Odds Stacked Against Postal Reform

A guest blog by VOCAL RCA

With Washington being overwhelmed with a barrage of investigations, the likelihood of postal reform seems unforeseeable in the 114 days that the Postal Service has until it runs out of money.

Currently Washington D.C. is being faced with several ongoing investigations, including the American diplomatic mission attack in Benghazi, Libya, the I.R.S. scrutiny of the Tea Party organization, seeking tax exempt status, and the National Security Agency tapping into phone records of Verizon cell phone customers. The House Oversight committee has a large workload ahead of them while the United States Postal Service (U.S.P.S) struggles to maintain daily operations. If Congress does not enact postal reform by September 30th, the Postal Service has claimed that its’ $25 million a day loss will force them out of business. The main reason for these U.S.P.S revenue losses is the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006 which created the Retiree Health Benefit Fund (RHBF). The fund has been forcing the Postal Service to pay nine payments of more than $5 billion, and one payment of $1.4 billion, by 2016, to supposedly cover 75 years of future retiree health care costs. The Postal Service has its’ rates mandated by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), the Government Accountability Office calls the shots on delivery day standards and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is responsible for efficiencies within Postal Service operations. According to a Bloomberg report by Angela Grelling Keane, the reason for all this lawmaker oversight is due to a less than 1 percent, of Postal Service operations, reimbursement, received from Washington, to pay for mail for the blind and overseas military personnel election ballots.

The quasi-government/partially private company known as the Postal Service has about three months until it shuts down. With all its’ current obstacles and without a postal reform bill, the Postal Service, which employs over 500,000 workers, will no longer have the funds to function. With all that is going on in Washington, in front of cameras and behind the scenes, the national delivery system, that has been around for 235 years, seems to be an apparent underdog. Its’ competitors, United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (FedEx), will gladly step in and charge, their known higher fees, for shipping and receiving costs. By October 1st, people across the globe will have less affordable options to ship and receive goods and it does not appear that anything will be done about it.

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