U.S. Postal Service

June 16, 2011

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by the Renewable Fuels Association, Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, and John Deere.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

And now for today’s commentary—  

It’s Saturday.  I just went to the mail box and brought the mail into the house.  We’ve always expected mail on Saturday.  But for how long?  The U.S. Postal Service is an independent service.  At least, it is supposed to be.  However, it relies on the government for money to operate whenever it comes up short.  Last year, the U.S.P.S. lost 8.3 billion dollars. 

Now, with “hat in hand,” they want to borrow more money from Uncle Sam.  They are telling the government that they’re not asking for a taxpayer bailout.  They just want a loan. 

If the postal system was really a private business, they would discontinue Saturday mail delivery.  That would save a lot of money.  They would consolidate post offices.  Even my little country town in Illinois has a post office with population of under 100 people.  As much as we would like to preserve Saturday mail and our little post offices, we can’t afford it. 

However, since the U.S.P.S. is not really private and since their management can hardly make a move without Congressional consent, their hands are tied. 

They aren’t able to make the necessary adjustments.  We should really privatize the postal service as some European countries have done.  Computers, E-mail, and cell phones have changed the communications environment. 

So, we have the U.S.P.S. unable or unwilling to balance their books.  We shouldn’t blame them.  The federal government isn’t rushing to cut spending – at least, not yet. 

President Obama just wants to raise the debt level and borrow more money – just like the postal service.  Two of a kind.  I know, in one case we’re talking about billions, and in the other, trillions.  

But as former Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen once said, “A billion here and a billion there and pretty soon we’re talking about real money.” 

We’re talking about real money here in this town – real money that we don’t have.  I congratulate Congressman Paul Ryan and the House Republicans for their courage in putting on the table a plan to deal with our debt.  Where is the Senate Democratic plan?  Where is President Obama’s plan?   Don’t hold your breath. 

In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete.  Check on what I said back then.  Go to http://www.johnblockreports.com .   

Until next week, I am John Block in Washington.