Darrell Issa wants to End Door-to-Door Mail Delivery

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Clusterboxes have been subject to theft in Sacramento

Darrell Issa R-CA, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wants to end door-to-door U.S. mail delivery claiming it will save money. Darrell Issa and Postmaster General Donahoe hide behind the excuse that USPS is broke by billions of dollars and must cut costs. The cause of USPS fiscal problems, however, has been self-inflicted by Congress and by some top USPS leaders who have insisted on cutting services and jobs instead of creatively finding ways to generate new revenue.

The Truth About USPS Fiscal Woes

USPS’s current fiscal challenges were mostly engineered by Congress’s passage of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 which forced USPS to prepay its pensions 75 years in advance in just 10 short years beginning in 2007.

However, there are funds owed to USPS through overpayment to the government for various pension programs prior to 2007. Postmaster General Donahoe fails to address this issue and Darrell Issa denies any relevance to documents presented by The Office of Inspector General of USPS that estimated the U.S. Postal Service overpaid the government approximately $142 billion in other pension plans over the years (See USPS OIG Report Number FT-MA-10-002: Summary of Substantial Overfunding in Postal Service Pension and Retiree Health Care Funds).

Smoke and Mirror Talking Points

Darrell Issa and PMG Donahoe’s constant talking point of USPS “declining revenues” to justify Draconion cuts in services and closure and sales of post offices reflects a lack of vision and creative solutions from Congress and the top management at USPS. It is a bare-faced excuse to cut postal services even though USPS currently accepts no tax dollars from the public. At every opportunity Issa and Donahoe give the illusion that postal services must be cut because of the fiscal problems of USPS.

In 2006 USPS was voted the best postal service in the world and it is the second largest employer in the entire United States. Today in 2013 it is the largest unionized employer in the U.S.

Issa and Donahoe constantly bad mouth USPS and continue to forecast its decline. The true reality must be revealed. The American people can choose to create a more thriving USPS that protects and appreciates its postal assets instead of selling them off, especially it’s historic buildings and precious postal art.

We need leaders in Congress and USPS who provide solutions to create a thriving USPS that prides itself on preserving its historic postal buildings and art and expanding services for Americans instead of those who are claiming fiscal responsibility by gutting and destroying USPS through their misguided policies.

If someone ideologically is geared towards always cutting public services because they think government is too big, then one must question the objectivity of decisions made by such a person. When will the mainstream media find out the real philosophy and vision behind Postmaster General Donahoe’s views? Who will ask the USPS Board of Governors Chair his real views of USPS’s future? Do the USPS leaders in the top echelons of power care about their unionized workers? Do they care about our historic post offices or art? Or, are these leaders at USPS just carrying out philosophically flawed efforts outlined in Cato Institute white papers to destroy and privatize the U.S. postal service by getting rid of postal infrastructure and union jobs?

When is “fiscal responsibility” an excuse to Cut Services to Americans?

Americans want to keep their historic USPS post offices open in their community and want USPS to find ways to capitalize on its fabulous historic buildings and postal art to attract more customers and services to increase revenues. Adding some village post offices in locations that have no existing historic post office may be welcome in some communities. However, communities with existing historic post offices and public art are unwilling to trade their special post offices for a “relocated” post office at the back of a card store or in a former pet store. Postmaster Donahoe and Darrell Issa seem to think that “relocating” an historic post office to another location is perfectly ok because USPS will still provide postal services to its customers. Their thinking is flawed and completely contrary to the will of the people who have a right to keep their historic post office buildings and public art that was paid with tax dollars prior to 1970.

Saving the U.S. Postal Service by Senator Bernie Sanders

Did Darrell Issa Ask Americans at 37 million delivery points if they Want to Keep their Door-to-Door Delivery?

Did Darrell Issa ask the people of California or the nation about whether they want cluster boxes and curbside delivery instead of door-to-door delivery? No.

Did Darrell Issa ask the elderly if they support the end of door-to-door delivery and cluster boxes somewhere outside where they would have to go to collect their mail? No.

Where did this horrible idea of ending door-to-door mail delivery originate from, and why is Darrell Issa pushing it in his “postal reform” bill?

Tell Darrell Issa and Congress that Issa’s “postal reform” bill is wrong for USPS, and wrong for this nation.

