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What should happen to the U.S. Postal Service?
September 19th, 2011
03:55 PM ET

What should happen to the U.S. Postal Service?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Barack Obama is throwing the U.S. Postal Service a lifeline. But maybe he shouldn't.

It's all part of the president's larger plan to cut $3 trillion from deficits over the next 10 years.

First, the president would allow the postal service to raid $7 billion from an overfunded pension account to avoid financial collapse.

The agency is facing a serious cash crunch and is expected to hit its $15 billion borrowing limit in a couple of weeks.

That is why Obama also wants to give the postal service more time to make a $5.5 billion payment to a health care retiree fund that's due at the end of this month.

The White House plan would allow the Postal Service to end Saturday mail delivery and raise the price of a first-class stamp another 2 cents to 46 cents.

Obama is against letting the Postal Service void union contracts to lay off 120,000 postal workers. The Postal Service itself proposed layoffs in its own cost-cutting plan.

Republicans are slamming the White House plan - especially the part about using $7 billion from its extra contributions to the pension plan. They say instead of fundamental reform, this plan uses "accounting gimmicks."

The Postmaster General has acknowledged that the agency faces a "new reality." He's looking to cut $3 billion a year by closing hundreds of processing facilities, cutting equipment in half and slowing mail delivery.

With the use of e-mail and other electronic communication, it's clear the Postal Service has become a dinosaur: There are 43 billion fewer pieces of mail sent now than four years ago.

Yet our government is intent on throwing more taxpayer dollars down the drain.

Here’s my question to you: What should happen to the U.S. Postal Service?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Christian in Houston, Texas:
Jack, Clearly the U.S. Postal Service needs a major overhaul. I am not against partially privatizing some of their operations, while maintaining their public monopoly on mail carrying. They keep raising their prices, but the service is poor and outdated, and now they are virtually bankrupt.

Bud in Jacksonville, Florida:
Democratic answer: Subsidize it some more. Republican answer: Streamline it to fit its current and projected revenues. Libertarian answer: Privatize it. Everyone will choose an answer according to their politics, inevitably. I choose the Republican answer.

Micah on Facebook:
Privatize, sell it off in chunks, different companies for different regions. Allow the private sector to correct the government’s mistakes.

Susan:
By all means, keep the postal service; it is needed and useful. But they should do away with Saturday deliveries and shorten the business hours.

Chris:
Cut retirement benefits, close post offices, cut delivery from 6 days to 4 days, and cut express mail or overnight mail. That's it.

Mark:
Privatize it now! FedEx and UPS run better than this government-run mess. Cut Saturday mail, end junk mail, massive layoffs...problem solved.

Noel in New Mexico:
Cut mail deliveries to three times a week. That would mean three less trips to the garbage can every week to dump my junk mail.

Posted by
Filed under: Postal Service
soundoff (273 Responses)
  1. Bob Dobolina

    The US Postal Service should raise their rates and quit whining. This is a manufactured "crisis", designed to allow them weasel out of their pension plan commitments. The Postal Service claims they're in trouble. If so, why did they LOWER rates this year by introducing Regional Rate boxes? This is a scam.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  2. rheapdx1

    The USPS will have to find a way to operate like a regular business does. Much like how FedEx and UPS currently makes its bones as it were, which should not be a problem, if they were hiring business persons to run the operation vis a vis it's current management that has its current MO. Or else...the USPS will go the way of DHL, Airborne and others....

    September 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  3. ranch111

    Reform it. Clean it up. Treat it like a real business and cut the cord to government.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  4. lou

    They need to raise the price of stamps dramatically. If it gets privitized, that's the first thing that will happen. 44 cents to take a letter clear across the country won't buy the gas for the truck to leave the corner where you dropped the envelope into the slot. The post office has to pay employees, rent, insurance, everything a small business would have to do, yet they have no control over the price they charge for their product. As a business model, that is a joke.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  5. Larry -Denver

    I have a 5 step (not 12 step) solution
    1. Cut out Saturday delivery
    2. Close 25% of all postoffices
    3. Increase by 5x the cost of junk mail, inserts, and advertising flyers
    4. Layoff 25% of the current postal employees
    5. Redo the entire postal workers contracts.
    If 1-5 wont help, its time to privatize.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  6. Kevin SD CA

    It should be privatized like UPS and FEDEX!

