(July 26, 2014) Two years ago, conventional wisdom in Washington, D.C., was still mostly that the United States Postal Service was doomed. People knew the Internet was killing the USPS. Period. End of story.
Letter carriers, through the National Association of Letter Carriers, have battled this conventional wisdom in our media and via lobbying activities. In 2012, we proved pre-funding retiree health benefits 75 years into the future had accounted for 75 to 80 percent of the financial losses reported by the USPS.
Today, we can show that the USPS would be profitable but for the pre-funding mandate. Indeed, not only would the USPS have been profitable in 2013, with a surplus of $600 million, but it also racked up a surplus before pre-funding of more than $1 billion in the first half of 2014.
We have also been able to show the Internet creates as much business as it destroys, and standard mail remains an excellent advertising option.
Our message to Congress and the media is the same: Too many politicians are legislating as if it is still 2009 and the USPS is still reeling in the face of technology and a housing collapse. The housing market and the economy are slowly recovering and, thanks to an e-commerce boom, the USPS is recovering. Our financial condition remains in a fragile state, given the crushing cost of pre-funding, but there is hope for the future.
— Jerry Pyfer, Loves Park