The Norman Transcript

November 18, 2012

Bigger cliffs to climb


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The battle over elimnation of Saturday mail delivery service is far from settled. Postal managers want to drop the service but Congress doesn’t want to take the heat.

Rural lawmakers, including some in Oklahoma, have strongly protested proposed shutdowns of post offices, arguing the towns they serve may also shut down.

The Saturday debate continues as the U.S. Postal Service this past week reported a $15.9 billion annual loss and predicted even bigger losses next year. Postal managers want relief from future retiree health benefits which made up $11.1 billion of the deficit.

Earlier this year, the Postal Service defaulted on two of its health prepayments for the first time in history. That means it paid the bills to avert bankruptcy but sidestepped the big payments to employee future health funds.

Don’t look for any action as the lame duck Congress winds down the year. Lawmakers have bigger cliffs to climb and don’t want to wrestle with their constituents over the holidays.

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