DATELINE -- Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and the USPS Board of Governors, the board that oversees the U.S. Postal Service, are poised to make devastating cuts in service to the American people - cuts so severe that they would forever damage the U.S. Postal Service.
· On Jan. 5, the USPS is slated to lower "service standards" to virtually eliminate overnight delivery - including first-class mail from one address to another within the same city or town.
· All mail (medicine, online purchases, local newspapers, newsletters of religious organizations, bill payments, letters and invitations) throughout the country would be delayed.
· Our entire community would lose business opportunities associated with ecommerce, which relies on the speedy delivery of goods ordered online.
· Beginning Jan. 5, 82 Mail Processing & Distribution Centers are scheduled to close.
The cuts would cause hardships for the public and small businesses, eliminate jobs, and destroy the world's most efficient and affordable delivery network by driving away mail and revenue. They are part of the same flawed strategy that's behind efforts to end Saturday and door-to-door deliveries, cut back post office hours, and make other reductions in mail service.
The travesty is that the cuts are absolutely unnecessary - because postal operations are profitable. The Postal Service, which isn't funded by taxpayers, has earned an operating profit so far this year of more than $1 billion. For four years running, its finances have been improving.
And, while revenue from First Class Mail has been declining, package delivery, largely due to the growth of e-commerce has been rapidly expanding.
There is red ink, but it stems from political interference, not from the mail. In 2006, a lame-duck Congress mandated that the Postal Service pre-fund future retiree health benefits 75 years in advance - something no other public agency or private firm is required to do. That costs the Postal Service $5.6 billion a year - and that's the red ink.
Fifty-one senators and 160 House members have called for a one-year moratorium on the reduction in service and the closure of the mail processing centers to allow Congress time to enact postal legislation that would improve, not degrade, postal service. The Postmaster General and USPS Board of Governors should honor their request.
For more information, visit www.StopMailDelays.org.
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