(November 8, 2011) Bill ties future of Saturday service to profitability, but still-onerous retiree health pre-funding mandate makes profits impossible; loss of Saturday delivery in 24 months undermines future of USPS; 80,000 postal jobs at risk
Pre-funding retiree health is bill’s top policy priority—favored over quality service and jobs
Bill mandates the phase-out of door-to-door delivery for 35 million households and businesses, more job cuts
The 21st Century Postal Reform Act of 2011 is a well-meaning, but deeply flawed bill designed to “save” the Postal Service by downsizing it dramatically. Such a policy risks prompting the very death spiral it seeks to avert—with declining service and falling quality, even more mail volume will be chased from the system. Rather than preserving Saturday delivery for just two more years, Congress should ensure its continuation long into the 21st century to serve today’s 24/7 business culture. Instead of ending Saturday delivery in two years and phasing out door-to-door delivery, Congress should examine other options for relieving the heavy burden of financing retiree health benefits that has so damaged the Postal Service’s finances over the past four years.