Here is Ralph Nader’s 8/21/2013 letter to Darrell Issa clearly explaining and refuting Issa’s policies within his flawed postal reform bill H.R. 2748.

Tell your Congressperson Issa’s bill is wrong for USPS, wrong for America, and wrong for postal workers.

Here is an example of how the leadership of USPS has engineered”excess capacity” in the Reading PA beautiful historic post office that has served its community for decades in order to close it and sell it. This is disgraceful. This is undemocratic and unjust.

Musical Chairs in Reading PA leaves historic post office without a place at http://www.savethepostoffice.com

Why is the USPS leadership like VP Samra of Facilities deliberately claiming he listens to the concerns of each community and then ignores them and closes, relocates and sells the beloved community historic post offices? There is only one reason, to sell off our treasures as fast as possible before people can act. Where is President Obama to stop this? Where is Congress to stop this? The people must stop stand up now to stop the sell off of their postal buildings and art.

Issa’s “postal reform” bill is an attack on working families. It is an attack on our Constitutionally driven right to have our mail delivered to our homes.

Possible Motives for Issa wanting to End Door-to-Door Delivery

Since 2001, Postmaster General Potter and now Postmaster General Donahoe who was the deputy to Republican PMG Potter in prior years, have systematically cut the USPS union workforce through attrition and buyouts of union jobs. At least 200,000+ jobs have been lost in recent years at the same time delivery points have increased by over 17.1 million locations.

As we have seen from the ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) effort to promote anti-union, anti-collective bargaining legislation attacking public and private unions in Wisconsin and other states, another way to limit unions is to limit the jobs people actually have. That is exactly what has occurred at USPS from 2001 to 2013.

The USPS takes no taxpayer dollars and hasn’t since the reorganization of the postal service based on the 1970 Postal Reorganization Act. USPS pays for itself with the sale of postage and mail services.

So why does Darrell Issa want to end door-to-door delivery? He claims it will save money. Whose money? If USPS makes money from selling postage and mail services, isn’t ending door-to-door delivery cutting back on the “service” of the mail service? Yes, it is. And, it doesn’t make much business sense unless perhaps someone doesn’t want to improve the USPS business. By saving money, does Darrell Issa mean paying for less postal workers to deliver mail? Why, yes, he does.

That means Darrell Issa wants less postal workers to deliver mail to clusterboxes on a curbside. He doesn’t seem to care about better customer service for American customers of USPS who would prefer to continue having door-to-door delivery. Have you heard people clammering for an end to door-to-door mail delivery? No.

Isn’t Congress supposed to listen to the people of the U.S.? Yes, they should.

What are Elements of Good Business Common Sense?

Most businesses want to provide good customer service and also to expand their company’s services for higher profits. It makes sense that you will get more customers if you provide a better service and more value to people. A business gets happy customers, return customers and new customers when they provide a service people want.

However, under PMG Donahoe and some in Congress like Darrell Issa, it seems they have adopted a ridiculous policy of limiting the footprint of the postal service and reducing mail service to customers through:

  • Consolidating hundreds of mail processing centers
  • Closing hundreds and potentially thousands of post offices in rural and urban centers despite angry appeals from communities to keep their post offices open
  • Selling off important historic post offices with New Deal Era Murals despite numerous community efforts to keep their post offices functioning in their historic post offices (Venice, Ukiah, Santa Monica, La Jolla, CA, Bronx NY, Greenwich CT)
  • Cutting the postal union workforce in spite of a constant increase in mail delivery points
  • Slowing mail service and the mail standard
  • Cutting mail service hours and days of operation
  • PMG Donahoe and his management team repeatedly have failed to listen to their customers in local communities who want creative solutions to keep their post offices open instead of “relocating” them from their historic buildings to places like a former pet supply store in Greenwich, CT.

Darrell Issa’s proposal to end door-to-door delivery would only serve those who want to destroy the postal service by making it less responsive to its customers. That’s why Darrell Issa’s postal reform would harm the postal service, and why the public must tell Darrell Issa and their Congressional representatives that they want to keep door-to-door delivery and keep postal workers employed. 

Why is the U.S. raiding $45 Billion of the U.S. Postal Service Health Retirement Plans?

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U.S. Post Office, Los Angeles CA

U.S. Post Office, Los Angeles, CA

The Postal Service has lots of money, $45 billion, in its Health Retirement Pension plans for its workers. Why, because in 2006, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) forced USPS to prepay its retirement health plans 75 years in advance in just 10 short years beginning in 2007!

The Ed Show – US Postal Service remains under attack

PAEA Crazy Poison Pill for USPS

Sounds crazy right? Yes, it’s absolutely crazy. But it gets even nuttier when this mandated payment of $5.5 billion/year started in 2007 after the U.S. economy tanked and many businesses laid off hundreds of thousands of workers. Also, the businesses cut back on many services, including mail, to its customers. In this harsh economic environment, the PAEA pre-funding mandate kicked in when all businesses in the U.S. suffered due to the wild speculation on Wall Street.

So, when the United States had it’s most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression of 1929, Congress forced USPS to begin paying $5.5 billion – $5.8 billion a year. The timing for this poison pill to undermine the financial health of USPS was just amazing. You would think that perhaps Congress would then rescind this horrible prefunding mandate because no corporate or public institution has ever had to prefund 75 years out in a mere 10 years. Yet, some in Congress, who never bothered to put their names to the PAEA bill because it was passed in the middle of the night on a voice vote, decided that USPS could handle this massive prefunding mandate. Are you with me? Doesn’t this sound absurd to you?

Yes, it is a deliberate poison pill and it has been used to claim USPS is bankrupt and must slash jobs (Postmaster General Donahoe has cut 300,000 jobs since 2006), close 3700 post offices and consolidate processing centers.

Basically, PMG Donahoe decided to “right-size” (their special buzz word for selling off their historic already paid-for post offices and other postal buildings) and sell off America’s infrastructure of beautiful post offices. The real estate organization tasked with this is C. B. Richard Ellis Real Estate company. One of the largest real estate companies in the United States.

According to a recent interview with Mr. Cliff Guffey, President of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), on the Ed Show, the U.S. government is deliberately raiding the USPS $45 billion prepaid retiree health plans to get extra money for other purposes in case the Congress decides not to raise the debt ceiling–for example. This is happening while Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe guts the infrastructure of USPS by selling off historic post offices throughout the United States together with many New Deal era post office murals.

What You Can Do

Tell President Obama and Congress to reverse the prefunding mandate and stop the sell off of our historic post offices and art. Stop the Postal Heist going on by those who want the real estate for their own profiteering. Stop the Postal Heist designed to undermine the entire U.S. Postal Service, union jobs, and infrastructure. Stop the Postal Heist to privatize our precious postal service by those who fail to understand the need for public services like USPS. Even though USPS takes no tax dollars, it is still in our constitution and it is a public service, a public good and should be saved from privatization by those who have tried to do this for decades.

Meanwhile, on the SavethePostOffice.com blog, please check out this great new article, “Betrayal without remedy: The unwinding of the Postal Service,” by Mark Jamison.

“The Postal Service is supposed to serve the entire country, but that certainly hasn’t stopped the companies and industries that see themselves as the primary stakeholders in the postal system from demanding a more corporatized structure and mission that will serve their narrow interests.”

“That’s not the real story, though, and it never has been.  The real story is just beginning to come into focus: The leadership of the Postal Service, using the laws already in place, is engaged in their version of that most American of economic phenomena — the leveraged buyout.”

We must save our U.S. Postal Service for present and future generations.

The Travesty of the Relocation of the New Deal Era Ukiah CA Post Office and Mural

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This gallery contains 8 photos.

What Happened to the Ukiah California New Deal Era Post Office and Mural? Despite outcries from thousands of people in Ukiah, the USPS sold its beautiful New Deal Era post office through a “relocation” rule. The people of Ukiah are … Continue reading

Stop USPS Dismantling New Deal Legacy through Sell-Off of Historic Post Offices

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Why is the US Postmaster General, Patrick Donahoe, trying to Sell Off America’s Historic Post Offices?

Lower East Side Mural in Madison Square Post Office in NY by EdenPictures on Flickr CC

Lower East Side New Deal Era Mural in Madison Square Post Office in NY by EdenPictures on Flickr CC

USPS leaders seem determined to sell off our precious New Deal era historic post offices as fast as possible with the help of the major real estate company CB Richard Ellis Group (CBRE). An article in Commerical Property Executive by contributing editor Barbara Murray on July 21, 2011 entitled, “CBRE Wins Exclusive Rights to 300 MSF USPS Contract” states:

“Clearly, CB Richard Ellis Inc. didn’t mail it in when bidding for a big contract with the U.S. Postal Service, because the commercial real estate services firm has just become the chosen one. CBRE is now the exclusive strategic corporate real estate solutions provider for USPS and its 300 million-square-foot portfolio of owned and leased properties.”

CBRE received exclusive rights from USPS to manage all of the billions of dollars worth of USPS properties.

Instead of selling off our brick and mortar post offices which are technically owned by the American people, especially those built before the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, let’s revitalize them with creative solutions to keep them as Post Offices and expand services for communities.

Ontario California Post Office Mural by Jimmy Wayne on Flickr

In addition, there needs to be a new law that entitles the American people to say what happens to their own post offices. Unfortunately the USPS has been very busy undermining the ability of citizens to stop the steam rolling misguided leadership of USPS from selling off its historic post offices.

In recent years through changing various rules, the USPS uses “relocation” as a means to prevent citizens from being able to legally file appeals with the Postal Regulatory Commission. It is a devious way to undermine due process of the citizens in a community to be able to stop sales of their precious post offices which serve their cities and towns.

Santa Monica CA New Deal Post Office in Jeopardy

The Santa Monica community and all interested Americans who care about preserving our national treasures and the New Deal era architecture and art, need to know that the US Postal Service is deciding if it will sell off an historic icon in Santa Monica. Of course, one must ask who is guiding the hand of the USPS to make these choices despite the outrage or confusion of the communities that these post offices serve. Again, one needs to look at the manager CBRE of the postal facilities.

America’s Commons: Historic U.S. Post Offices built and bought–at least before 1970–are more than Real Estate Property, They Belong to the People of the United States who Paid for Them

What will the people of Santa Monica and Los Angeles and all of California do to protect the heart of their community — their beautiful Art Deco Post Office?

It is time for America to wake up and realize that through sinister design or through ignorance, some people in the halls of power in the U.S. Postal Service have decided to sell off our history. What is frightening is that as the following New York Times article, “Post Office Buildings With Character, and Maybe a Sale Price,” by Robin Pogrebin points out, in 2009 the New Deal Era Virginia Beach post office was sold and torn down, and a Walgreens was built despite pleas from the community to keep their post office.

The NYT article quoted above had interesting comments from readers. The passion of the readers to save their historic post offices came through. Here is a quote:

Patricia Allan of Hamburg NY, March 8, 2013 at 5:06 pm (Recommended by 57 people) replied in the Comments of the March 8th NYT front page article about the USPS:

“What will be gained by selling these jewels? Who gets the ransom money for them? If our government cannot restore and build, it will soon lose the power it has to govern…….it seems to me that if National Parks and environmentally endangered sites can and should be preserved for our cultural and physical wellbeing, then these jewels should be, as well. Doesn’t history have to be handed on to enrich those who are our future citizens?”

How to Save the United States Postal Service

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How can we truly save the United States Postal Service?

Save the Post Office

First, encourage Congress to reverse the manufactured crisis caused by the 2006 Orwellian Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA) which forced USPS to prepay its health related pensions 75 years in advance in 10 short years beginning in 2007. Since 2007 USPS has had to pay $5 billion or more dollars every year for health pensions of people who may not even have been born yet. This is something no government or corporate entity has every had to do.

Second, tell Congress to expand services at our local post offices. The Postal Service is a service, not a business. It is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. It is wrong to cut Saturday service which could affect 70,000 jobs and harm small businesses that would have to pay contractors higher rates than USPS to get mailing services.

Sheldon Garon, Nissan Professor of History and East Asian Studies at Princeton University, wrote an article at CNN advocating, “A savings account at the post office”.

According to Garon, most countries in Europe and East Asia allow people to open savings accounts in their post office. In the United States, there were postal savings accounts from 1911 to 1966.

