First, the good news. Last month the American Customer Satisfaction Index reported that the public’s satisfaction with the Postal Service is at 75 percent (just one percent less than Congress’s disapproval rating), and its satisfaction with its express delivery stands at 81 percent. Both are all-time highs. Plus, the Ponemon Institute recently ranked it, once again, as our nation’s most trusted federal agency.
Now, the bad news. Congress and postal leadership are working hard to change that. Later this month the House is scheduled to vote on H.R. 2309, the Postal Reform Act of 2011. Operating under the guise of saving the Postal Service, the bill would actually dismantle it, brick by brick.
Among other things, H.R. 2309 would do away with Saturday delivery, compelling customers to use private delivery services and raising costs. By eliminating Saturday service, closing thousands of community post offices and hundreds of mail processing facilities (four in North Carolina), it will delay the mail an additional two or three days. It would also eliminate door delivery of mail for 90 percent of America’s households, forcing customers to retrieve their mail from centralized locations.
And in a time when unemployment is rampant, this bill would put tens of thousands of people out of work and would have an adverse effect on those private sector companies that rely on the Postal Service.
Since the bill totally ignores the major reason for the Postal Service’s financial problems—the congressional mandate requiring it to pre-fund decades of future retiree health benefits decades in advance—one must assume that the goal of the bill is to privatize, not revitalize, the Postal Service. That might be good news for Wall Street, but it would be bad news for the American public.