We are back again, needing to protect the U.S. Postal Service, this time from Trump and his Republican cronies.
Trump is trying to tear down this institution, started by Benjamin Franklin in 1775. The USPS’s main financial problem is because of Bush 43rd PAEA Act which required the service to pre-fund post-retirement health care costs, for its employees, 75 years into the future, at a $5 billion annual cost.
This is their largest financial liability. A burden no public or private-sector company has to bear. Without this burden, USPS would actually turn a profit, and it should be removed.
This well-loved service should not be completely privatized either. Privatization could result in higher prices and a lower amount of service, especially in rural areas, where people rely on their postal service the most.
The postal service can reach millions of American households because it is a public system. Instead of shrinking the postal service, we should build on it, which was the case in the first half of the 20th century, but discontinued in 1966. It was called the U.S. Postal Saving System.
Many countries use such systems. Maybe reinstating post office savings accounts and banking services, could secure their place in these uncertain times.
Today 34 million American families live in places without traditional banking services. High-interest payday lenders and check-cashing services take advantage of low-wage working families in those communities. Experts estimate that low-cost banking services could save American workers a trillion dollars a year.
Instead of tearing down a service we built over centuries, we should invest in our Postal Service that has served us well since our nation’s birth.