The right-wing loves to ramble on and on about how evil the US Postal Service is, but in reality, they aren’t the sinister super-villains conservatives claim them to be. The USPS doesn’t spend a single penny of taxpayer money, and is actually a for-profit corporation chartered by and indirectly managed by congress. Many of the USPS’ financial woes stem not from the prolific popularity of email, or from corruption and waste… it comes from Republican clowns in congress making life harder for the USPS for no apparent reason.

But Bernie Sanders has a plan that would change all of that, a plan that would keep the USPS fully solvent and retool it for the next century. And better still, his plan would provide essential services to America’s working poor, a class that could use all the help they can get: Sanders wants to turn post offices into micro-banks.

Sanders’ plan would involve the US Postal Service evolving into a federal banking system. Post offices would become small local banks, offering only quintessential banking services to customers: checking and savings accounts, check-cashing, and other basic services that millions of Americans don’t have access to today, because private-sector banks don’t want to work with them.

Here’s the kicker: not only would this service help millions of working-poor citizens dodge check-cashing scams and avoid a vicious cycle of relentless debt, but full-scale private-sector banks would find new competition. That means savings interest rates could rise, overdraft fees could plummet, and Americans across the board would benefit, even if they aren’t using any form of “postal banking” themselves.

There’s a reason why this story is filed under “income inequality” rather than “economics” or “politics.” A great many steps would need to be taken if America wanted to end the scourge of income inequality, and Bernie Sanders’ idea is a great example of a program that could potentially put a decent-sized dent in the problem.

Surely, right-wingers will blast this idea as yet another example of pinko commie leftist efforts to give away handouts and bring in Democratic votes. But as is almost always the case, those of us with sane, fully-functional human brains should ignore them, because at the end of the day, this idea will help millions of Americans, people who need that help. And it’ll keep our time-honored postal service in business, even when republicans force ridiculous prefunded retiree benefit rules on them.

Bernie Sanders has proven time and time again that he’s a man with a unique and effective vision for America’s future. That’s probably the reason why he’s giving Hillary Clinton so many sleepless nights. This idea would help millions of people, save the postal service, and help soften the blow of income inequality for everyone. Let’s get it done, America. Because for generations, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stayed these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. Isn’t it time we repay their efforts?

Photo by Smithsonian Institution