February 6, 2013

U.S. Postal Service to Stop Saturday Deliveries

The U.S. Postal Service announced it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays, although it will still deliver packages on that day.

Financially struggling, the mail service will announce today that the changes will be implemented in August, and should save the service about $2 billion a year.

The decision actually makes sense because people have increasingly abandoned the use of physical letters and gone with a variety of Internet services as their main means of communication. On the other hand, package delivery has increased about 14 percent for the agency.

It appears this will drag the politicians into the fray, as they have quietly done nothing to alleviate the problem, as the Post Service has asked to change delivery to a five-day week for several years without Congress doing anything. This announcement will force them to respond in one way or another, which is what should have been done a long time ago.

Patrick R. Donahoe, postmaster general and CEO of the entity, said this in a prepared statement, "The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America's changing mailing habits. We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings."

Some aren't sure the U.S. Postal Service has the authority to implement the changes without the approval of Congress, but it is probably being done more to force the issue and face the needed changes.

In reality, it's best that the U.S. Postal Service be gradually shut down, as there are more than enough private companies to take care of all the delivery needs of people.

When we live in an age where government spending is out of control and a mounting debt that will never be able to be paid off, it's imperative that government shrinks in size, and the U.S. Post Office is a good place to start.

As for Post Offices being opened on Saturday, the Postal Service says those that are already doing business will remain open; the implication being you can do business there even though there will be no Saturday deliveries.

The agency lost an incredible $15.9 billion in its last fiscal year, which was reported in November, and looks for more of the same in 2013. In order to deal with the situation it had to default on billions in prepayments for the health benefits of retirees in order to keep from declaring bankruptcy.

The $15.9 billion in losses was three times what it was the year before. It has also reached its borrowing limit, which is in reality good, as there is no reason for it to continue to mount debt in a shrinking market.

Now that the mail delivery pace has somewhat leveled out, the biggest challenge, as it will be for all government workers who are entering retirement, are the pensions they are promised by the government, which are simply unsustainable to pay for.

Of the $15.9 billion in losses, $11.1 billion of that is directly related to paying out the mandatory costs of pensions and health benefits for government workers, benefits that are far beyond what the private sector enjoys.

The answer is to make these over-compensated government workers pay more of the financial burden themselves. It worked fantastic in Wisconsin, and it'll work in other government agencies as well.
A unique factor for the Post Office is Congress requires it to place $55 billion in an account to cover health benefits for the future, with the Post Office having a goal of placing $5.5 billion a year into it until it reaches that level. It has no money to do so, and so is looking at ways to cut other costs.

Other steps that are expected to be taken are to close small rural post offices and to restructure the pension and health care costs of retirees. Even that may not be enough to save it.

Again, why try to save something that has no way of surviving, and really no longer has a practical purpose to serve? There are plenty of other services out there, which do a far better job, and can do it profitably.

The bottom line for government workers, just as here in Kentucky, it they're over-compensated, and the productive private sector can't afford to prop up and pay for the outrageous benefits and pay packages offered to them.

This is going to happen again and again across government agencies, which have repeated this disaster over and over again, and are now facing the consequences of making promises they can't fulfill.

It's not known at this time whether this will have an impact on the Larue County Post Office.

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