Postal: What If the USPS Disappears?
"Six-day service for all mail will not survive by 2025," Hudson says. "The reduction in demand for hard-copy delivery will necessitate that. Marketers and charities will adjust to a less-than-six-day delivery schedule. There may be one exception—parcels. "
Is There No Cure for Congress?
Yes, this subhead has two meanings: First, a demand from mailers (USPS customers) that Congress approves postal reforms that "free" the institution from its financial ills—many of which were imposed by Congress in the first place the last time a major postal reform law was passed in 2006. Second, a demand also from mailers that Congress (then) get out of the way and allow the Postal Service to act as a truly independent organization.
"Congress likes to load up the Postal Service with requirements, but does not provide funding to cover these mandates," Davison explains. "Sometimes, Congress does things that are counterproductive or downright costly and wasteful. Requiring barely used post offices remain open is an example. Blocking the agency from dropping a delivery day is another. To the extent that Congress elects to micromanage the mail service, its future is bleaker."
Howard says a seemingly easy fix is stuck. "Congress needs to realize that the Civil Service Retirement System pre-funded retirement costs already paid into the fund, based on current Postal Service employment trends, would be sufficient to be considered fully funded now," Howard said. "Were the Postal Service allowed to have its own healthcare program, it would save $8 billion immediately every year … Even the labor unions are supporting this effort. Congress should pass this now."
The mailing community is clearly supportive of recent efforts of Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe and USPS management efforts to reduce costs, right-size infrastructure and improve delivery performance—but failing to listen to customers may cause some unwelcome Postal Service backsliding toward a "bailout" mentality.