Americans want Congress to support the US Postal service by a wide margin, said 92% of those surveyed. When Congress addresses financial need in the next round of Covid-19 relief legislation, the USPS should be among its foremost concerns.
Across the political spectrum. Americans value the USPS and how it fulfills its mission. Most respondents wanted congressional action instead of rate increases on package delivery to fund the USPS.
So far, two stimulus packages of more than $3 trillion have failed to assist the USPS. A one-time $25 billion funding request to meet the immediate revenue losses caused by Covid-19 and further support as needed to address continued losses would enable the USPS to serve the public effectively. The sums are small in comparison to amounts given to private corporations.
Why is our postal system in financial trouble? Largely because Congress in 2006 saddled it with an obligation to pre-fund 75 years of retiree health benefits at a cost of $5.7 billion annually. No other government agency or corporation has to pre-fund 75 years of benefits. The requirement has undermined USPS finances.
Now comes Donald Trump and his anti-union administration to privatize the postal service. Postal unions and their members would be harmed by privatization. The American public would face less certain and higher cost mail and package services if parts of USPS were sold.
Some observers think privatization is a Trump administration ploy to weaken the postal worker unions and their political power and to reward corporate political allies with the chance to acquire a valuable, lucrative asset. Others see it as a means to break the USPS-Amazon relationship which Donald Trump criticizes. Neither aim is justifiable.
Most Americans value the Postal Service. Congress should act to preserve it.