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Four basic Postal Service facts 

LowDown

A half-dollar hardly counts as money these days — it won't even buy a cup of coffee! But... pssssst... here's an amazing half-dollar bargain for you: a first-class postage stamp.

For 50 cents, you get the stamp, 3 cents in change, and America's phenomenal network of post office workers and letter carriers who'll deliver your missive into any of the 43,000 ZIP codes of this vast country. Our public Postal Service literally delivers, and many of our post offices serve as treasured community centers — two reasons that the U.S. mail service consistently ranks highest of all federal agencies in public support.

So, naturally, it must be decimated and ultimately eliminated.

That's what passes for logic in the back rooms of Congress and in the boardrooms of predatory corporations that want to take control of our mail for their profit. They keep demonizing anything public — especially any public service that actually works and is popular — because the corporate powers and the Congress critters they buy in bulk ultimately intend to privatize all of the People's government. To advance their plutocratic vision, they're out to tarnish the Postal Service as a massive, money-sucking, dying, bureaucratic behemoth.

But here are some facts they don't want you to know: One, this public agency provides affordable mail service to all, in poor communities as well as rich; two, it does this without a dime of taxpayer money, financing its entire operation with the sale of stamps and services; three, it provides hundreds of thousands of solid middle-class jobs spread throughout every ZIP code. And here's a fourth fact: In 2006, Congress manufactured an artificial "loss" for the Postal Service by decreeing that it pre-fund the health care costs of future retirees, 75 years in advance. That includes retirees who're not even born yet! No other agency and no corporation could survive if Congress added a $5-billion-a-year fictitious loss to their books.

To help keep this public jewel out of the hands of a few greed-headed, price-gouging, low-wage, tax-dodging corporations, support "A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Post Offices." Find it at AGrandAlliance.org.

You can contact Hightower at jimhightower.com.

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