually made an operating profit of $600 million in fiscal year 2013.

What’s even more amazing is that it didn’t have to close the Buffalo processing plant, stop delivering mail on Saturdays or install “cluster boxes” in neighborhoods forcing you to walk great distances to get your mail. How is that possible? All we had to do was continue to serve the American public.

As the economy continues to improve, businesses and individuals are going back to the Postal Service to advertise their goods and services. Additionally, Internet companies like eBay have seen a huge increase in shipped packages that the post office has continued to deliver at competitive prices. Believe it or not, the Postal Service has even started delivering packages on Sundays for Amazon and plans to expand that service in 2014. It is unbelievable that the same postmaster who wants to end Saturday delivery has implemented Sunday package delivery. All this has been accomplished without one penny of taxpayer money.

Is the crisis over? Not really. Until lawmakers eliminate the mandate that forces the Postal Service to prefund future retiree health benefits 75 years into the future, we will continue to read about the gloom-and-doom financial future of the service. This mandate, a political requirement placed on no other agency or company in the country, costs the Postal Service $5.6 billion a year. It needs to be done away with. Regardless of what politicians tell you, it is an unnecessary evil.

Jack Lewis

Lake View