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USPS Bailout: Crucial Lifeline or Pointless Boondoggle?

In his 2013 Budget, President Obama has promised “bold” action to prop up the ailing and venerable USPS with a $25 billion injection. Among other things, this proposal would put an end to Saturday delivery and, if you trust the math, generate a savings of $25 billion over the next 11 years. As most of us are well aware, the rapid development and expansion of electronic delivery systems have resulted in a significant decrease in traditional mail volume, and there are no indications this will slow down or stop anytime soon… at least not in the lifetime of anyone reading this post.

This begs the question: Is the USPS worth saving at all? For direct mail providers and their customers, the obvious answer would seem to be a resounding ‘yes!’ But is it really that simple? And are these electronic delivery systems entirely to blame for the problem? Or is it, as Ralph Nader points out, a manufactured crisis resulting from “bad management, corporate barracudas and a bevy of editors and reporters enamored with the supremacy of the Internet?” Should we do everything possible to keep the USPS afloat, or do we bow our heads in reverence as this once-mighty American icon sinks into the murky depths of crushing debt and irrelevance? Give us your thoughts!

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Comments: 2

  • This is the dumbest, most unresearched article on the USPS I have read.

    The Republican led Congress passed a bill in 2006 that requires the USPS to prefund the next 75 years of pension and prepaid healthcare in only a 10 year period. No business or government agency have ever had an obligation like this. It is costing the USPS over $5 Billion per year!

    The USPS Generates nearly $70 Billion in revenue each year. Tax dollars do not supplement their expenses.

    The USPS would have earned over $100 Million in the last 4 years if not for this ridicules prefunded pension measure. Additionally, numerous actuaries have calculated the existing USPS pensions plans and are in agreement that the current plans are overfunded in excess of $15 Billion. There is no question that the current USPS Financial crisis has been manufactured by Congress.

    The push to end the USPS is coming from Fed Ex and UPS lobbyists with very deep pockets. They are throwing around millions of dollars to politicians to buy their votes.

    Currently, the USPS delivers the last 1 to 10 miles for UPS and Fed Ex. Who is going to provide this service in all the remote and rural address in America? Its certainly not going to be Fed Ex!

    My suggestion is that you read up on your subject matter in the future. Its just like when you were in school! Otherwise, all you are doing is writing another personal opinion, albeit an uneducated one!

  • I worked at the Post Office in many varied capacities from mail processing to being in the room with the PMG, and I can say that without hesitation it is the overpaid unions that will destroy the Post Office unless Congress decides to float them by giving them more of our money, just like they did with the auto bailouts.

    I say less government intrusion and let businesses die that are antiquated, being replaced by modern, cheaper, and infinitely more efficient services.

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