By Robert J. McLennan, President
Branch 3, National Association of Letter Carriers
Buffalo/Western New York
Why don’t the conservatives just come out and say it? They want to destroy the Postal Service and the unions that represent workers earning a middle-class income, and they will ignore as many facts as necessary to drive their agenda. George Will, in the Buffalo News on November 28, is the latest commentator to completely sidestep the overpayments by the Postal Service of more than $100 billion to the retirement and health benefit funds.
Again and again it has been explained that the only reason the Postal Service is losing money is because we are propping up the federal government, as it skims our money off the top and then threatens to destroy the service the American people depend on. Will speculates on the loss of Saturday delivery and acknowledges the plan to go to three days a week.
Will points out that the U.S. Constitution mandates protection of the post office, but then adds that it could be privatized and taken over by Walmart, FedEx or UPS. First of all, private delivery companies deliver to a small fraction of the homes and businesses the Postal Service has the responsibility to make. Secondly, turn over a constitutionally protected right to maintain a universal communication network to Walmart? Why not privatize the military, Congress and all the federal agencies to reduce all workers to minimum wage and maximize profits?
The Postal Service and its unions have done an extraordinary job of maintaining the most efficient and least expensive postal network in the world while adapting to new technology. More than 100,000 jobs have been cut in recent years. To those trying to destroy the Postal Service, do you believe in the Constitution only when it’s ideologically convenient?
Editor’s note: In addition to the letter sent to the Buffalo News, we’ve also added comments that were posted in response to Brother McLennan’s letter.
In my view, the US Post Office and the employees who work there are amazing. For a few dimes I can have a letter picked up in my rural mailbox and delivered within a couple of days to another rural mailbox in Alaska, Idaho, etc. This is the best bargain out there and attempts to take this service away from the American people are despicable. Instead of putting postal workers on the unemployment rolls, how about we put some politicians and guys like George Will on them. Unlike the postal workers, they serve no purpose.
–Richard Furlong, Warsaw, NY
Most ‘conservatives’ are selfish bomb-throwers. If they don’t use it, it isn’t worthy. I…think that the firms cited as potential successors to the Postal Service probably are the first ones to desire that it just keep plugging along. Conservative used to mean that you desired continuity and traditional values. Nowadays who knows what some idiot thinks conservative means. About all they seem to be for is being mean these days.
–Edward Berezowski, Williamsville, NY.
For our own response to the George Will column, go here.
(Picture source:U.S. Stamp Gallery)