    September 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  7. Dave

    They need to charge the solicitors more. Most of the mail I get is unsolicited junk, which gets thrown away immediately. Why should the tax payer subsidize Lands End, Macy's, Capital One, etc...Most of the junk mail is loaded with toxic inks which wind up getting dumped into land fills creating an environmental hazard. Charge the solicitors.
    Dave in Seattle

    September 19, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  8. Gerry

    Hopefully they will keep the Postal Service intact but trim the fat. They provide a valuable service. Which means take a hard look at their union contracts and get rid of those politically correct stamps that they force on us. The Postal Service should be a service not a posterboard for the politically correct.

    Moderation Gerry
    Ash Fork, Az.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  9. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I think they are needed and still serve a purpose but that purpose has been less do to the Internet and other delivery services. But they're still needed by people. What should happen is they need to be made leaner and more productive just like any other company who are suffering losses in revenue.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  10. ImALibertarian

    Houston –

    If the post office was sold to private business, we could opt out. But that would add a lot of junk mail employees to the unemployment statistics, so the only thing left is to borrow another trillion dollars from my grandchildren through the national bank of China. Yeah, that makes a lot more sense anyway.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  11. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Its pension obligations should be reduced to realistic levels (as should most pensions) – current payouts plus a sufficient reserve. Full funding is a scam to force workers to accept defined contribution plans and line the pockets of Wall Street. Anytime someone says your pension must be fully funded, watch your wallet.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  12. JR MULE'

    It should be replaced by my grand-mama and her chatty, busy-body friends: If they're not privy to the message, It ain't worth passing on.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  13. Jenna Roseville CA

    What should happen to the U.S. Postal Service?

    It should remain. However do a couple of things:

    1. Reverse the GOP rule requiring the USPS to be the only governmental agency to have retirement benefits saved for employees that haven't even been born yet.

    2. Post office days reduced to 5 days a week. Operated Tuesday through Saturday.

    Dispite all the screaming from the far Right, the post office is funded solely by postage rates and NOT money from Congress. As a form of Union Busting by the GOP a bill was passed on Christmas Eve in 2006 forcing the USPS to set aside BILLIONS each year for FUTURE retirement benefits. Had their not been such a requirement the USPS would be solvent today.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    September 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  14. Ed in Harrisburg

    I don't know about you, but my postal service ain't what it used to be. I could rely on the mail being delivered in a timely and accurate fashion. In recent years I have gotten a record number of pieces of mail for others, dead people and people I don't know and I suspect they have gotten mine. My wife no longer trusts the mails to pay by check and drives around to pay local bills because so much gets lost in the mail. What perhaps is most distressing is that I sell from home from a number of services that use the USPS only to find that packages don't get delivered and customers are mad at me. My mailman and he knows who he is insists on dumping rubberbands on our mailbox porch after he unbundles the mail and we pick up the rubber bands save them and put them in an envelop and give them back to him; but he still doesn't get it. So, I would welcome a more reliable service any day, but for ordinary mail, it's the only game in town. I really believe that a new postal service would be a great new start-up for an entrepeneur.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  15. scott

    The USPS should raise the price of stamps high enough to be self-sustaining. They should be required to purchase license plates for their delivery vehicles just as every private business has to do. At that point they are competing heads up with UPS, FedEx, etc. USPS must be totally embarassed not competing well with private carriers in spite of the fact they are heavily subsidized.

    Why is it out of balance? It is out of balance because USPS wages, healthcare, and pensions are out of proportion with wages, healthcare, and pensions in private industry.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    The main change, has to be the retirement system. It has to go away from pension, and go to a private plan, like a 401K, or other private retirement investment plan.

    You cannot give the government access to the individual's retirement monies.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  17. Doug

    Congress should back off, and let the Post Office run its own show. Then the Post Office could lay off the number of people they need to , and go to a 5, or possibly a 4 day work week. Maybe they could become a public corporation, and raise money by issuing shares. Mail is a good thing, and there will always be people who depend on it. Its too bad the leeches in Congress, and the Unions, are not going to make this an easy transition. Doug.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  18. Kathie

    reduce delivery to five times a week (no weekends). restructure. downsize post offices (most use satelite stations). if all else fails privitize (UPS seems to function well)

