Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Dave King: The real threat to Saturday mail

To the editor:

In the Gazette’s Feb. 18 editorial “Saving the post office,” the authors failed to mention the real reason the post office is in trouble.

In 2006 the Republican-controlled lame-duck Congress passed HR 6407, the “Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act.”

This bill required the Postal Service to make payments of $5.5 billion per year between 2007 and 2016 to pre-fund postal retirees’ health benefits 75 years into the future.

No other entity, public or private, is required to cope with this onerous and unreasonable burden.

Since the post office at the point of enactment was firmly in the black, what could have been the motivation of a Republican-controlled Congress to pass this bill?

Cynics might suggest that big donors to the GOP were concerned with competition, or speculate that the Republicans were intent on busting one of the largest public-sector unions. Whatever the reason, we should lend our support to bills now being introduced that will protect these services that are increasingly important in this era of online shopping, and are critical to our rural and elderly citizens.

Dave King


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