Why Congress can't save the Postal Service
November 29th, 2011
07:23 AM ET
3 years ago

Why Congress can't save the Postal Service

Washington (CNNMoney) - There's one thing that turns some Tea Party Republicans into government-job lovers like their Democratic rivals: Their neighborhood post office.

In fact, the U.S. Postal Service's reach into every state and congressional district is a big reason why Americans shouldn't expect Congress to make the drastic changes that the postmaster general says are needed for the service to survive - especially before the 2012 election.

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Filed under: Congress
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Sandy

    Congress should just vote out the law they passed in 2006 where the post office has to fund the retirement program 10 years in advance. It was a law the republicans passed to push the post office to fail so they can privatize it. People don't seem to care now, but when they have to spend $5 from a private company to mail a simple letter, then they will care, but it will be too late then.

    November 29, 2011 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  2. Pedro

    It will be hard since Congress careless for anything that can help job creation.
    Unfortunately for our Country, the politicians are worrying ONLY about the 2012 presidential election.

    November 29, 2011 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    I think the USPS is one of the icons of the U.S. government. It is the most common symbol of our great nation, and the great economy that the USPS helped to build. Postal workers were once the foot soldiers of our economy, reaching into every corner of our country even if it wasn't profitable to do so. If it goes away, so will our once great economy.

    Industrialists built this economy. Capitalists are destroying it.

    November 29, 2011 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  4. JohnOO7

    If the postal service went to alternate day service in rural postal zones, costs would be reduced.
    Congress won't be able to save themselves let alone anyone or anything else. So SAD.

    November 29, 2011 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  5. WiredweirdinSF

    It is highly unionized, therefore inefficient, ineffective and totally ignorant of what its job is. Let it go, kill it and you will have a highly efficient, motivated service spring up in its place that will actually pay taxes rather than dues to a corrupt union and tribute to the democrat liberals.

    November 29, 2011 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    They can't be saved, because of pension plans. The PO is not a 401K or other private plan. It is an old fashioned pension plan, that grows to the level where it cannot be funded.

    November 29, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  7. Name king

    The postal service need to start competing like federal express. this country is getting more and more logistic every day, these private companies cannot handle every thing. If you guys can add more weapons to your repitua then go into trucking and not only push mail but meat, corn, furniture you name it. You guys are living in the 21st century for crying out loud. You guys have alot of advantages over your private counter parts. You guys have name recognitions which would identify with most Americans especially the older conservative who are more patriotic, and your backed by the government for crying out loud. Lesson retool and get with the 21st century to compete, and stop depending so much on the government especially in these times.

    November 29, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  8. Me

    Sandy, it was 75 years, not 10. And yes, they should repeal it but they won't because their goal is to privatize it and break up another union.

    November 29, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  9. John Smith...

    What people FAIL to understand is that the post office is a basic infra structure resource. It is a necessity and a democratic equalizer.

    We shouldn't change the post office. It isn't in debt... it is under funded! We should subsidize it to the teeth and treat it as what it is, a primordial necessity.

    November 29, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  10. tamara reina

    Some much for usps jobs

    November 29, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  11. Sniffit

    "Why Congress can't save the Postal Service"

    Because the GOP doesn't want to...there's a massive union involved here and they want its back broken. Besides, this is a fantastic opportunity for them to force thousands of more unemployment claims prior to 2012 and then turn around and blame it on Obama.

    Next question.

    November 29, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  12. Sniffit

    "this country is getting more and more logistic every day, "

    Aside from that making no sense conceptually as a sentence, it's worth noting how remarkably effective the FedEx advertising was to hammer the word "logistics" into your brain despite you apparently not knowing what it means or how to use it.

    November 29, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  13. dieselbug

    Maybe if they charged higher rates (in the UK, the cost of a first class stamp is about 70 cents) and reduced the junk they deliver every day things would be better.
    I'd love to see a study on the cost and effect of junk mail on distribution and delivery, and the environmental impact on the wasted paper involved. I for one take the PennySaver and the other junk addressed to "current occupant" and place it directly in my recycling every day. How much additional weight does junk mail add to the delivery trucks, and does the fuel and personnel costs in handling it all actually provide a net profit for the USPS? If they won't ban it or increase stamp prices, then give us an opt-out price to stop getting all the garbage every day. . . .

    November 29, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  14. Sniffit

    "It is highly unionized, therefore inefficient, ineffective and totally ignorant of what its job is. Let it go, kill it and you will have a highly efficient, motivated service spring up in its place that will actually pay taxes rather than dues to a corrupt union and tribute to the democrat liberals."

    Why don't we just hire David Copperfield to implement this magical plan of yours? Poof! Magic industry "sprung up" overnight without any massive postal vacuum in the meantime causing all sorts of delays and failures throughout the business world! We can call it Abracadabra Mail!

    November 29, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  15. T'sah from Virginia

    How can you "privatize" the postal service????

    I can see it now – a snow storm in CO will keep mail there for the entire winter and the "private" company will allow their workers to sit at home; meanwhile, postal companies in other states – where the sun is shining – will get the mail out to any state that is NOT affected by the elements of our season.

    Think of the "private" channels you would have to go through to get mail shipped from one state to another – one country to another – Rates will be "sky-high" – Postage cost and rates will be different from state to state – Come on now – are the REPUBS that stupid – OR, do they believe the American people are dumb enough to believe them????

    November 29, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Sandy

    Congress should just vote out the law they passed in 2006 where the post office has to fund the retirement program 10 years in advance.
    -------------
    10 years? Actually, I think it was 50 or 70 years in advance.

    November 29, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Rick McDaniel wrote:

    They can't be saved, because of pension plans. The PO is not a 401K or other private plan. It is an old fashioned pension plan, that grows to the level where it cannot be funded.
    --------------
    That is not the problem with the pension plan. The pension has been solvent for decades. The problem is the law that requires the fund to be pre-funded for 50 years within a decade. Republicans passed the law for reasons known only to themselves. I think it is part of their overall "starve the beast" strategy that they have been working on since the 1960s.

    November 29, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  18. GonzoinHouston

    Cut back deliveries to M-W-F. Jack up the postage on junk mail. If it results in less junk mail, so much the better. And allow private companies to compete with the PO. In the 21st century, we don't need a huge national postal system. It was a great idea when Ben Franklin developed it. For that matter, so was the Electoral College. But that was 200 years ago. Both have now been overcome by developments. Right now, most of the PO system is like an unnecessary military base; it's just a way to suck federal money into some politician's district.

    November 29, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  19. Lost in Texas FOREVER and EVER

    too bad because one job men and women coming out of the service seemed to be able to get was with the postal service. If you once worked for them you had a good job with good benefits for life. Of course with now a anti-union sentiment on the right that will change. They don't mind you working if it's for lower pay, less benfits and longer hours UNLESS of course you're say a professional like a doctor, lawyer or congressman then that's okay

    November 29, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  20. Rudy NYC

    T'Sah wrote:
    Come on now – are the REPUBS that stupid – OR, do they believe the American people are dumb enough to believe them????
    ---------------
    Republicans know that there are people dumb enough to believe them. They know that there are many postal workers out there who will them believe the lie that only if they worked in private industry instead of the federal government, then they would get paid more and no longer have to pay union dues.

    November 29, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |