Peter DeFazio fights to save one of the modern wonders of the world

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

The US Postal Service is an amazing thing. I mean, ponder it for a second. You can write a note on a piece of paper, get it picked up at your home, delivered all the way across the country, and get it delivered to your friend's home in 2-4 days. All for a lousy 33 cents.

33 cents can't buy you anything anymore. But it'll get a postcard delivered across the country anywhere you want in a few days.

Partly, it's because the Postal Service is a massive employer, with over a half million career workers nationwide. But it's also because our nation - going back to the writing of the Constitution - has long recognized the economic power of a national postal service.

And as you've surely heard, the Postal Service is in trouble now. But it's not for the reason you might think. Yeah, email and online bill-pay have taken some market share. And gasoline prices are a major cost driver for any delivery operation. But the real reason the USPS is facing a financial crisis?

Well, let Congressman Peter DeFazio explain it - at a rally last week at the State Capitol (starting at 2:30 on the clip):

Did you catch that? The Postal Service is being required to "paying the retirement costs of people [employees] that have not yet been born" at a cost of $5 billion a year.

The pre-funding of retirement costs 75 years into the future is an outrageous demand not put on any other organization around. Just imagine -- if your employer had to pre-fund retirement costs 75 years out, would they be financially solvent? I doubt it.

Congressman DeFazio has a bill (HR 630) to fix that issue and modernize the Postal Service. But he's been frustrated at the lack of action by the House, and the lack of support from the White House - despite 120 co-sponsors and zero cost to taxpayers.

So, he went on over to the White House's "We the People" site where any American can launch a petition - and, with 100,000 signatures, get a formal response from the Administration.

So far, he's at 16,552 signatures - and so he needs 83,448 more by May 24th.

Head on over to and sign Congressman DeFazio's official petition to President Obama.

And then, ask your friends and family to do the same.

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