Since your front page story on February 9 (“Many taking postal changes in stride”) didn’t give both sides of the story on the effect eliminating Saturday mail delivery will have on the American public, please allow me to shed more light on it. Setting aside the fact that Postmaster General Donahoe blind-sided USPS employees and Congress with his February 6 announcement and that his tactics are legally suspect, the $2 billion savings he is touting is merely a guesstimate. The Postal Regulatory Commission, which oversees the Postal Service, reports that this figure is “over-inflated” (much like Mr. Donahoe’s ego) by $1.4 billion.
In addition, the only thing Donahoe will succeed in doing by cutting Saturday mail delivery will be to drive away those customers, like small businesses, that rely on Saturday delivery, thus giving impetus to the Postal Service’s downward spiral. One cannot improve service by degrading it.
Please note that back in 2006, when the Postal Service was making a profit, the lame duck Congress passed a bill mandating it to pre-fund its retiree health benefits 75 years in advance over a 10 year period. It is now paying $5.5 billion into an account to cover employees who haven’t even been born yet. It has been paying into this account since 2007 and has billions of dollars to cover the benefits for decades already. That money could be better spent now.
The figures about the Postal Service’s losing money in its first quarter are misleading. Standard mail and parcels were up. And if it hadn’t been for the unnecessary pre-funding law, the Postal Service would have actually shown a profit in its first quarter of $144 million.
Eliminating Saturday service is unnecessary and will only put another nail in the Postal Service’s coffin, much to its detriment and to ours.
Anyone who would like to know more about this manufactured Postal Service crisis and how they can save this valuable American institution may either call me at (336) 472-0136 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Heritage Ct
Thomasville, NC 27360
Note: I am a retired Thomasville city letter carrier and the editor of The North Carolina Letter Carrier, a publication of the North Carolina State Association of Letter Carriers.