News came Wednesday that the U.S. Postal Service has decided to continue Saturday mail delivery. This was good news indeed.
The Postal Service had floated a plan in February to suspend most deliveries on Saturdays beginning in August in order to deal with a budget shortfall. The outcry against such a move came from several circles.
“This is good news for rural communities, businesses, seniors, veterans and others who depend on consistent and timely delivery of the mail,” said U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
The newspaper and other publishing industries also joined the opposition to such a move.
According the Associated Press, the Postal Service gambled that Congress would drop its ban on five-day delivery, but it did no such thing, continuing the ban in its spending measure last month.
An independent agency, the Postal Service gets no tax dollars for its day-to-day operations but is subject to congressional control. It lost nearly $16 billion last year — $11.1 billion of that due to a 2006 law Congress passed forcing it to pay into future retiree health benefits, something no other agency does.
The Postal Service has cut nearly 200,000 jobs since 2006 and consolidated some post offices in a move to become more lean. It continues to look at ways to save. More work needs to be done, but Congress should do its part by rethinking the 2006 law that forces the Postal Service to make payments for health benefits for retirees that haven’t even been hired yet.