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A guest blog by VOCAL RCA
While post offices are being sold throughout the United States, there is a looming question on whether or not this act, committed by the Postmaster General and Congress, is unconstitutional.
According to Article 1, section 8, clause 7 (wikipedia) of the U.S. Constitution, Congress shall have the power to establish post offices. Patrick Donahoe, the 73rd Postmaster General, alongside the U.S. Congress, are currently in the midst of selling off numerous post offices, across the U.S., to make up for a reported $1.9 billion loss in the first quarter of this year. Since the inception of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006, the Postal Service has been reportedly losing billions of dollars each year and more recently, $25 million a day. Various members of Congress have even gone as far to state that taxpayers will foot the bill for retirees if the company continues to default, as it has twice, on its payment to the Retiree Health Benefit Fund (RHBF).
Little has been reported as to the real reason the Postal Service is losing money. The RHBF is a ploy setup by Congress so that the Postal Service can pay down the enormous U.S. budget deficit. Landmark post offices around the country are being sold, mail processing facilities are being consolidated, current employees are understaffed and overworked, because Congress is trying to prove that the United States Postal Service needs to be privatized in order to stay in business. Congress remains in control of how the Postal Service runs its’ business but yet they blame the company for not being able to pay its’ debt. Meanwhile Congress continues stalling on postal reform that will allow the company to adapt to, new technology trends (digital media), higher gas prices, inflation and other factors that the Postal Service desperately needs to compete.
The Postal Service has been opening up Village Post Offices (VPO’s) and new Contract Postal Units (CPU’s) around the country as well. However, there is no data showing that these new retail units will create the same revenue as brick and mortar post offices. It seems that the Postmaster General and Congress are trying to pull a fast one on postal workers. The U.S. Constitution does state that Congress shall establish post offices, but it does not specify how. In the meantime members of Congress and Patrick Donahoe are getting rid of postal workers. A source of good paying jobs is being decimated, but the question is why? The gap between the rich and the poor grows wider every day. The middle class is disappearing rapidly and will soon be gone. The closure of post offices and the attack on the United States Postal Service does not appear to be a violation of the U.S. Constitution, because of the VPO’s and CPU’s, but it is a violation on the working class in this country and another founding U.S. document, the Declaration of Independence.
Vocal RCA is a Rural Carrier Associate