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GOP isn’t being honest about the Postal Service

The government has been shut down and hundreds of Western New Yorkers are either furloughed or working without pay. The Postal Service is looking to raise rates, close post offices and processing plants, relax first-class delivery standards and end door-to-door and Saturday mail delivery. What do these two things have in common? A completely dysfunctional Congress that refuses to act in the best interest of its constituents.

In the first case, the Republicans would rather end “non-essential” services and lay off 800,000 hard-working Americans than accept the fact of the Affordable Care Act. In the second, they would rather the American people receive subpar postal service than pass legislation that would eliminate the unfair prefunding requirement they inflicted on the U.S. Postal Service in 2006.

The Postal Enhancement and Accountability Act of 2006 requires the USPS to prefund future retiree health benefits 75 years into the future, over a 10-year period. That means that each year, the USPS must pay $5.6 billion for health benefits for people who are not currently working for the post office, who have not yet been born.

Without the prefunding requirement, the post office would be running in the black, but rather than tell the American people that truth, the Republicans would rather lead the public to believe that cutting service is the only way to “save” the USPS and the taxpayers from having to pay for a bailout.

They aren’t even honest enough to admit that the USPS receives no taxpayer money; it is funded only by the money raised selling postage and services. Instead, they would rather dismantle the greatest postal service in the world and blame it on the economy, the pay and benefits earned by unionized postal employees or somehow, President Obama. It’s high time we held Congress accountable for its actions.

Susan Lewis

Executive Vice President

National Association of Letter Carriers

Branch 3 Buffalo/WNY