To the Editor:
On July 1, 1863 free mail delivery was authorized in cities. From the start, carriers were expected to make deliveries “As frequently as the public convenience . . . shall require,” Monday through Saturday. (12 Stat. 703) Free mail delivery to rural Americans began in 1896 out of three post offices in West Virginia. From the start, city and rural letter carriers delivered mail six days a week, usually Monday through Saturday. However, there are two towns where mail is delivered on Sunday, and not Saturday. Only Collegedale, Tenn., and Angwin, Calif. have Sunday mail delivery, both home to large Seventh-day Adventist communities.
Now, everyone is on the verge of losing mail service on the weekend. You see a Republican-led Congress with concurrence from the Democrats passed in 2006, “The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act,” based on a manufactured crisis about pensions and benefits. In effect, a poison pill was contained in the bill requiring the Postal Service to prepay health benefits for workers 75 years in advance. Understand, 75 years means most haven’t been hired, and many are yet to be born.
To complicate things even more, this escrow account had to be funded in 10 years to satisfy the Republican
White House. The result, the Post Office, debt free in 2005, is now billions in the red; 1,000 post offices have closed, 193,000 good jobs gone, and 13,000 of the remaining 32,000 post offices are threatened with reduced service and hours.
Most people mistakenly think the Post Office is simply losing money due to the Internet and email. Not true! Congress, influenced by lobbyists from UPS, FedEx, and Pitney Bowes to name a few, along with corporatefunded conservative groups and think tanks, such as American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the CATO Institute, and the Heritage Foundation (which I once considered joining) have prints all over this legislation.
New Postal Legislation: S 1761 and H.R. 2748 end sixday delivery of mail and put the Post Office into a death spiral. Only you can save our most trusted government agency, the Post Office.
Please contact Senator McConnell (202) 224-2541 and Senator Paul (202) 224- 4343, along with your Congressman, now!
Say no to these bills and save Saturday mail, thousands of jobs, post offices and America.
Kentucky Rural Letter