    September 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  19. Kevin in CA

    Conservative answer: Outsource it to China.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  20. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Tax payers do not fund the postal service. People who buy postage do and a lot of those people pay absolutely no federal income tax each year. The postal service has far too many places to mail things from. Instead of having all of these free standing buildings with post masters and staff every 10 miles receiving benefits and housing allowances. That needs to be a thing of the past. Put postal facilities inside of grocery stores where they are convenient at the customer service counter or in the backs of hallmark stores where people buy cards to mail. The post office offers no guarantee that what you mail will ever get to it's destination. We take it on faith that it will. Don't believe me? Then just look in the dead letter office and see the thousands that never made it or were mangled or mishandled. In return for the postal services mistake you get nothing. Not even a refund on your stamp. Now that’s customer service.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  21. Mark

    Privatize it now! FedEx and UPS run better than this government run mess. Cut Saturday mail, end junk/spam mail, massive layoffs...problem solved

    September 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  22. Dan K

    Why don't we do the conservitive thing? "PRIVITIZE" it!!! Then government won't have to worry about it any more (untill 4-5 yrs down the road when we will have to Bail it out)!
    And then, all the retired postal workers will lose their benefits and save the governmant billions every year! Good old conservitive thinking HUH????
    Dan K Owens Cross Roads Alabama

    September 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  23. Brad, Portland, OR

    Right now, the Post Office is a "quasi-governmental" agency. Which is a really bad idea from the standpoint of management and accountability. An agency should be part of the government, or totally private, which means Congress can't interfere in the way it's run, the way they're doing now.

    Personally, I think the USPS should be made totally private, and let it be run the way its management wants to run it. Then it can succeed or fail on its own merits.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  24. Phyllis G. Williams

    What should happen to the U.S. Postal Service?

    I spent half of my life with the Morse Code in the Telegraph Service
    and I cannot see if you can deliver the Auto Dealers from distress
    why you cannot deliver the Postal Service that is just as important
    from distress.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  25. Pat in Michigan

    Get the heck away from the Govt. go private.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  26. Annie, Atlanta

    It needs some new fresh ideas, first of which should be to undercut Federal Express and UPS. Makes me wonder if Fed Ex and UPS get taxpayer subsidies, or those extra special tax breaks. If so, the USPS should make sure they get them, too.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  27. Pat in Michigan

    Get away From being run by Congress .The only thing they know how to run ,is our nation into the ground!

    September 19, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  28. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    the ONLY reason U S Postal Service is having financial problems is the unreasonable requirements the Republican Congress has put on them for their pension funding which is a thinly veiled attempt to drive them out of business so it can be "privatized".

    September 19, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  29. Joanna Dowd

    The United States Postal Service is just another unproductive government entity. Other carriers must make a profit or go out of business. Because the USPS has an unlimited line of credit from the US government, it doesn't stay well managed. We should end the letter monopoly and allow competition. The free market is a beautiful thing.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  30. Brian from, Fountain Colorado

    Paving the way for a government bail out

    September 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  31. Bill of New Mexico

    I depend too much on the PO. I must defend the PO.

    The PO needs to put first class rates on all that junk mail. With the junk mail forced to pay a great deal more, the PO will either have more income or a lot less mail to have to work. Either way or a combination will put the PO out of the red.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  32. Susan

    By all means keep the service; it is needed & useful. But they should do away with Saturday deliveries & shorten the business hours.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  33. Jayne

    The Postal Service should be a first priority to save. For starters, Congress could do away with the requirement no other shipper has to deal with: funding healthcare and pensions for retirees that are. literally, not yet born. Secondly, they could remedy an accounting error in those pension and healthcare payments that would return billions of dollars to the post office and solve the immediate crisis. If we don't preserve this very valuable service, we'll be stuck paying $15 per letter to send something by private carrier.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  34. Loren

    Take it out from under the control of Congress. Congress has repeatedly shown that it cannot manage our government and is only interested in the reelection of its memebers. The Postal Service has presented practical plans for reorganization only to see them shot down by an ignorant Congress. Time to let it sink or swim on its own.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  35. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Well Jack,with a layoff proof contract and the head guy making 840,000 dollars a year.I'd say they need to get real,
    cut the small post offices and clean up their budget and make it work like the rest of us have to do every day.
    David

    September 19, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  36. John from Alabama

    Jack: They should be allowed to close those post offices which do not meet the necessary population figures to stay open. The United States Postal Service should be allowed to close on Saturday's for delivery of mail. If these things do not happen we will not be able to continue with a profitable USPS. There is another answer, but the Republicans in the House or the Tea Party members in the House will not allow the First Class Stamp to double in cost to 88 cents. This might with other cost savings measures right the USPS to serve us another day.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  37. Barbara in Sherman Oaks, CA

