Postal Service still wants cuts
WASHINGTON — The Postmaster General on Wednesday renewed his plea for lawmakers to allow the financially troubled Postal Service to switch to a five-day delivery schedule for first-class mail and to implement other overhauls needed to modify its outdated business model.
The Postal Service earlier this year pulled the plug on a plan to end delivery of first-class mail on Saturdays, bowing to pressure from lawmakers and industry groups to maintain a six-day schedule.
“The Postal Service continues to face systemic financial challenges because it has a business model that does not allow it to adapt to changes in the marketplace and it does not have the legal authority to make the fundamental changes that are necessary to achieve long-term financial stability,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The Postal Service's financial troubles largely stem from a 2006 congressional mandate to prefund up to 75 years of its future retirees' healthcare, and dwindling revenues as more Americans use Internet and email to communicate rather than buying stamps.
The mail carrier lost $16 billion last year.
Donahoe wants lawmakers to eliminate the retiree prefunding requirement and allow the Postal Service to control its own healthcare system. The mail carrier expects to default on its next $5.6 billion payment to the Treasury for the future retirees's healthcare fund due in September.
The semi-independent government agency relies on sales of stamps and other products rather than taxpayer dollars to fund its operations. Revenue from first-class mail, its most profitable service, decreased by $198 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2013.
“We cannot pretend these marketplace changes aren't happening or that they don't require us to make fundamental changes to our business model.” Donahoe said. “We need legislation that, together with our planned changes, confidently enables at least $20 billion in savings by 2016. If not, we go over the edge.”
The Postal Service's pleas for flexibility have so far gained little traction as Congress has several times failed to pass legislation allowing it to modify its operations.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Highway Patrol: 8 dead, 10 injured when Florida van crashes
- JetBlue computer outage causes delays for passengers
- Global warming is slowing down the circulation of the oceans — with potentially dire consequences
- Doctors push end-of-life care talks
- Despite high gas costs, Northeast resistant to pipelines
- Pence: ‘Not going to change’ religious freedom law
- Drownings in Rio Grande spike as enforcement surges
- 2 bodies found at site of gas explosion in NYC apartments
- 7 shot at Florida spring-break house party
- Mining for tourists? A dubious economic savior in Appalachia
- Veterans Affairs construction chief retires amid criticism over project delays, ballooning costs