Like an elderly relative who tells the same story over and over, the Washington Post today rehashes its December editorial blaming postal workers for the USPS’s financial problems. The Post’s anti-USPS stance both on its editorial page and its news reporting, is hardly surprising, since, like all newspapers it competes with the USPS for advertising dollars- but the tone has become increasingly shrill. Here’s how today’s rant begins:
With each passing day, it is more obvious that the U.S. Postal Serviceâ€™s business model is â€œnot viable,â€ as a Government Accountability Office report put it last year. Having lost $8.5 billion in fiscal 2010, USPS expects to lose another $8.3 billion in fiscal 2011. Personnel accounts for 80 percent of the Postal Serviceâ€™s costs, but its new 4 1/2-year agreement with a 205,000-member union cuts costs only $844â€‰million a year. And USPS has to pay $6.7â€‰billion to retiree health and worker compensation funds by Sept. 30.
USPS, in short, could be unable to make payroll in the near term unless Congress acts. Yet the likeliest answer from Capitol Hill is to extend more aid, enabling USPS to limp along for a few more years, without attacking the Postal Serviceâ€™s dysfunction at the roots.
“More aid”? Wouldn’t that imply that the USPS has already received some “aid” from Congress? Apparently the Post still chooses to ignore the plain and simple truth- that the only “aid” that has been extended is the billions of dollars the USPS has been forced to pay into the Treasury under PAEA to help offset the federal budget deficit. The Post also thinks that the PAEA trust fund payments are a “wise precaution”, despite the fact that absent the payments the USPS would be a profitable business. We can’t allow that to happen, can we?