By Matthew Rothschild / The Progressive –RSN
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader and Senator Bernie Sanders condemned the U.S. Postal Service for its decision to end Saturday delivery.
“The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) today continued its tradition under the leadership of Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe of shooting itself in the foot,” Nader said. “The only question that remains is: When will the madness end? By ending Saturday letter delivery in August 2013, as the USPS has proposed, millions of customers who take advantage of its services will be harmed, mail service will be slowed, and the USPS’s current death spiral will deepen.”
Nader also called into question the legality of the move.
“In making the move to end Saturday letter delivery, Postmaster General Donahoe has not only shown his complete disregard for the good of the USPS’s consumers, but he has also ignored the will of Congress,” Nader said. “For decades, Congress has mandated six-day delivery. Congress must act to protect rural communities, small businesses, the elderly, and the disabled, among others by reasserting its authority over the U.S. Postal Service and stopping it from making such an irresponsible decision.”
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont echoed Nader. “The postmaster general cannot save the Postal Service by ending one of its major competitive advantages,” he said. “Cutting six-day delivery is not a viable plan for the future.” Sanders added that it “will harm rural America while doing very little to improve the financial condition of the Postal Service. Providing fewer services and less quality will cause more customers to seek other options. Rural Americans, businesses, senior citizens and veterans will be hurt by ending Saturday mail.”
Both Nader and Sanders noted that the financial burden the Postal Service faces was manufactured by Congress. In 2006, Congress required the Postal Service to “pre-fund 75 years’ worth of future retiree health benefits over a 10-year period,” said Sanders. “That pre-funding requirement is responsible for about 80 percent of the Postal Service’s financial losses since 2007. No other government agency, no other corporation in America is burdened with this mandate. This mandate must be lifted.”
Nader pointed out how silly this mandate is, saying it “effectively forces the USPS to prefund retiree health benefits for some of its future employees who haven’t even been born yet!”
Nader added: “Postmaster General Donahoe has demonstrated that he lacks the political courage to stand up to Congress and tell them that they caused this mess and they need to fix it.”
Nader called for Donahoe to resign.
John Lawrence says
God bless Bernie Sanders, the undisputed champion of lost causes. When the Republican Congress snuck this Trojan horse in there in the middle of the night, it was for one purpose and one purpose only – to eventually get rid of a public institution, the USPS. Republicans have been using every dirty trick possible to get rid of not only the Post Office but every other viable public institution. Their eventual goal – to privatize every public institution in the US – except perhaps the military where their goal is to use government as the overseer in funneling money from (poor) taxpayers to fund defense contractors and the Pentagon.
Bernie knows good and well that Congress will never act to overturn something that they did with the intent to deceive and defund in the first place. Under the best of conditions some Republican Senator will filibuster any bill designed to undo the damage that this Congressional act has caused to the Post Office. And John Boehner will never even bring such a bill to the floor as long as he’s Speaker of the House.
Meanwhile the USPS will slowly go downhill until it sinks into oblivion completely. If it were not for this bill, thge USPS would have shown a profit this year instead of a huge loss. Will there be an outcry from the public? The public doesn’t even understand what’s really going on despite the efforts of Bernie Sanders, Ralph Nader and Ed Schultz to enlighten them.
Tom Cairns says
I’ve been a rural letter carrier in Humboldt Co. for 39 years. The manufactured “crisis” is an attempt to drive the USPS into the private corporate world. Then, it will be taken over by the new “corporations”, who will strip the USPS of all service, and make all delivery employees truly wage slaves.
Frank Gormlie says
Hey Tom, any chance you could write up your experiences and analysis for here and the OB Rag?