Like its first cousin, Amtrak, the United States Postal Service is battling to stay alive. Lately, news reports have focused on the $8 Billion loss the post office faces this year and management’s fevered attempts to wring costs from the system. The latest idea does not impress the Overlords in Congress.
In its latest bid to shave costs, the Postal Service has said it will stop contributing to the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), a move it says will save roughly $800 million this fiscal year.
But Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) said the mail carrier’s move was just a drop in the bucket. Issa and Collins both noted that the Postal Service is expected to run a deficit of more than $8 billion this year.
Issa, who was troubled by a recent contract for the postal workers union, said the service’s financial situation “would not be tolerated in a private company.”
“USPS needs fundamental structural and financial reforms to cut costs and protect taxpayers from an expensive bailout,” the chairman of the House Oversight Committee added.
Representatives for USPS have said they are not seeking a bailout, with the service declaring Wednesday that it had reduced spending by $12 billion over the last four fiscal years — getting rid of 110,000 positions in the process.
In March, the mail carrier — which does not get tax dollars for operating expenses — said it was eliminating 7,500 jobs as part of a push for $750 million in yearly savings.
But the Postal Regulatory Commission has also said that the USPS was overestimating how much money it would save by scrapping Saturday delivery. Collins and other lawmakers have said that change would disproportionately hurt rural Americans.
When I read this report, the first thought that occured was to ask why the USPS is losing money, laying off employees, and generally acting like an ossified, union-based sinkhole when ALL IT DOES IS DELIVER JUNK MAIL!
Most of my bills are delivered via e-mail, as are the corresponding payments. Cover letters and resumes from the last job hunt were similarly handled. Even meeting notices, doctors appointments, and social invitations are now delivered via the InterTube. The vast majority of items deposited in my earthly mailbox are junk – bulk mail flyers, credit card solicitations, and otherwise impersonal envelopes addressed to "Current Resident". Clearly, given the quantity of unwanted mailings, the post office is not charging the paper spammers enough to deliver their product.
Who needs snail mail?
Apparently the majority of the postal service’s customers are the junk mailers – the spammers of snail mail. And, in the rate structure of the USPS, guess who pays the lowest rates? This is idiocy, I tell you.
In the natural world, this beast would likely have been rendered extinct in the early years of this century, freeing up the niche for something else that can survive and prosper in this environment. In our world of political cronyism, however, evolution is regarded as the enemy of entrenched interests and change is fought with every tool at the disposal of the vested interests.
I predict a collision in the next year or two….