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LETTER: The value of the US Postal Service

Updated June 15, 2019 - 10:10 am

We appreciate your recent attention to the U.S. Postal Service in an editorial and a commentary response. Given the Postal Service’s relevance to your readers, a few additional points are worth making.

First, it’s important to inform folks of the source of postal red ink, with more than 90 percent stemming from the 2006 congressional mandate that the Postal Service — alone among all public agencies or private companies — pre-fund future retiree health benefits decades into the future. That $5.6 billion annual burden accounts in recent years for 100 percent of financial losses. In fact, over the past half-dozen years, the Postal Service has averaged almost a billion dollars in operating profit (i.e. absent this political mandate). Lawmakers need to address this flawed public policy.

Meanwhile, the value of the Postal Service to the public should be emphasized. It provides Americans and their businesses — large and small — with the industrial world’s most-affordable delivery network without a dime of taxpayer money. It’s the centerpiece of the $1.3 trillion national mailing industry, which employs 7.5 million Americans, including 60,161 Nevadans.

— The writer is president of the National Association of Letter Carriers.

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