Sen. Bernie Sanders announced today that he will oppose and fight against the USPS plan to end Saturday mail delivery. Sander said the cut in service will,”lead to a death spiral that will harm rural America while doing very little to improve the financial condition of the Postal Service.”
The USPS announced their new mail delivery schedule today, “Once implemented during August of 2013, mail delivery to street addresses will occur Monday through Friday. Packages will continue to be delivered six days per week. Mail addressed to PO Boxes will continue to be delivered on Saturdays. Post Offices currently open on Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays.”
Sen. Sanders replied that cutting services is not the way to save the USPS, “The postmaster general cannot save the Postal Service by ending one of its major competitive advantages. Cutting six-day delivery is not a viable plan for the future. It will lead to a death spiral that will harm rural America while doing very little to improve the financial condition of the Postal Service. Providing fewer services and less quality will cause more customers to seek other options. Rural Americans, businesses, senior citizens and veterans will be hurt by ending Saturday mail.”
Sanders also laid the blame for this cut in service at the feet of House Republicans, “”It is time for Republican leadership in the House to work with the Senate to reform the Postal Service in a way that will not harm rural America and allows the Postal Service to adjust to the digital age without ending Saturday mail delivery.”
The plot to kill the Postal Service was hatched by the then Republican controlled Congress in 2006. The Republicans passed a bill that required the USPS to fund 75 years’ worth of future retiree health benefits over a 10-year period. This mandate immediately pushed the Postal Service into debt, and it has led to the end of Saturday mail delivery.
House Republicans could easily fix the problem, but they won’t.
The end game for Republicans is the privatization of the USPS. The end of Saturday mail delivery is the first step in killing off the Postal Service. It would be easy to think that ending Saturday mail delivery is no big deal, but there are 230,000 jobs on the line. If the Republicans are successful, they will end up closing 3.700 post offices, and throwing almost a quarter million people out of work. The Postal Service has already cut its workforce by 28%, which translates to 193,000 jobs already lost.
Republicans pushed the USPS into debt as way to kill it. The death of Saturday delivery matters because it could be the first step in the end of the USPS, and the killing of 230,000 good paying jobs.