NTU urges all Senators to vote “NO” on S. 1789, the “21st Century Postal Service Act of 2012.” Compared to other proposals in Congress and in the public policy community, this bill simply does not make sufficient reforms to put the USPS on solid financial footing.
One of the chief components of the bill is a plan to use so-called “overpayment” funds to provide retirement incentives to long-serving postal workers. While advocates of this approach call it “fair” considering how other federal agencies fund retirement obligations, a GAO report last fall addressed this point and found that transferring the funds the USPS says it is owed would leave the federal government exposed to a liability of $85 billion that would have to be paid for by tax hikes or more borrowing. .
Despite the intentions of its supporters, S. 1789 falls short of aggressively tackling USPS’s underlying financial problems, while the Congressional Budget Office predicts that S. 1789 will cost $6.3 billion over the next decade. Putting off the USPS’s own cost-saving measures such as reducing mail delivery to five days a week means that we will be revisiting these issues, later with an even larger debt. Congress can’t let USPS keep kicking the can down the road. Blaming so many of USPS’s current woes on government accounting won’t resolve fundamental questions about the sustainability of its business model. Steps need to be taken to modernize and pursue plans such as allowing greater private competition, which will protect taxpayers from future postal crises.
Roll call votes on S. 1789 will be included in our annual Rating of Congress and a “NO” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.
If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700