Letter to the editor – Jan 19, 2017
EDITOR: Here’s something every American should be concerned about. The two Republican chairmen of the Congressional Oversight committees, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office last fall requesting a preliminary investigation into the cost and continued need for the U.S. Postal Service’s letter mail and parcel post monopoly and the mailbox statute, which means that no one except USPS may use your mailbox to conduct business.
For the past few years during which the Republicans have controlled the U.S. House of Representatives, there has been a major, but unsuccessful, move to eliminate that constitutional protection and statute so that any private company could begin to handle your mail and anyone could have access to your mailbox, which is now protected by federal law.
The story of the U.S. Postal Service begins in 1775. To enable the Post Office Department to serve all Americans, no matter how remote, yet still finance its operations completely (since 1970) from its own generated revenue, Congress gave the Department a monopoly over the carriage of letter mail and parcel post by a group of federal laws known as the Private Express Statutes. Without such protection, Congress reckoned that private companies would siphon off high-profit delivery routes, leaving only money-losing routes to the department, which then would be forced to rely on taxpayers to continue operations. In the past two centuries, Congress has held to this belief and has protected that statute.
I’m not comfortable with some minimum-wage, part-time employee handling my personal and private mail and having unlimited access to my mailbox. Are you?
via Marshfield News-Herald