To the editor:
Again and again, the Journal-World chooses to highlight George Will’s ultraconservative views at the top of the opinion page. On Sunday, he called for the U.S. Postal Service to be privatized. In typical fashion Will skips over the chief reason the USPS is under financial pressure. Will fails to mention that, in 2006, Congress forced the USPS to prefund retiree health benefits, an outrageous demand not made on any other business, government or private. Without this prefunding requirement the USPS would have NO debt. Meanwhile Congress uses the influx of these new USPS retirement funds to artificially reduce the deficit.
Then Will trivializes the devastating impact on the middle class and American communities if the USPS were to disappear. Shutting down the Postal Service wouldn’t just keep our grandkids from writing us letters in longhand, as Will suggests. No, closing the Postal Service would isolate hundreds of thousands of people in small rural communities who depend on the USPS for delivery of a host of necessities, including medicines. Furthermore, the loss of tens of thousands of middle-class jobs in the current economy could further undercut the already weakened middle class. Why does the Journal-World so disrespect the values of the citizens of Lawrence by continuing to highlight these ultraconservative views with no balance from more progressive writers on the opinion page?