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Saturday mail is not the problem

THE FIRST AMENDMENT

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Updated: March 14, 2014 3:26PM



The op-ed piece published June 16 by Postal Service District Manager Bernice Grant defended the counterproductive plan to reduce services to Indiana’s residents and businesses. Your readers deserve the full picture.

Reducing services in ways that would disproportionately hurt small businesses, the elderly, rural communities and the many who rely on the Postal Service to communicate and pay bills isn’t the right approach — because those services aren’t causing the financial problems.

The Postal Service — which funds itself by the sale of stamps and hasn’t used taxpayer money in 30 years — is doing well navigating a poor economy. For example, it had an operating profit of $100 million in this fiscal year’s first quarter. Second quarter results showed the first revenue increase — $126 million — in five years.

The red ink is caused mostly by political interference. In 2006, Congress mandated that the Postal Service pre-fund future retiree health care benefits for decades into the future, to be paid within 10 years. Required of no other agency or company, this accounts for 90 percent of this year’s red ink.

That’s what needs to be changed — not the level of service Hoosiers expect and deserve. Eliminating Saturday mail delivery would raise costs for Indiana’s 474,239 small businesses, which employ 1.2 million people. They’re open weekends and need to send and receive checks.

Cutting Saturday delivery also would harm the Postal Service’s own bottom line, by driving mail — and revenue — out of the system.

And the importance of six-day delivery extends beyond the economic. As you reported, letter carrier Sharon Patterson — in the tradition of letter carriers serving as the eyes and ears of the community — saved a 90-year old Crown Point resident in May, after discovering her on her garage floor.

Fredric Rolando

President, National Association
of Letter Carriers

Washington, D.C.



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