November 18, 2012

Post Office deficit grossly exaggerated

John Nichols, Nation - Two-thirds of the $15.9 billion “loss” involved what the Times referred to as “accounting expenses of $11.1 billion related to two payments that the agency was supposed to make into its future retiree health benefits fund.”

Those accounting expenses were imposed not by necessity but by Congress. And the imposition can be lifted, along with restrictions on the ability of the service to compete.

In 2006, a Republican Congress—acting at the behest of the Bush-Cheney administration—enacted a law that required the postal service to “pre-fund” retiree health benefits seventy-five years into the future. No major private-sector corporation or public-sector agency could do that. It’s an untenable demand.

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