Friday, December 15, 2017
Editorials

Mailboxes to have that empty feeling on Saturdays

The U.S. Postal Service creed about punctually completing its appointed rounds regardless of rain, heat or gloom of night is about to have an asterisk. Starting in August, the Postal Service plans to stop Saturday delivery of first-class mail. That would mark the end of an era when that unexpected letter or new magazine falling through the mail slot could be the highlight of an easygoing day off.

In the age of instant messages and tweets, email and online bill payments, post offices would remain open on Saturdays and package delivery will continue six days a week. But the reduced first-class mail delivery schedule is presented as the agency struggles with a staggering $15.9 billion loss last year. The failure of Congress to permit the Postal Service to adjust its obligation to overpay billions of dollars into its pension and retiree health benefit funds has only exacerbated the financial crisis. It is unrealistic to demand that the Postal Service operate like a private sector business while Congress imposes such bureaucratic constraints on its management.

While the Internet and private sector delivery services like FedEx and UPS pose considerable market share challenges, Congress has prevented the Postal Service from being able to compete for business on a level playing field. Unlike any other public sector agency, the Postal Service alone is required to make an annual $5.5 billion prepayment into the retiree pension and health funds. At the moment the prefunding requirement has resulted in an estimated $11 billion in overpayments, money the Postal Service could use to fund its operations and compete for business.

Since 1775, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general, the U.S. Postal Service has remained true to its oath in serving the public in the face of all manner of obstacles. It plans to continue to provide reliable home delivery — except on Saturdays.

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Editorial: MOSI faces a clean slate and should give everyone a piece of chalk

Editorial: MOSI faces a clean slate and should give everyone a piece of chalk

For three years, the only news about finances at Tampaís Museum of Science and Industry was bad news: "Struggling MOSI asks Hillsborough County for $400,000 loan," one headline read, "Audit sees MOSI finances slipping," read another, and "MOSI donor ...
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Editorial: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

Editorial: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

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Published: 12/14/17

Another voice: A shameful anniversary

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Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17
Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

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Published: 12/13/17

Another voice: Alabama picks an honorable man

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Published: 12/12/17
Updated: 12/13/17
Editorial: Tax cuts arenít worth harm to Tampa Bay

Editorial: Tax cuts arenít worth harm to Tampa Bay

As congressional negotiators hammer out the details on an enormous, unnecessary tax cut, the potential negative impact on Tampa Bay and Florida is becoming clearer. The harmful consequences stretch far beyond adding more than $1.4 trillion to the fed...
Published: 12/12/17

Another voice: Privacy in the internet age

How much information about you is on your cellphone? Likely the most intimate details of your life: photographs, internet searches, text and email conversations with friends and colleagues. And though you might not know it, your phone is constantly c...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated: 12/11/17
Editorial: Grand jury could force reforms of juvenile justice system

Editorial: Grand jury could force reforms of juvenile justice system

Confronted with documentation of sanctioned brutality and sexual abuse in Floridaís juvenile detention centers, the reaction from Gov. Rick Scottís administration was defensive and obtuse. So itís welcome news that Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Editorial: U.S. House sides with NRA over stateís rights on concealed weapons permits

With the horror of the mass shootings at a Las Vegas country music concert and a small Texas church still fresh, the U.S. House finally has taken action on guns. But the bill it passed last week wonít make Americans safer from gun violence. It is an ...
Published: 12/07/17
Editorial: Hillsborough cannot afford pay raises for teachers

Editorial: Hillsborough cannot afford pay raises for teachers

There is no satisfaction for anyone in the standoff over pay raises between the Hillsborough County School District and its teachers. Most teachers across the nation already are underpaid, but this district simply cannot afford the raises teachers ex...
Published: 12/07/17