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Letters to the Editor: Nov. 26

Nov. 26, 2012 - 01:20PM   |  
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Air Force ‘waste’

I was appointed a few years ago to be a change agent for my squadron regarding the Expeditionary Combat Support System program. That amounted to being a salesman to tell people how great this program was going to be. I am amazed to read that the Air Force, with of all its other past problems, could not figure out, until it spent $1 billion, that the program doesn’t work [“Air Force cancels failed logistics system after spending $1 billion,’’ Nov. 12 issue].

I am also amazed in these days of smaller budgets that Congress or the Air Force doesn’t hold anybody responsible for this waste of taxpayers’ money. This is the problem with the Air Force today: Where is the leadership?

— Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Jerry Goertz, Medical Lake, Wash.

How to save USPS

The Nov. 5 commentary “USPS reform possible, but Congress must act soon,” by Art Sackler, contains some good and valid information. There were, however, a few details he either had wrong or left out.

First, he says that arbitrators in the collective-bargaining process are not required to consider the Postal Service’s overall financial condition when reaching a decision. This is not true. Arbitrators do consider the Postal Service’s financial condition. They do so because the USPS makes it part of its arguments at arbitration.

Second, there is a surplus of more than $24 billion in the Federal Employees Retirement System fund and between $55 billion and $75 billion in the Civil Service Retirement System fund. That’s more than enough to fund the future retiree health benefit fund and to pay down USPS debt.

Third, the future retiree health benefit fund, which the Postal Service is required to pay $5.5 billion a year into, already has $42 billion in it. That is more than enough to fund the retire health benefits for decades to come.

The Postal Service delivers to every household and business in America. There are numerous other services that it can provide in addition to delivering the mail.

The answer is to give back to the Postal Service all the surplus moneys in the retirement funds. Remember, this is not taxpayer money and is not a bailout. Then, give the Postal Service the flexibility it needs to be competitive with the private sector.

Cutting service to five days and eliminating door-to-door delivery to 90 percent of its customers is not the way to save the Postal Service. Those in politics need to back off on their attempts to privatize the USPS.

— George J Elias, executive vice president, National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 70, San Diego, Calif.

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