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Former Ag Secretary John Block –

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the Renewable Fuels Association, Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Do you know where to look for the poster child of government dysfunction? You don’t have to look very hard. Just look down the street in your little town, in your community. I’m talking about the Postal Service.

The Postal Service is supposed to operate independently of the federal government. However, it’s not independent at all.

Last year, the Postal Service lost 15 billion dollars – losing 25 million dollars every day. Stamp sales represent the most important source of revenue but sales are down 25% over the last 6 years. It’s a new world of communications out there with the internet and cell phones.

You might expect the Postal Service to do something to fix the problem. But, every year the Congress passes legislation which ties the hands of the Postmaster General. They won’t let him end Saturday delivery of mail which would save about 2 billion dollars per year. He has been saddled with some weird legislation paying in 1.4 billion dollars into future union member benefits.

The U.S. Congress refuses to allow the Postal Service to be run like a business. Given the fact that last year the Congress never passed a Postal Service bill, the Postmaster General, Mr. Donahoe, decided he could act on his own, and he just announced that starting in August, he would discontinue Saturday mail delivery. Some Members of Congress have complained that his actions are not legal, but we’ll see. He desperately needs flexibility to stop the bleeding.

I don’t think we need Saturday delivery of mail. I know we hate to think about some of our little post offices being closed. And the union mandates will have to be dealt with. Keep in mind some would suggest that the Postal Service should be privatized. Sell it to FedEx. Some countries in Europe have done just that.

Too many of our politicians refuse to deal with our debt and spending problem. Just look at the Postal Service.
In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.