Garon stated:

“To avoid competing with banks for larger depositors, postal savings accounts are capped at an amount that serves families of modest means.”

In addition, Garon claims that the savings accounts at post offices throughout the world typically “carry no fees and require no minimum balance or a low one.” This would help many Americans who currently have no bank because of high fees and low balances. They could open much needed savings accounts. Currently, many low income Americans use expensive check cashing companies that charge high fees.

Congress Must Act to Give USPS Flexibility to Make More Revenue

Passing legislation to allow USPS to offer postal banking would bring more people into the post office and would help Americans increase their savings. According to Garon, “one-fourth of low-income Americans are “unbanked.” They have no savings or checking accounts.”

The FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households states:

“8.2 percent of US households are unbanked. This represents 1 in 12 households or nearly 10 million in total.”

Third, Let’s protect and preserve our historic post offices. Especially those built during the New Deal era that contain one of a kind beautiful art murals and sculptures reflecting the communities they serve. Each post office is the heart of its community. It is wrong that Postmaster General Donahoe is selling off our national treasures, relocating post offices from the centers of towns to the outskirts making it harder for people to use their post offices. Stop the sell-off of our national treasures and preserve our historic buildings for present and future generations.

There are creative solutions to save USPS which is our 2nd largest employer in the United States. It is in each citizen’s interest to preserve the United States Postal Service which is  older than the United States of America. Our first Postmaster General, Benjamin Franklin, was appointed on  July 26, 1775 by the Continental Congress. Let President Obama know we must keep universal service and six-day delivery of our mail!

Ralph Nader Says Postmaster General Donahoe Should Resign

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U.S. Post Office, Miles City by dave_mcmt on flickr cc

U.S. Post Office, Miles City by dave_mcmt on flickr cc

Is it Time for Postmaster General Donahoe to Resign?

Ralph Nader wrote an open letter to Postmaster General Donahoe urging him to resign. In Nader’s letter he outlines how the Postmaster General Donahoe who came up through the ranks of the United States Postal Service (USPS) has consistently approached saving the Postal Service by proposals to slow service, close and sell post offices and cut thousands of jobs.

Nader thinks the Postmaster General Donahoe needs to demonstrate creative problem solving skills to save the postal service instead of waging a campaign to close over 3700 post offices and 252 processing centers. Why isn’t Donahoe listening to Senator Jay Rockefeller or Senator Bernie Sanders who offer proposals to expand services at post offices that would create needed additional revenue? Donahoe barely mentions such recommendations when speaking about how to solve the USPS fiscal problems. Instead he harps on how the internet is destroying first class mail.

How Should U.S. Postal Service’s Financial Problems Be Fixed?

Congressman DeFazio on Postmaster General Decision to Close Thousands of Post Offices and Processing Centers Nationwide

Nader writes in his letter regarding the current negative financial effects of “draconion requirements of USPS to prepay retiree health benefits” 75 years in advance in only 10 years based on the 2006 Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA) and other pension plan overpayments through the years:

“Removing the devastating fiscal effect of these prepayments would take care of 80 percent of the postal service’s deficit. Moreover, the federal government already owes the postal service, according to the U.S. Postal Service’s Inspector General, over $80 billion dollars in overpayments the USPS has made to the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System. You need to recover these overpayments. Yet while you have infrequently mentioned these strangleholds, that is not what you are known for in your direction of this historic institution.”

Nader points out that the savings from closing all the rural post offices is so small, $200 million/year, it isn’t worth the havoc it would wreck on “millions of rural Americans already strip-mined of other essential services.” Closing post offices would force Americans to spend more money on gas to travel longer distances to get to another post office.

U.S. Post Office and Courthouse by Paul Lowry on flickr cc

U.S. Post Office and Courthouse by Paul Lowry on flickr cc

There are other better ways to save the Postal Service and to get your message across Mr. Postmaster General.

Does Postmaster General Donahoe really want to save the postal service or is he just helping others behind the scenes achieve a long sought goal of privatizing the postal service for their own financial reward and efforts to weaken multiple postal unions? Is it a lack of creativity in doing more than close and sell post offices, cut jobs and slow mail delivery service or something else?

