Here’s a one-word summary of the reason the Post Office wants to discontinue Saturday delivery of first-class mail: Congress.
“Oh come now,” you say? Consider:
- Congress has required that the USPS pre-fund its future health care benefit payments to retirees for the next 75 years, a burden no other entity, private or public, has to shoulder
- Last year the House never took up a bill, passed by the Senate, which would have addressed the financial problems the USPS faces as a result of #1
Since it has defaulted on two of these unreasonable pension payments in the past year, it was obvious it had to do something. As Kevin Drum suggests here, the USPS seems to have concluded it’s going to unilaterally start implementing plans to save money whether Congress likes it or not.
I don’t want to see Saturday service taken away, but I can see that unless the USPS gets out from under that ridiculous requirement that it pre-pay retiree health benefits for people it hasn’t even hired yet (75 years? Really?) it has to take some kind of major action, and reducing door-to-door service by one day a week is certainly that.