“Silence is complicity,” was the widely affirmed refrain at Congressman Patrick McHenry’s recent town meeting — responding to his repeated unwillingness to dissociate himself from President Trump’s immorality, deception, racism, financial misdeeds, misogyny, etc. This is reason enough to vote the congressman out office.
But there is more. He submitted a bill that would have pre-emptively banned future U.S. Postal Service innovations in its products and services, such as affordable, basic banking (low-cost check cashing, small-dollar loans, savings accounts, money transfers). Fortunately, his bill was not enacted into law, but if re-elected, he would doubtless try again.
This puts McHenry in line with those who want to privatize the U.S. Postal Service, the government agency that is a civic treasure, a public good that serves all of us and links us together as a people. Experience with privatization in other areas has demonstrated that prices rise, service declines, private corporations get rich and people’s basic needs are ignored.
Our postal service has an 88 percent approval rating, provides 640,000 secure jobs, delivers mail to every ZIP code (remote rural areas included), and finances itself entirely from its sales and services. Its much-trumpeted deficit is due to the requirement —imposed by Republicans during the G.W. Bush era — that it prefund a 75-year employee pension cushion, adding an annual $6.9 billion false cost to the agency’s balance sheet — something no private corporation would ever think of doing. As envisioned, a privatized USPS would deliver mail fewer days per week, to central locations (not door-to-door), reduce workers’ pay and benefits, aim to eliminate unions —- and as a result, further decimate the middle class.
Save our postal service. Defeat Patrick McHenry. Replace him with David Wilson Brown, a man who cares for the people, not corporations — and will not touch our postal service, except to improve it.
— Doug Wingeier