The U.S. Postal Service has defaulted. But who really defaulted? Could it be those members of Congress who have failed in attempting to fix the problem?
It is an established fact that the pre-funding of future retirees health benefits has placed an unreasonable burden on the Postal Service, to the tune of 85 percent to 94 percent of its red ink. It is a burden no other public agency or private company faces.
Rather than fixing this problem created in 2006, some members of Congress want to degrade the world's most affordable delivery network by reducing services to the American people and businesses, which only worsens the financial problems by driving customers away and reducing revenue.
Besides bringing the Postal Service to the financial precipice, pre-funding also has prevented the agency from doing what it has done for 200 years - adapt to an evolving society. Instead, this artificial political crisis has focused management's entire energy on a desperate attempt to pay bills that no one else has to pay. Congressman Bill Shuster has been asked to join more than 200 of his colleagues and co-sponsor legislation to develop a forward-looking plan to address the structural challenges - and opportunities - that letter carriers acknowledge exist. As of yet, he has failed to do so.
The ultimate irony about the so-called default is that the Postal Service already has $45 billion set aside for future retiree health benefits - more than any other organization in America - and yet some members of Congress want to drain still more from the USPS.
Joseph G. Antal, Ebensburg
President, Pennsylvania State Association of Letter Carriers