In 2006 the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act was passed requiring the U.S. Postal Service to pay retiree benefits 75 years in advance. If this law had not been enacted, it is estimated the USPS would be in the black by $1.5 billion. Currently the amount set aside in the fund is $335 billion.

The business model of the USPS apparently works well enough to enable the service to meet this burden and continue providing the service we expect. A small increase in the cost of postage is no sacrifice for those of us who rely on the service.

The USPS stands alone, receives no taxpayer monies and out of all the private and public business has been the only one targeted by this law. A GOP member of Congress later noted the Bush administration wanted to use the revenue to balance the budget. The robbing Peter to pay Paul mindset isn’t something new Congress has come up with and one can only wonder how secure the retirement fund remains. Maybe the federal government could learn from the postal business model: raise revenue to meet obligations. If, in time, the end result is the privatization of the USPS it may be what the goal was all along.

Renee Lowenstein, Bismarck

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