Regarding the Aug. 11 piece entitled “Postal Service might default for fifth time on retiree payments,” consider the following: Imagine a group of prospective homeowners applying for a 30-year mortgage. All but one is allowed to pay off the mortgage over 30 years. The mortgage company forces the one applicant to pay it off in five years during a recession.
That, in a nutshell, is what Congress forced the USPS to do with 2006 postal reform legislation by mandating that it pre-pay its 80-year future retiree health-benefit obligation in only 10 years, which no other corporation in the world is forced to do.
Also of note, postal employees pay full freight into Medicare but are not automatically covered by parts A and B when they turn 65. Also, President G.W. Bush mandated that postal retirees not have access to prescription drugs through Medicare Part D. Postal retirees not being fully integrated into Medicare costs the USPS billions per year.
During the prior three years, the USPS made an operational profit of $3.2 billion. At 49 cents, a first-class stamp is cheaper than anywhere else in the world. Our postal service, which Benjamin Franklin created, still works pretty well.
Eric Ellis, Fresno, California State Association of Letter Carriers District 4 Officer