About that U.S. Postal Service crisis...
As it turns out, one of the biggest factors that's driving the USPS into insolvency is not its obsolesence and inefficiency, but instead a 2006 federal law that requires retiree health benefits to be prefunded for the next 75 years over a very short ten-year timespan. That's right - the USPS is required to pay for the healthcare of employees it hasn't even hired yet, including those who haven't even been born yet. By Ralph Nader's calculation, without this ridiculously boneheaded law, the USPS would actually have a $1.5 billion surplus today.
I'm sure the law's original sponsors tried to justify this by claiming it was intended to keep the USPS viable, but in doing so they have ensured the service's imminent bankruptcy. The cynic in me can't help wondering whether the Republican-controlled Congress and Bush White House of 2006 pushed this through at the behest of FedEx and United Parcel Service.
So get to work, Congress: either ease the restrictions of this law right now, or abolish it entirely. If you have any common sense at all, that is, of which I'm far from certain.