Nader explains the possible reasons for ideological gridlock against a truly thriving United States Postal Service:

“There is, in Washington, D.C., a combination of relentless ideological opposition to the USPS’s very existence as a public institution joined by thoughtless upper-income pundits and editorial writers who really do not use the postal service as they clutch their e-mail and text-messaging gadgets. They are both remote from the tens of millions of Americans who rely on the postal service in tangible and intangible ways that these deprecators could rarely understand or imagine. There are reporters, however, who have written compelling features from the field on what would happen were a rural post office closed to the people (many of them elderly) living there.”

Here is an OpEd piece by Bob Sloan on the Voters Legislative Transparency Project blog that outlines the behind the scenes role that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) heavily funded by the billioniare Koch brothers has played in placing policy papers on privatizing the postal service and getting rid of unionized workers.

Sloan says in his article:

“ALEC has pushed for privatizing the USPS and has used the services of RW think tanks such as Reason Foundation, CATO, Econ Journal Watch and National Taxpayers Union to contribute their support for this privatization agenda against the USPS.”

It’s a formula similar to the template legislation we’ve seen recently since 2010 around the country in mainly Republican controlled legislatures for voter ID laws to make it more difficult for people to have legal access to the polls hiding behind the basically non-existent threat of “voter fraud”. Or, template legislation to get rid of public unions by eliminating collective bargaining rights of teachers and other employees.

The Postmaster General’s nearly $400,000 compensation package is almost equal to that of the President of the United States. Nader asks Donahoe in his letter how he can cut so many workers jobs and not take a pay cut for himself and his top executives at the same time. Top USPS executives have a base pay over $200,000, higher than many cabinet level secretaries.

Nader suggests the creation of a Post Office Consumer Action Group (POCAG) which would be a non-profit group dedicated to representing the interests of all postal consumers. He said consumers could join by paying a small amount of dues which would support POCAG. The goal of the organization would be to encourage consumers to have input into the postal service’s decisions about how to best serve its customers, including the residential customer, not just the large mailers who already have input into the postal service decisions.

Finally, Mr. Nader urged Mr. Donahoe to go to the National Postal Museum in Washington D.C., a few blocks from the PMG’s office, to reflect on how other Postal Service leaders in prior centuries overcame tremendous hurdles to save the postal service and serve Americans–even delivering eggs–in the farm-to-table postal initiative. Nader claims “the internet challenge, if the USPS were to participate and provide services, is small compared to the mountains that the earlier postal service had to climb.”

The internet can be a good thing too.

How come Postmaster General Donahoe fails to highlight that “parcels sent by both consumers/businesses to increase by 40%” by 2020  according to the Report prepared by the USPS Office of Inspector General, Number: RARC-WP-11-002, page 8 in Table 2: Mail Volume Forecasts in 2020? Also, it is cheaper to send packages by USPS than other commercial mailers like Fedex and UPS so why isn’t PMG Donahoe focusing on this growing revenue stream in part due to internet buying?

President Obama Must Step Up to Save the USPS

Instead of rubber-stamping Postmaster General Donahoe’s recommendations to go from 6 days to 5 days delivery and to cut mail standards as well as close thousands of post offices, President Obama needs to recognize and help save the U.S. Postal Service, especially historic post offices that are a living record of history and that are important cultural icons within their communities.

What is the Best Role for the U.S. Postal Service?

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One of my favorite sources of news about the post office is the blog http://www.savethepostoffice.com. I urge you to also bookmark this wonderful news source about all things related to the ongoing saga about the real story of the postal service.

The mainstream media is just beginning to finally write about some issues beyond talking points of folks like Darrell Issa and Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. However, even though Americans in every single U.S. city affected by potential post office closures or processing centers emphatically say absolutely NO, the media is only partially covering the story and much news is only in local news.

The fact is that every single community told their post office will be closed, “relocated” or “consolidated” has repeatedly fought to save their post office. The people in each community are unhappy about the potential negative effects economically, socially, and on the entire well-being of the community.

It’s Time to Stop Forcing USPS to “Act Like a Business”

Why is the U.S. Postal Service forced to “act like a business?” As a result the top executives of USPS claim their high salaries and bonuses which exceed the Vice President’s salary and Cabinet Level Secretaries are warranted because they are supposed to be comparable to a “business model.”

