Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has joined with Sen. Bernie Sanders to speak out against proposed cuts to the US Postal Service.
According to a statement from Sen. Sanders,
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has added his crucial backing to calls for a one-year moratorium on U.S. Postal Service plans to close up to 82 mail processing plants, slow down mail delivery and eliminate up to 15,000 jobs.
Reid added his signature to those of 50 other senators who signed a letter calling for a ban on Postal Service cuts as part of must-pass legislation to keep the government running into the new fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) organized the effort to block the cuts proposed by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.
“This one-year moratorium will give Congress the time it needs to enact the comprehensive postal reforms that are necessary for the Postal Service to function effectively into the future,” the senators wrote in the letter to Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Richard Shelby (R-La.), the chairwoman and ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “At a time when our middle class is disappearing, the loss of 15,000 good-paying Postal Service jobs will harm our local communities and economies,” the senators added.
The proposed cuts are all part of a scheme to drive the Postal Service into privatization. Republicans imposed a mandate on the Postal Service that required them to fund 75 years worth of future retirees health care benefits over a ten-year period. Even though revenues are outpacing expenses, the Postal Service is losing money on paper because of the funding mandate.
In real world terms, the loss of 15,000 jobs and slower mail service would have a devastating impact on several local economies. One of the biggest Republican lies is that the Postal Service is losing money. The USPS would be profitable if Republicans would not have forced it into deficit.
Privatization would mean more expensive, but less frequent mail delivery. The profit motive would direct private postal carriers to provide the best services to the biggest customers. Rural areas would likely be cut out of the postal delivery system, and postal workers would see lower wages.
Killing the Postal Service is an ideological Republican dream that Harry Reid, fifty Democrat senators, and Independent Bernie Sanders are standing together to stop.