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We need leaders not politicians
April 15, 2011 - Jody Murphy
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin
I wish our delegation of Washington, D.C., politicians were leaders; the kind of people who can make tough decisions that might be unpopular with constituents even though it may be for the greater good.
The latest issues is the potential closure of more than 30 rural post offices in West Virginia.
The U.S. Postal Service lost $8.5 billion (Billion with a capital B) in 2010, according to officials. Greg Church, Parkersburg postmaster, said that equates to losing $23 million every day they are open.
"In February, our organization lost $1.1 billion. There are not that many private entities that can do that and keep their doors open," he told Rockport residents earlier this week.
Lucky for us the post office is a federal entity and subject to the political whims of 535 politicians, including our own representatives.
Our newest congressional leaders, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va, and U.S. Rep. David McKinley. R-W.Va., both of whom have called for balanced budgets and reduced spending are now balking at the idea of closing these rural post offices.
These are the same guys who send us press release, after press release, after press release calling for reduced federal spending, balanced budgets and smaller government.
Now, they are trying to put the brakes on such proposed cuts because it affect their (outspoken) constituents.
Manchin put out a press release Thursday stating an agreement had been reached with postal officials to hold more meetings and workshops before making any decision on postal closures.
Now multiply their efforts by 535 politicians (the combined political strength of the House of Representatives and the Senate) and you understand why nothing gets done to reduce the size of government and federal spending. There are too many political toes to step on.
These politicians urge cuts and balance budgets and its great as long as no one in their voting block is affected, i.e. ticked off. But when some of those cuts - in this case closures - affects constituents, well then it's time stop and think.
Closing these post offices is a no-brainer to cut costs.
Folks who live in rural areas affected by the closures will still receive mail. In fact they'll get home delivery. For stamps and mail packages, they'll have to do the same thing we city-folk have to do - go to the post office. Only it will be a little farther away. In Rockport's case that's seven more miles - to Mineral Wells.
We can close 30 post office in this state - and Lord knows how many nationwide - to reduce the Billions of dollars being lost by the postal service. Or we can continue to throw up roadblocks and delays to save 30 people from driving an extra seven miles to mail a letter and buy stamps.
Rather than make a tough call and tell people that it's the best thing to do for a bloated government, our politicians - again the same ones who want to cut spending and reduce the deficit - are trying to slow the process to appease voters.
This is another reason we need term limits. Maybe if these politicians weren't so caught up in trying to get re-elected they might actually stand up and do the right thing even when it's not popular.
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