Georgia Says

Postal Service needs to be 'clear as mud' about Saturday service

by The Augusta Chronicle

You know by now that neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays the Postal Service from its appointed rounds.

But the organization’s unofficial creed says nothing about mud.

And right now, what the Postal Service will or should do about Saturday delivery is as clear as mud.

A big part of the problem is incessant meddling by Congress.

The elected body, for instance, does its level best to prevent the Postal Service from closing even one constituent’s post office to save money. Those are voters! ...

Things just can’t go on this way.

The truth is, we could live without Saturday delivery of most mail (the Postal Service’s stated plan to end Saturday delivery does not include packages and prescription drugs). The move would save about $2 billion.

The agency also plans to close 50 mail-processing centers to save another $2 billion.

Well, the letter carriers have bitterly decried the five-day delivery plan, in rallies and slick commercial advertisements. And now Congress has approved a nearly annual resolution vaguely forbidding the end of Saturday delivery.

How vague is the prohibition? The Postal Service is being counseled by some members of Congress to go on ahead with plans to go to five days a week.

Good grief.

First, Congress should butt out. Let the USPS Board of Governors run the thing and cut its losses.

Second, you’re never going to effect such sweeping changes without some squawking - particularly from the unions. You’ve got to forge on and do what’s right, which is to stop the bleeding.

Lastly, the larger point to be made here is that these overblown tempests over Saturday delivery - and the current chicken-feed “sequester” budget cuts - are only the beginning of the austerity this country is going to have to endure to get its house in order. While the Postal Service lost $16 billion last year, the federal government as a whole lost over $1 trillion. And we are one zip code away from $17 trillion in federal debt.

If we get all worked up about losing one day of junk mail - so much so that our elected leaders feel like they need to rush in and save us - heaven only knows how we’ll face up to real sacrifice.

There’s a generation of Americans now enjoying their golden years who’ve seen a heck of a lot worse.



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