To the editor: We have recently been hearing a great deal about the “failings” of the U.S. Postal Service. The general opinion — supported by the media — is that email and other technological options have rendered “snail mail” obsolete. As an admirer and staunch defender of our postal service, I would like to point out a few little-noted facts.
The main reason that the Post Office is “failing” is that in 2006 Congress passed and President Bush signed a law requiring the U.S. Postal Service to “pre-fund” its retirement plan 75 years into the future. This had to be accomplished in the impossibly short period of 10 years. If this requirement had not been imposed, the PostalService would not be in monetary difficulty and would actually be making a profit.
A couple of further facts should be mentioned. First is that in Article 1, Section 8, of The Constitution, Congress is specifically given authority to establish Post Offices—and Post Roads. The same entity now seems to be attempting to do the opposite by phasing out postal services. If the obligation to pre-fund their retirement plan is reduced, or the period to do so is at least lengthened, and the option to offer additional services such as notarization of documents, sending of faxes, issuing of hunting/fishing licenses, etc. is added, the stress that the U.S. Postal Service is currently experiencing could be significantly reduced.