Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Non-Special Non-Delivery

And now it's time for one of those policy decisions the President is proposing that I disagree with, and that's ending Saturday mail delivery for the US Postal Service in order to save money in the 2013 budget.  I find myself in agreement with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont:

“(The president) is wrong to suggest the ending of Saturday mail delivery service,” Independent Senator Bernie Sanders told Reuters. “In the long run, if the Postal Service is to grow and become financially stronger, speed and maintaining the current mail delivery standards are terribly important.”

Rural lawmakers have criticized bills in the House of Representatives and Senate for allowing the Postal Service to close some post offices and processing facilities. The White House plan is silent on the issue.

The agency is considering closing thousands of facilities this year. Postal officials agreed to a moratorium on closings until mid-May but are continuing to look at which facilities should close.

More than 100 lawmakers in the House sent a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe on Monday calling for the agency to consider obtaining more data before closing post offices. They cited a recent report from the Postal Regulatory Commission that said the service could have done more analysis to determine which post offices to close.

“The closure of post offices, stations and branches will undoubtedly affect communities and lead to the loss of middle class jobs,” the letter states.

Living here in Kentucky, the loss of rural postal jobs is not something that will go unnoticed around here.  And frankly, the USPS provides good jobs for hundreds of thousands across the country.  Cutting tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of postal jobs is a pretty horrific mistake, and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is fighting to keep those jobs, having bought mail processing centers and post offices in the area until May 15th.

I'm really not sure the Obama administration is choosing to look the other way on the Post Office, and especially why while the President insists we need to spend more money on the country's basic infrastructure to create jobs, a working postal system and preserving tens of thousands of jobs there is not among those infrastructure priorities.

This is something I hope the President can be convinced to come around on, and I'm glad to see Sherrod Brown and yes, even Bernie Sanders leading the way on this issue.  That's why there's more than one branch of government, folks.  The executive is not infallible.

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