Congress can fix the Postal Service's financial problems





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Published on Sep 30, 2011

A new television ad campaign targets the unfair financial burdens imposed on the U.S. Postal Service by Congress.

The ad, sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers, the American Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, exposes the real reason the USPS is facing a crisis that is jeopardizing the nation's mail system.

"The Postal Service is recording financial losses," the ad states, "but not for reasons you might think."

The USPS carries an extraordinary financial burden that no other government agency or company bears, the ad notes. A 2006 law, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, requires the Postal Service to pre-fund the health care benefits of future retirees. It forces the agency to pre-fund a 75-year liability in just 10 years, which costs the USPS more than $5.5 billion annually.

This mandate is the reason the Postal Service is threatening to end Saturday mail delivery service, lay off 120,000 workers, close thousands of post offices and eliminate hundreds of mail processing facilities.

In addition, the Postal Service is required to overpay billions more into its pension accounts in the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System.

"Congress created this problem, and Congress can fix it," the ad concludes. It will air until the end of November on CNN, MSNBC and FOX News.

From medical prescriptions to important financial documents, packages, catalogs and newspapers, the U.S. Postal Service is a critical part of our economy and an integral part of daily life across America. It is the center of a $1.2 trillion industry that employs 8 million people, including printers, mailers, publishers and other businesses that depend on the Postal Service.

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