June 25, 2014
By Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe had endorsed the House of Representative’ leadership’s plan to use massive job and service cuts in the Postal Service to “pay for” a short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund. The Highway Trust will run out of money in August if Congress fails to raise the gas tax that normally funds it or to come up with an alternative source of revenue.
The proposal, authored by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), would use the alleged savings of eliminating Saturday mail delivery to offset the cost of a temporary injection of taxpayer funds into the trust fund to keep highway maintenance and construction projects going for a few more months.
“Mr. Donahoe’s action may be the most irresponsible thing any Postmaster General has done since the creation of the Postal Service in 1970. If allowed to succeed, this budget gimmick would have set a terrible precedent for the Postal Service. Why raise taxes or reduce spending at taxpayer-funded agencies, when you can pay for pet projects with legislated service cuts at the Postal Service? Need a new aircraft carrier? Slash post office hours. Want a new fleet of planes to fight forest fires? Raise postage rates. The PMG recklessly risked undoing all the hard work we did in the late 1980s to get the Postal Service off-budget, to shield the Postal Service and ratepayers from scheming politicians", said NALC President Fredric Rolando.
The proposal never gained steam in Washington. Because of its flaws, the plan was not seriously considered by most legislators. Maintaining the nations roads and bridges is critical to keeping Americans safe. Our nation deserves a serious long-term solution to our highway infrastructure crisis.