Mandate puts unique and unfair burden on U.S. Postal Service

We appreciate the interest in the U.S. Postal Service shown in the editorial “Return to sender” (Dec. 17). That said, Post-Dispatch readers deserve a broader depiction of the postal situation.

The Postal Service provides St. Louisans and their businesses, along with Americans everywhere, with the industrial world’s most affordable delivery network — all without a dime of taxpayer money. USPS helps unify this vast country, which is what led the Founders to include the post office in the Constitution.

During the holiday season, letter carriers not only deliver the largest portion of gift packages, they also bring residents millions of packages from the private carriers, which drop those packages off at post offices for “last-mile” delivery — saving them and their customers money because letter carriers already go to every address six or even seven days a week.

The Postal Service, the nation’s largest employer of military veterans, also is the centerpiece of the $1.3 trillion  national mailing industry, which employs 7 million Americans in the private sector, including 165,343 Missourians.

USPS, which by law funds itself through the sale of stamps and related items, has averaged about $1 billion in annual operating profits in recent years. About 90 percent of the red ink you hear about stems from flawed public policy. In 2006, a lame-duck Congress mandated that USPS pre-fund future retiree health benefits to the tune of about $5.6 billion a year. No other public agency or private company has to pre-fund these expenses even one year into the future; USPS has to do it 75 years in advance.

If lawmakers from Missouri and elsewhere address that unique and unfair burden, the Postal Service can continue to provide Americans with the delivery services they expect and deserve.

Fredric Rolando  •  Washington, D.C.

President, the National Association of Letter Carriers


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William Scott Edens

Why do they keep crying about this? Stop wasting billions of dollars in extra trip pay to contractors for issues the contractor creates. You have plenty of money to fund this 75 year retirement system. Stop the waste! Stop the waste. Usps wastes billions.


It is apparent Mr. Eden is a post office hater.It doesn’t take a republican or democrat to look at this financial burden and realize how unfair it is. What it does do is allow Ill- informed people like Mr. Eden to show their total lack of ability to analyze a situation and make a rationale and objective finding of fact.It is good our free speech laws allow even ill informed toxic individuals like you to vent your obvious biased views.

William Scott Edens

Actually, I didn’t say anything about why I agree with the mandate. The Postal Service makes plenty of money to pay this mandate. It would have more money if it didn’t waste it with piss poor management decisions. It allows Amazon to dictate how to operate its Post Offices. It gives CDS contract carriers milllions of dollars in extra trips when they have full vehicles. They get paid twice, sometimes 3 times a day, including peak season. CDS are not employees, we OWN the routes and it’s our duty to get the mail out. Why pay a CDS contractor twice… Read more »


Mr Eden, let me put it to you like this. What if you were forced to pay homeowners taxes on your home now, 75 in advance. Let’s say that tax is $1000 a year, times 75 years. That’s $75,000 you owe now, but it’s to pay for your taxes 75 years from now. Wouldn’t that be a financial hardship on you and your family? Would you even be alive in 75 years? Get the picture?


The difference is we would hope the Post Office WILL be alive in 75 years, and if they would stop wasting money on bad deals with Amazon, UPS, and FedEx, and stop with the bloated management, we could perfund the retirement and look back in 75 years at what a great idea it was. The highest levels of the Post Office do love having the mandate around as a scapegoat for their bad decisions.

William Scott Edens


You hit the nail on the head!

William Scott Edens


You hit the nail on the head. Fix the management problem and you’ll fix the Postal Service.


EXACTLY! I don’t understand why these people are unable to comprehend this!?!?!?

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