Predictably, the Republican platform plank on the U.S. Postal Service spouts mindless corporate drivel about how outmoded the USPS is in the internet age and how private enterprise should make more incursions into its operations.
That is, if GOP platform drafters even thought much at all about the postal service and what it means to the country as a whole.
More seriously, the platform ignores the needs and wishes of the more than $9 billion-a-year mailing industry that depends on a public postal service for its survival.
Mind you, most of the people in this business are conservative Republicans themselves. While many toe the line that the USPS is overstaffed and could use downsizing, they dislike not having their mail on time, especially if it’s first class mail like bills and such.
Delivery delays can have potentially lethal consequences. What if people in rural and otherwise outlying areas can’t have medicine delivered on time?
That’s to say nothing about ordinary people getting slapped with late fees on credit card bills that arrive late because the USPS lowered delivery standards in 2012 after it closed distribution facilities and post offices.
This issue was first reported by Omaha.com.
Needless to say, the GOP platform completely ignored the proposal from the Office of the USPS Inspector General to set up banking operations that would serve lower income people usually shunned by commercial banks.
The Republicans are not known for thinking so progressively.
The platform sneers at the postal service, stating that, “in a world of rapidly advancing telecommunications, mail delivery from the era of the Pony Express cannot long survive.”
Never mind that the postal service has done and continues to do so. Or that technological advancements in communications can shut out vast segments of the population that can’t necessarily afford or use them.
The position document also refers to the “downsizing made inevitable by the advance of internet communication.”
In code words, this sounds like a swipe at the highly unionized postal workforce which the GOP would like to get rid of. The Republicans have made no secret of their hostility to postal labor groups. That was especially true with Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) former Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Operations Committee who continually proposed unworkable measures to curtail their power and essentially privatize the USPS.
“In light of the Postal Service’s seriously underfunded pension system, Congress should explore a greater role for private enterprise in appropriate aspects of the mail-processing system,” the platform continues.
The platform does not go into any details here. But this position totally ignores the $5.8 billion-a-year obligation for to cover the healthcare costs of future retirees stuck into the 2006 postal reform bill that has helped bankrupt the USPS ever since.
In the past few years the USPS has been able to cut expenses and nearly break even, if not for this financial millstone that no other federal agency carries.
Overall, the GOP platform contains a lot of shrill rhetoric including a section devoted to “American Exceptionalism.” Trouble is many people may take this too seriously.