Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014
Opinion

Congress must give USPS freedom to cut losses

Published:

If you work for the U.S. Postal Service it would be easy to feel like the powers that be are stacked against you. Thatís because Congress apparently wants to kill the postal service, just as it nearly has Amtrak, but lately itís been taken to a whole new level.

The USPS announced that it is bagging its idea of cutting mail delivery to five days a week beginning in August, although parcels would have still been delivered because the parcel end does well financially. The postal service was going to try to save taxpayer money due to the $16 billion loss it posted last year.

Itís important to note, however, that $11 billion of that loss was due to Congressís 2006 requirement that the USPS fund future retiree health benefits. No other agency does this, but the postal service was forced to do it. Thatís another story.

The issue with trimming mail delivery to five days a week had to be scrapped because Congress wouldnít allow the change. Thatís strange, since Congress is constantly berating the postal service for costing taxpayers too much.

The idea of cutting mail service to five days a week was popular with the public. A majority of Americans thought that was just fine, according to national surveys. USPS knew it was needed to trim some of the loss the service runs every year.

If Congress is going to continuously hammer the postal service to quit losing money, it must give it the freedom to do whatever is necessary to make it more profitable. That might mean higher stamp prices for regular mail or making many changes throughout the system. What we do know is that demanding better profitability and then standing in the way of needed changes isnít fair and wonít work.

We task the USPS with an incredible responsibility. Six-day-a-week delivery to every corner of our country is no easy task. The infrastructure and resources needed to make that happen is incredibly expensive.

Give the USPS the freedom it needs to reform itself before acting like the agency is just an out-of-control bureaucracy that wastes money. Time to play fair, Congress.

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