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Postal Service doesn’t deserve stamp of criticism

Dear Editor,

I would like to respond to columnist Bob Richardson regarding some of his recent columns and unfair criticism of federal agencies – particularly the U.S. Postal Service.

Postal workers of the Postal Service nationwide have done a remarkable job this year – especially in dealing with anthrax, mailbox pipe bombings, wildfires and everything else.

Contrary to what Mr. Richardson states, the Postal Service nationally has achieved record-high levels the past several years in mail delivery scores, productivity, efficiency, customer service and overall performance. The Postal Service has achieved cost savings of $2.5 billion the past three years and has reduced its national workforce by 30,000 positions through higher productivity, efficiency improvements and major cost-cutting.

Mr. Richardson criticizes the recent postage increase to 37 cents as expensive and comments, “we raise rates two to three pennies at a time.” The truth – prior to this recent increase the price of a first-class stamp only increased 2 cents in the past 7.5 years. The cost to mail a postcard has only increased 2 cents in the past 11 years, prior to the June 30 increase. Compare that to price hikes Americans are seeing in gas, food, entertainment, utilities, etc.

This recent postage increase was badly needed – to offset higher costs in transportation, gas, fuel, medical, labor and inflationary expenses; lower mail volume and revenue due to the weakened national economy; and dealing with anthrax and security of mail issues this past year. The Postal Service has incurred extra operational costs of over $2 billion this past year just in dealing with the anthrax crisis, the mailbox pipe bomb cases and other security of mail issues.

Americans still have one of the lowest mailing rates in the world. It costs 60 cents to mail a letter in Japan, 49 cents in Germany, and 37 cents in the United States. The Postal Service does NOT receive tax dollars for its operations. We receive our operating revenue mainly by postage.

The U.S. Postal Service no longer has a monopoly, except for access to the mailbox. There are numerous shipping, delivery and communications alternatives available to Americans today.

This past year has been the most challenging year in Postal Service history – with Sept. 11 terrorism events, the anthrax crisis, the mailbox pipe bombs scare, and now wildfires.

Yet through it all, postal workers in Colorado and nationwide have continued to keep America’s mail moving and America’s postal system running strong.

The Postal Service has received tremendous support from Colorado residents and all Americans. Thanks for your great support and for continuing to use the U.S. mail.

Sincerely,

Al DeSarro,

Communications Program

specialist,

Western Regional Office

U.S. Postal Service

Denver


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