24 September 2013
United States Postal Service Office of the Consumer Advocate
475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, RM 4012
Washington DC 20260-2200
Dear Consumer Advocate,
Today I am reading reports that the USPS will seek a new increase in the price we consumers pay for postage. While I understand and support the need for the USPS to enhance revenue, we consumers have to ask the USPS (and its unresponsive Postmaster General) why the USPS does not call on Congress to repeal or amend the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA)? This law requires the Postal Service to prefund its retirement benefits 75 years in advance, in just ten years. Imagine paying a 30-year mortgage on an expensive home in just two and a half years, or all of your paycheck going into Social Security. The post office must pay a staggering $103.7 billion by 2016 for employees who have not even been hired yet; and this is on top of current pensions. No business could survive such a mandate.
Seeking relief from PAEA by the Congress is not easy or guaranteed success, but as long as consumers are being asked to pay more to buoy the postal service’s revenues, it seems irresponsible not to ask for this reasonable adjustment in policy as well.
Will the Postmaster General act on this?
[A slightly sharper version of this letter was sent to the Postmaster General, Pat Donahoe, himself, at the same street address. In that letter, I additionally called him out on calling for the end of Saturday delivery -- which only saves $2 billion, a comparative drop in the bucket -- and cutting union jobs, replacing them with 'permatemps' to save money without addressing the PAEA issue.]
[Image: Ben Franklin can be heard whispering to Donahoe: you are doing this wrong.]