Here is a recent list of USPS high Executive salaries. However, as the Save The Post Office Blog points our here, the list does not include the bonuses which for some folks could be over $25,000/year or more. Here is a letter from Congresswoman Hochul to the Chairman of the USPS Board of Governors regarding the unusually out of touch high salaries of the USPS executives.

The Executive Team seems to pride itself on creating “efficiencies” at the same time they are requesting that the Postal Regulatory Commission not reveal a study they conducted that shows potential negative revenue impacts of the combined strategies they have to cut costs like:

  1. Closing and selling off over 3600 post offices, many historic in nature with important historic murals and art
  2. Closing and selling off over 252 processing plants which would put tremendous pressure on the people processing mail in remaining plants
  3. Potentially slowing First Class mail from overnight delivery to two to three days.
  4. Potentially cutting back mail delivery from 6 to 5 days.
  5. Potentially cutting or eliminating through attrition and other means over 100,000 to 220,000 jobs
Congressman Gerald Connelly filed a brief recently according to this article on Save The Post Office requesting that the PRC release this important study.
Connelly’s brief requesting the USPS release its study of the consequences of its proposals to close post offices, processing centers, slow mail, states:

In its submission to keep revenue impact information secret, the Postal Service claims that releasing revenue projections would provide an advantage to its competitors. I am concerned that it is the Postal Service’s proposal itself that will force customers to take their business to private competitors. The Postal Service is proposing sweeping reductions in service standards, processing facilities, and Post Offices. Congress and the public have a right to understand the aggregate impact of those decisions on Postal Service revenue. The Postal Service has proposed specific facility closures on the premise that such actions will save money. If it actually would result in greater revenue losses than savings, then both Congress and the public should have access to that information. Such information is relevant because multiple Members of Congress have petitioned the Postal Service to delay or stop facility closures and because the public is participating in a statutorily-protected public input process on this proposal through the Postal Regulatory Commission. Both aggregate and regional revenue data could have direct bearing on Members’ decision with respect to postal legislation and on citizens’ comments with respect to proposed facility closures, which is why that revenue data should be made public. While the Postal Service’s submission expresses concern about competition, it is precisely because of my concern that the Postal Service’s own downsizing proposals will divert mail to competitors and harm the Postal Service financially that I am filing to make revenue information public.

Conclusion

Based on the arguments submitted above, I am requesting that the Commission make public the Postal Service’s market research information file as Library Reference, USPS-LR-N2012-IINPI4 and NPI.

Why is USPS hiding important potential negative revenue facts from Americans at the same time it claims it is trying to save itself through its drastic cuts? The reality is that the combined plans could destroy the post office and have disastrous domino effects on local, regional, national and possible international businesses that use the U.S. postal service. In addition, USPS could potentially lose many customers, both individuals and businesses, due to slower mail delivery and making it harder for people to gain access to a postal facility due to closures and “relocations.”
The U. S. Postal Service is More than a Business

Professor Steve Hutkins states in “Bad News Comes in Threes: How Congress, Industry and Management Have Made a Mess Out of Things,”:

The idea of the Postal Service as an essential national infrastructure that serves the American people has been seriously undermined. This democratic vision has been replaced by the view that the Postal Service is merely another player in the mailing industry, a player whose primary purpose is to facilitate the business model and increase the profits of commercial marketers and mailers.

It is inappropriate that USPS hides behind having to “act like a business” in order to suppress its study on the combined effects of its policies and strategic plans which would gut the infrastructure of the U.S. Postal Service. Already the U.S. Postal Service is doing everything it can to cut the public out of appeals regarding historic brick and mortar post offices like those in Venice and La Jolla, California, by classifying these post office closures and sales as “relocations.”

We have to put the “public” and “democracy” back into the U.S. Postal Service leadership that seems to have another agenda other than serving the American people and fulfilling the Postal Service’s original mission to provide a service to bind up this nation and facilitate communication for the public good. It is undemocratic that the USPS is trying to cut the public out of a process that prevents them from filing an appeal regarding the closure and sale of their post offices.

If this is “acting like a business” then Congress must act to change the model currently being used for the U.S. Postal Service before the fire sale of our historic New Deal post offices and other historic post office treasures are sold on the market for a quick profit despite the protests of each local community.