Postal Service survival on the line

Feb. 07, 2013 @ 05:18 AM

Over the last year, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been taking measures to trim costs, increase revenues and get things more in-line economically.

This has included cutting over 20 percent of their workforce and streamlining decisions including closing and merging smaller community post offices.

On Wednesday, the USPS made its largest cost-cutting announcement in deciding to eliminate home postal delivery on Saturdays beginning in August.

The fact of the matter is that people have changed how they send their information. There is no question that the advent of the Internet has hurt the USPS.

It is much easier now to send an email or communicate through social media like Twitter and Facebook than it is to hand-write a letter, put it in an envelope, get a stamp and place it in the mail.

While we understand and agree with the notion that stopping delivery on Saturdays because the USPS will be able to trim $2 billion in expenses, we also know that more needs to be done.

At a news conference Wednesday, USPS Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe said that Congress needs to step in and help.

We are at a point in time where Congress must stop demanding that the USPS run itself like a business and at a profit while operating as a community service.

We understand the hardship attached with having a local, community post office close but, the nature of living in a rural area is that some of those conveniences are not readily available. Rural dwellers in Rutherford County have to drive into town for a grocery store trip or department store. Having taxpayers help subsidize those post offices that are losing money is unfair.

A big issue with the USPS is the funding of its retiree health care program. Congress has mandated that the USPS fund this venture which is the prime reason why the USPS is in its current quandary.

It may be time for Congress to relax it’s mandate to pre-fund the retiree program and allow a pay-as-you-go.

We believe that the USPS provides a solid public service and should continue to do so.

But, the bottom line is that postal officials should continue to find ways to stem the tide of the losses and be allowed the flexibility to carry those measures out.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board

 

The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark.