The U.S. Postal Service is anything but set for the future. Years of budget battles, long-term fiscal needs and the struggle for relevance in an increasingly digital age have left the men and women of our local post offices in the middle of a complicated tug-of-war.
We covered some of that debate in our May 27 hour, and were fortunate enough to chat with two members of Congress who know the USPS story in and out — Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), who are both members of the Congressional Subcomittee on the Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census.
While there's no strong political line either way for the post office — it's a Congressionally-mandated public service that constituents in all Congressional districts enjoy — both Reps. found common ground on our air as they waded through the variety of proposals currently before Congress.
"I think Mr. Lynch will be able to work together and come up with some solutions," Rep. Farenthold said.
And indeed, both Congressmen agreed that a privatization plan is far from certain in the future of the post office.
Later, after a caller accused the Republican Party of an unrealistic mandate for USPS retirement funds, both Representatives found fault with the high level of pre-funding retirement obligations in the Postal Service.
"The current formula for pre-funding retirement liabilities is not actuarially sound," Rep. Farenthold noted.
"It's a competitive disadvantage for the post office," Rep. Lynch added.
What do you think? Would your life dramatically change if some of these proposals — an end to door-to-door delivery and the closure of your local post office — for better or for worse? What's the last letter you sent in the mail?
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