August 2, 2011 — In response to an editorial published July 28 by the Washington Post entitled, “A Better Route for USPS,” the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) comments: The editorial, “A Better Route for USPS,” supporting the postal legislation introduced by Representatives Issa and Ross, correctly highlights the financial situation facing the US Postal Service (USPS) is much worse than most Americans and legislators realize.
The editorial correctly states that USPS must downsize its network, employee complement, and cost structure to meet the reality of lower mail volume. Mailers cannot afford to fund excess capacity through their postage. Every potential solution must be on the table, including the provisions of the Issa-Ross bill and the $50+ billion pension overpayment mailers have paid as found by the Postal Regulatory Commission and USPS Inspector General.
The editorial did not mention the provision concerning mail sent by nonprofit organizations. The bill would decrease significantly the nonprofit preferred rate differential, which is not taxpayer supported. The result would be a dramatic and unsustainable postage increase for many nonprofits at a time when charities are being called upon to increase their efforts to provide a safety net throughout America and the world. Most of the donations that these charities receive come via the USPS. We hope that this provision is one of the bill’s imperfections and not one the Post endorses.