It’s getting to be a daily routine- another day, another commentator misstates the facts about the US Postal Service for political reasons.
Today it’s the turn of “G.W. Pomichter”, who bills himself as “a conservative political consultant and member of the Brevard (FL) Republican Executive Committee”. Here’s what G.W. had to say in Florida Today:
In fact, with emerging private sector competitors, the nationâ€™s once premiere postal carrier lost more than $7 billion and spent nearly $5 billion on retiree health benefits alone.
Of course, that is not a “fact”. First of all, it was MORE than $5 billion- about $5.5 billion. And it didn’t go to “retiree health benefits”. It went to a congressionally mandated trust fund supposedly intended to finance future retiree health benefits, but which has been shown to be unnecessary. The real reason Congress wants the money is to artificially decrease the federal budget deficit.
But it gets better- G.W. goes on to claim that
The closure of the USPS would mean private carriers could thrive. More than 30,000 federally protected commercial sites would become available to private interests.
It’s a conservative article of faith that businesses everywhere are just itching to get into the mail delivery business- despite the fact that both FedEx and UPS use the postal service to deliver a large percentage of their package volume, a service that the USPS doesn’t have a monopoly on. (Click here to read about the right wing’s favorite “privatized” postal service) But the real howler is the idea that all those post office sites “would become available to private interests”. Yes, G.W., I’m sure most small towns in this country would just love to have yet another vacant storefront on their Main Street.