Editorial: No love in Congress for Postal Service

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe tells the nation in Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe tells the nation in September that the Postal Service needed $3 billion in reductions to avert bankruptcy. (Sept. 15, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

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Congress seems determined to cripple the U.S. Postal Service. It has forced the nation's mail carrier to abandon a plan to stem its financial bleeding by eliminating Saturday delivery. The move to five-day-a-week delivery would have saved $2 billion a year for the agency, which fell $15.9 billion deeper into the red last year alone.

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The service doesn't get any money from the government, but Congress refuses to loosen the strings on how it operates. One crushing burden is the $5.5 billion Congress forces it to spend annually to pre-fund medical coverage for future retirees. No other government agency is required to do that.

Congress should back off and give the service the flexibility it needs to respond to the historic drop in mail volume in the Internet era.

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