Trust-funder punk, Oregon’s own Willard Romney, who’s never done a day’s real work in your life, the U.S. Postal Service is mandated by the United States Constitution. What are you doing, punk, wiping your ass with the constitution?

Matt Taibbi explains (emphasis added):

In 2006, in what looks like an attempt to bust the Postal Workers’ Union, George Bush signed into law the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. This law required the Postal Service to pre-fund 100 percent of its entire future obligations for 75 years of health benefits to its employees – and not only do it, but do it within ten years. No other organization, public or private, has to pre-fund 100 percent of its future health benefits.

No one prefunds at more than 30 percent,” Anthony Vegliante, the U.S. Postal Service’s executive vice president, told reporters last year.

The new law forced the postal service to come up with about $5.5 billion a year for the ten years following the bill’s passage. In 2006, before those payments kicked in, the USPS generated a small profit. Not surprisingly, the USPS is now basically broke.

Why? Kill the union, privatize mail delivery:

The transparent purpose of this law, which was pushed heavily by industry lobbyists, was to break a public sector union and privatize the mail industry. Before the 2006 act, the postal service did one thing, did it well, and, minus the need to generate profits and bonuses for executives, did it cheaply. It paid for itself and was not a burden to taxpayers. … This is a classic example of private-sector lobbyists using the government to protect its profits and keep prices inflated.

Taibbi’s piece explains all the non-postal benefits of having post offices in a great many places not served by profit-hungry businesses.

Susie Madrak has more at Crooks and Liars. See also Gaius Publius at AmericaBlog.