Showdown over Saturday mail delivery
A planned AFL-CIO rally for today to defend Saturday mail delivery may have been a bit premature after the Government Accountability Office is claiming that the USPS cannot, by law, cut mail delivery to fewer than 6 days.
Bloomberg News reports:
The service is bound by law to deliver mail six days a week, and is incorrect in interpreting that a temporary measure used to fund U.S. government operations released it from that requirement, the GAO said in a letter to Representative Gerald Connolly, a Virginia Democrat, who requested that the watchdog agency look at the matter.
The plan to cut delivery of letter mail while retaining package delivery on Saturdays “rests upon a faulty USPS premise,” GAO General Counsel Susan Poling said in the letter.
The GAO’s conclusion sparked different interpretations from parties that support and oppose ending Saturday mail delivery. The labor union whose employees would be most affected said it doesn’t expect the dispute to end in a courtroom.
But some Republicans, including Representatives Issa and Coburn, are fighting this interpretation, saying that because package deliveries will continue on Saturdays, mail service is not technically being cut.
When it comes to cutting budgets, expect this fight over and over.
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Maybe they should expand package delivery to Sunday and gain a competitive advantage.
Considering it loses money every day the USPS is out there already, one has to assume that adding another day would just increase the loss. Because you’d need more USPS employees, the source of the problem.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about the loss of Saturday delivery until I found out the AFL-CIO wants it to continue. Now I want it to end.
Eighty to ninety percent of the mail to our home is ‘junk mail’ — advertising, credit card come-ons and so on. We receive a modest amount of mail that is anything else.
We don’t do letters and postcards any more, we email, Facebook and tweet.
We don’t do bill-paying and finance by mail any more, we use the internet.
Quite honestly the USPS could cut mail delivery to three days a week for residences and hardly anyone would notice.
The post office was a great idea — for the 18th century. It was vital to the 19th and 20th centuries. The 21st? It’s a dinosaur, and it should be wound down. Take ten to fifteen years to do just that, and ensure that the older workers get their pensions while finding new jobs for the younger workers.
We have UPS, FedEx and DHL for package delivery. If the rural folks pay a little more that’s fine, there’s fewer rural folks these days. Get the internet out to everyone. But bring the USPS to an end.
I’d give you a thumbs up for that if I could (hint, hint). I live out in the boondocks and package delivery is really the only thing I care about. If a bill came a couple days late, who would care?
Where I live it costs at least $10 in gasoline to drive to the nearest stores and back, so we order a LOT from amazon with “free” two-day UPS or FedEx shipping (Amazon Prime, $79 per year). For $3.99, I can even have something delivered to my door the next day. It’s a great thing for us rural people.
I like the post office, but since FDR anyway, it’s been pretty much a jobs program, especially for rural people.
You’re right about the junk mail. That’s about all I receive at my P.O. Box. They even have a trash can by the door to dump the junk mail in for recycling. It’s always full…
My home and my business are served by two different post office locations, but I haven’t received a single piece of mail on a Saturday at my office since I opened that branch in early 2011.
Check your local storm drains, LOL.
The first thing that has to be addressed is the union inspired unsustainable pension scheme at the USPS and many, many other government entities.
Had the USPS had a reasonable pension commitment, profitability would well be within reach.
Yessir, watch for a pension crisis to arrive in your hometown sometime soon…
USPS pension funds should have been invested in FedEx and UPS.
Shee-yucks, the whole USPS operation could have been subcontracted out to them! Outsourcing does have benefits…
Postal employees are covered by FERS, which does not give anyone an 80% of pay retirement. The current problem is that GFERS is using the PO contributions to pay all current pensions. It’s the only actual cash in the system. Feral law passed by Issa and the others requires the PO to be the only Fed agency 100% prefunded in both pension and retirees health care.
The USPS had to reach that funding level by 2010 and FERS overcharged and has refused to refund the over $6 billion. Mostly cause they spent it and put IOUs in the “fund”.
I could go a full week without checking my mailbox, knowing what I’ll find when I bother is
Six catalogs a-laying,
Five golden AMEX card apps,
Four landscaper calling cards,
Three French drain installation ads,
Two save-a turtle appeals,
And, at Christmas, a box of pears from a tree.
Easily 90+% of all mail that is received at my house is commercial in nature: advertising, donation requests, bills, credit applications, etc.
Why on earth should any taxpayer have to subsidize LL Bean, Capital One or the local shopping centers via not charging full price for their marketing delivery.
Charge what it costs to deliver and be done with this whole debate. Full privatization should have been done ages ago.
Mail delivery? What’s that? 🙂 I say shut it down on Saturdays. Only a very few will miss it.
I don’t have a problem with cutting out Saturday home delivery.
But… when people start yapping about how we don’t need a postal service and how we can do everything electronically.. well, that comes with a price. Currently, my business doesn’t accept credit cards. Due to the nature of our services, our customers have a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual rate they are charged. They write a check and I don’t have to pay for a merchant account. It saves me money and in the end, that means they save money as well. The cost to send out invoices could be raised to $.50 for first class mail and it would still be cheaper than paying someone else to process a transaction and deposit my money into my account.
The only “good” piece of mail I have received this week had “Impeach Obama” on the envelope.