A GROUP OF concerned citizens paid us a high compliment the other day — by showing up to picket outside our doors. Nice to know our words are provocative enough to protest. Community and Postal Workers United was calling attention to what its members consider consider our unduly stringent view of the need for the Postal Service to restructure, especially by reining in the labor costs that account for 80 percent of its overhead.
In particular, the protesters repeated the oft-made argument that the Postal Service would be just fine, financially, if only Congress would relieve it of an annual $5.5 billion retiree health fund pre-payment. This deserves a respectful reply that fortunately can be brief. Postal Service data clearly show that the agency would still lose several billion dollars per year over the next half decade even without the pre-payment.