Feature

The U.S. Postal Service’s service cut

Why the mailman may soon skip Tuesdays or Saturdays

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” keeps the mailman from his duties, said Alex Koppelman in Salon, but Saturday will be “a different story,” if U.S. Postmaster General John Potter has his way. He is asking Congress to let the Postal Service deliver mail five days a week, not six, which could save the financially strapped agency anywhere from $1.9 billion to $3.5 billion a year.

The USPS has to do something, said Gregg Carlstrom in Federal Times. It lost $2.8 billion last year, has billions more in unfunded pension obligations, and is rumored to face trouble meeting payroll this year. But even if Potter gets his way, the USPS wouldn’t “immediately drop Saturday delivery”—it would study the issue first, and maybe just cut back in slow periods.

Even that would be bad for the economy,” said Dylan and Ethan Ris in AOL News. The USPS “operating gap for the next year will be—at most—0.7 percent” of the $819 billion Congress is ready to spend to stimulate the economy. You’d think they could “allocate a few more bucks to keep the mail coming on Tuesdays.”

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