    Whatever happens to it, Jack, I just hope that one thing that does not happen is the blame of its demise on President Obama. The Post Office is running out of business and money thanks to the internet age, not this administration...I don't know how long it's been since I"ve put a stamp on an envelope containg a check in payment of a bill–it's all done on the internet! Same with communicating with familiy and friends...heck, if I can't get them by cell phone, I can e-mail them...then there's the texting crowd...this whole thing started going down a long time ago. I feel for the older folks who don't yet have computers (my mother in law is one of them) and don't intend to get one...they will still use stamps to send birthday cards and pay their bills...a 5-day per week delivery schedule might help matters, but the writing has been on the wall about this for a long time.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  38. Christian from Houston, TX

    Jack...clearly the US Postal service needs a major overhaul. I am not against partially privatizing some of their operations, while maintaining their public monopoly on mail carrying. There are US agencies that won't even accept mail from USPS..that is very telling. Think about it, they keep raising their prices, but the service is poor, and outdated, and NOW they are virtually bankrupt...seems like UPS and Fed Ex could teach them a think or two on how to provide service...I do like the "if it fits it ships" ads though...thanks...

    September 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  39. Dave

    The USPS should file for Chapter 11 bankrupcy and go out of business. As for all of the employees who would be laidoff, there should be plenty of seasonal jobs in Florida and California picking fruit for large, farming conglomerates that receive huge tax breaks from our wonderful Federal Government. – Dave, Arlington, VA

    September 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  40. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: It needs to be more centralized and become more efficient for the future. It will always exist--however it needs to be more business streamline--but then again---it is a government entity-–and we know how they are streamlining their operations---more taxes-more taxes-more taxes!

    September 19, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  41. chris

    cut retirement benefits, close post offices across the u.s cut delivery from 6 days to like 4 days and cut express mail or over nigth mail let go to ups or fedex in sending or reciving just regular mail like letters and bills that's it

    September 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  42. Mark from Voorhees, NJ

    They should be allowed to use their pension fund, which is funded by congressional mandate, unlike everything else in this country for the next 75 years, to defray some of their costs. They deliver everywhere, unlike UPS and FEDEX, and DO NOT COST TAXPAYERS ANYTHING. While unproductive locations should be closed, we should not allow the psycho House of Representatives to privatize them so letters cost $1.50 instead of 50 cents, and politicians get more kickbacks. If the Congress ran as well as the US Postal Service, we would all be a lot better off.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  43. Rex in Portland, Oregon

    I sincerely hope that folks don't get too literal in response to this question, Jack. We've all had our private thoughts about the USPS, the classical model of inneficiency, waste, and beaurocracy. The only way I can think of to make the situation worse is to privatize the outfit and give the new low bidder a monopoly on delivery of hard copies of stuff.

    It is a brave new \world, my friend. Kiss the USPS goodbye forever. The US government cannot and may not participate in the lives of its citizens under the brave new politics. Viva les Teabaggers!

    September 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  44. Bud

    Democrat answer: Subsidize it some more.
    Rebublican answer: Streamline it to fit it's current and projected revenues.
    Libertarian answer: Privatize it.
    Everyone will choose an answer according to their politics, inevitably.
    I choose the Republican answer.
    Bud in Jacksonville, FL

    September 19, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  45. Noel Sivertson Roswell New Mexico.

    Cut mail deliveries to three times a week. That would mean three less trips to the garbage can every week to dump my junk mail.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  46. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Many believe that if it's not thought of here it's inferior. Look how other countries handle mail service. The rest of the world has the same problems we do. Perhaps they handle mail more efficiently.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  47. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    The USPS should continue as our Founding Socialist, Ben Franklin, intended and the "poison pill" that makes them fund their health care early should be rescinded from the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. No for-profit mail service could continue the mandate of universal delivery because there is no profit in delivering to rural Montana, for example, or remote Alaskan villages for the same price as delivering a letter to an urban center.

    P.S. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 reminds me of the Veterans Health Care Programs "Enhancement" Act of 2001 which TRIPLED my co-pays for medicine and office visits!

    September 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  48. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Cut, cut and cut. Stop Saturday service now and trim the fat so to speak. Maybe Mr. Romney could be put in charge to turn it around.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  49. Terry in Virginia

    It should be sold in its entirety to either UPS or FedEx and lower level managers and non-management employees should be offered employment with the new company. The ones who should not benefit from such a transaction are the Postmaster General and his top minions. The advent of email and Congress forcing the Post Office to rev up payments into the retirement system didn't drive this train of self-destruction although those actions helped speed it along.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  50. Mark, Indiana

    Not sure really what to do. It would be a big economic blow, employment lost, if the postal service went belly up. Something needs to be done. A restructuring in future pension/medical payments should be adjusted. The plan is antiquated and needs to be revamped to reflect today's realities.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  51. Dave, Orlando, FL

    It is an essential service and an unrivaled bargain by any standard, always has been. But they have to change. They need to operate more efficiently. They can start by eliminating all SPAM, I mean junk mail. That would eliminate a massive amount of the workload that is done at bargain rates that the rest of us have to subsidize. By doing that they probably would need only about half the number of employees to process and deliver stuff which goes from each mail box directly into the trash. The environmental impact of that alone would be monumental.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  52. Dan

    It should stay in business. A trimming of one day of service a week may be necessary but it is a cornerstone of America. Think about it. Where else can you send a hand written message or personal greeting anywhere in the naton for under a buck?? It's a bargain any way you cut it! Besides, eliminating the postal service would add huge numbers to unemployment, which we can ill afford! I personally continue paying my bills and such through the mail even though I have the option to pay almost all of them online. I believe in supporting the Postal Service as much as possible.
    Dan-Sioux Falls, SD

    September 19, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  53. Brian from Charlotte

    Jack,

    The US postal service is another shining example of the effectiveness of Congress. Congress sets the rates the post office is allowed to charge, how it must fund its retirement programs and most every aspect of daily operation. So, it comes as no surprise that the post office, under the stewardship of our elected officials, the post office is in the same shape as the rest of the country – simply broke.

    Let the post office take the steps it needs to be competitive. I will do my best to survive the weekend without saturday delivery and those special bargains that fill my mailbox. My shredder can not say the same.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  54. Sylvia from San Diego

    Another example of how government interference distroys a company... Let them be in charge of their own destiny!

    September 19, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  55. calaurore9

    Fold it into the well run FedEx or UPS and be done with it.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  56. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack the post office like 8 track tapes and VHS tapes has become obsolete. It was replaced by the computer UPS and Fed-ex. People no longer even write letters and put them in envelopes and mail them. They can send them for free with a click of a mouse in a Nano second. No delays no nasty stamp and envelope taste and best of all they don't get lost or stolen. The post office is like the dinosaurs. Something to read about in books.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  57. Lucille

    I'm not surprised the USPS is near broke. 95% of my mail is "junk" mail and tossed without even reading it. Such a waste of money. And Saturday services?, not necessary.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  58. Susan NJ

    The problem with the Post Office happens at the Post Office windows. Package finding is a 20 minute process at least. Stamping 15 letters with a rubber stamp is a twenty minute process and nasty prevails everywhere. As a result post office customers go elsewhere. We need the old guys back. The guys who knew how to get a job done, preferably the ones that speak English for we Americans. The ones that saved their socializing for after work, including time on the hated cell phone!

    September 19, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  59. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    It should be properly funded. It provides very good service for the money. Can you say the same of your Tea Party Congressman? Let the posties deliver pink slips and that will be another great service to the country.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  60. Stephen Paul

    Make the needed cuts, take 3rd class mail to first class prices. Stop the guys in Philidelphia from sitting in their vans reading the papers when they're done. They should work all 8 or 7.5 or however many hours they're paid for. If mailmen have extra time add to their workload like every one else in the World.

    Steve
    Nashville, In

    September 19, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  61. Joe

    Jack,
    Since the Carrier pigeon is no longer used everyday I believe the US Postal Service can switch to a 3 Day Delivery Week, as well as to use innovation by creating a SECURE EMAIL SERVICE, which either provides people with secure access online to their mail; OR, prints out the letters at the destination postal zip code and delivers the printed letter to the address that same day.

    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    September 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  62. Dave - Phx, Az

    I am not anti union, but this is a clear case of the union raiding the company. The union in this case should take the hits, I should not have to pay even more postage for their retirement. How many times has postage gone up in the last 10 years?

    September 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  63. Karl in Flint

    As the son of a letter carrier from 1948 to 1976, the biggest waste in the postal system is bulk rate mail. Today it's labeled "Standard Rate" but is anything but standard. You and I pay 44 cents to send an item first class. Businesses can send 200 or more items for 18.2 cents each. It cost just as much to process and deliver both yet businesses get a break for overloading the system. Raising the bulk mail rate will work one of two ways. Either revenue will increase or the delivery load will decrease with less business mail. If you're not aware, this is the junk mail you toss out but the companies get a tax deduction as a business expense for advertising. Like the tax code, the postal code needs revamping, too.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  64. Kenny in California

    I don't know Jack, but it maybe like everything else American's can't afford anymore, due to the markets perpetual price inflation. Employers are cutting benefits, and cutting, or freezing wages in an era where perhaps prices should be frozen too. It all equates to the fact we are paying more for goods and services with less money while the treasury's income suffers, including the postal service.
    It seems most of us can't afford our country anymore, and only a few can.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  65. Paulette in Dallas

    Definitely Not a good idea to raid the pension fund. This is WHY Social Security is in the predicament it is in now. Close more post offices,lay off people and cut Saturday service. Obama is not doing himself any favors by suggesting to borrow funds from the pension plan when it is proven that this method is a complete failure. That money never gets paid back.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  66. Greg in Arkansas

    I don't know, why don't we ask a telegraph operator, pony express rider, black-smith, horse fairer or telephone operator for advice? I do know one thing for sure though, I don't need junk mail deliveries on Saturday.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  67. Donna, Wisconsin

    No way should retires benefits be compromised. They didn't ask for this mess and they count on the benefits they were promised. But cutting Sat delivery and even going to three days a week is ok with lots of folks. Just don't give it up altogether. I want my Christmas cards, Jack.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  68. Michael in Seattle

    Why bother "saving" it? Shouldn't the postal service be run as any other business? They are being outcompeted, and should either adjust to the demand or fall. Have we learned nothing from the "too big to fail" problems of the past?

    September 19, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  69. James (Denver)

    My father worked for the Post Office for 20 years. There is a sentimental nostalgia for the post office, stamps, and personal mailboxes. Dogs only have a few natural enemies. Can we deprive them of the joy of terrorizing the Cliff Claven's of the world? I still write and enjoy receiving handwritten letters, cards, and postcards. Email isn't the same. There are practical reasons to keep the USPS: what would happen if our electronic communications failed? Who will keep track of all new addresses? What will happen to the phrase, "going postal"? I'm afraid, like libraries, it can't ultimately be saved. I know the market could run things more efficiently. But when we bail out big banks who screwed up and acted irresponsibly at a far higher cost, it doesn't feel right to leave the Postal Service high and dry. They're not crooks; they're basically good public servants who drive on the wrong side of the street, bring us Christmas presents, and give Rover a little exercise.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  70. jeff in hawaii

    Jack,
    As liberal as I am, and I have a hard time saying this, it should be privatized. Get it away from Congress's meddling , grubby, little fingers. Sell it to UPS or FEDEX. And if they are going to drop Saturday mail delivery, drop Friday too. In this economy, it's not like any of us rush over the weekend to pay those few bills that still require mail service.. And last, do not touch the postal workers pension fund. They put into it, they earned it. There is no such thing as an over funded pension. Ask any commercial airline pilot like Sully.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  71. Jim

    Hire people who want to work for a living.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  72. barbara in nc

    If they would quit running multi-million dollar ads on tv daily, and stop picking up the tab for the multi-million dollar homes their top employees leave behind when they get transferred, maybe they wouldn't be in trouble. Maybe (also), they AND congress should get smaller pensions.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  73. Terry- Greensburg, IN "Hoosier Hillbilly"

    "What goes around comes around!" This is a statement 'i've made many times about anything & everything.
    Pony Express is coming back along with Wells Fargo mail delivery services and Obama will be riding "shoot-gun!"
    It'l be the only job he can get since he can't get jobs for anybody else; his assistant will be 'saddle bags' Michelle.
    Ye Ha ride'm cowboy!

    September 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  74. Richard in Kansas

    Make a $5.5Billion payment at month end and they are losing money? How's that work? Oh, I forgot. Another bailout with our money instead of just cutting jobs and Saturday delivery which is what any company would have to do as sad as it will be for employees.

    But wait, there is some good news. No Saturday delivery means one less day I have to go to my mail box for bills and junk mail! Hell, let's make it a 2 day break.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  75. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    Obama proposing to allow the U.S. Postal Service to raid its own pension fund is "throwing the U.S. Postal Service a life line"? What happens when that money can't be paid back? What would Obama say to those who'd been saving for retirement, and suddenly the money is gone? Just look at the Social Security fund. It's been raided time, and time, again, and the money has yet to be paid back. I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I find myself siding with the Republicans.
    I would like to know more about the cost cutting plan the U.S. Postal Service came up with.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  76. Paul P.

    Perhaps not, Jack. The big 3 automakers were in dire straits and a government bailout gave them a second chance they took good advantage of. While the Post Office is different, if Canada Post can remain viable up here in Canada, there is no reason the US Postal Service cannot do the same, albeit with alot of serious retooling. Still, there are simply too many potential unemployed here to simply let it fail without giving it a chance.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  77. Dennis north carolina

    The postal system should be treated like any other business that is failing, which is put it under the control of a team of top notch business people with the power to make the changes need to make the system profitable with out congress over site. if fed ex and ups can make a profit than the postal system can. we can not baby workers just because they fall under the eyes of the government which in its self can not balance a budget or be run like a business which it is.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  78. Jk from Minnesota

    It is obvious that it needs to change to survive. I think it would be helpful if Congress didn't have any management involvement with it – Congress doesn't seem to be able to manage a wet paper bag these days!

    I suspect there are a number of people like my mother out there who will NOT use a computer for anything that would be harmed if there wasn't a postal service. Not having a postal delivery service for them to pay their bills, get birthday cards, holiday cards, etc would be devasting to.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  79. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    While the Postal Service should not be abolished, due to the fact there are Americans who do not have e-mail or other such electronic means of receiving mail, reductions should be made, such as ending Saturday delivery. It's not like bills you get on Saturday can be paid same day and mailed on Sunday, anyway.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  80. Pete from Georgia

    I think the post office get's a raw deal.
    Over the past 55+ years I've mailed THOUSANDS of letters and parcels and never once had one single problem.
    Never.
    Ever.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  81. Gigi Oregon

    Let's keep the post office and clean up the top level of drones. Freeze wages. We are going to need the post office when we have a break down of the government and Internet providers. I'm more in favour of getting rid of the do nothing congress and the money we are throwing away, providing them with an income that is to much for the bit of nothing they are doing for the people and the maintance of "The United States of America" or should I have said the divided and decaying divided America. Take away all benefits, outlaw bribing (lobbyists). Now that's what I call throwing hard earned money, of the middle class, after bad governing.

    ------------------Obama 2012__________________________________________________

    September 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  82. David, Canada

    The Post office should be allowed to join horse-drawn milk delivery as another memory of the good old days. Convenient and nice, but not practical or cost-effective with changing markets and delivery technologies.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  83. Ralph Nelson

    This a a "phoney" issue. The Republicans House passed legislation requiring that the Post Office fund postal employee retirement programs for the next 75 years. Why? To break the back of the nation's second largest labor union, the Postal Workers. It is this disgraceful Republican "union busting" that is the problem here.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  84. Minesh Baxi

    Jack, Thanks for a very objective look at USPS numbers. We must keep a small portion under government control and privatize 80%. Let the market decide the price of the postage. UPS and FedEx will find new competitors and over the next few years we will discover more efficient ways to send mail and packages.Capitalism works every time it is tried as long as politicians can be kept honest!

    September 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  85. Greg McCarthy

    Jack, Well,the obvious answer to me to save the post office would be to outsource it,just like nearly everything else. Greg M. FL

    September 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  86. Pete in Milton, FL

    News flash, Jack. The U. S. Postal Services doesn't USE taxpayer dollars!

    September 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  87. elna in Georgia

    Jack –
    The USPS should be abolished. Technology has made it almost obsolete. What little mail is sent should be delivered by private carriers thereby creating private sector jobs. Can you imagine how much money this would save taxpayers?

    September 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  88. Dale

    This is a perfect example, The aggressive unions have out priced the employees, The Postal Service needs to be restructured, there are millions of senior citizens completely to pendant on the Postal Service for a wide variety of things for support.

    New Mexico

    September 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  89. Mark Oklahoma City

    Shut 'em down! Now! Yeah, they have threatened to stop Saturday delivery of BILLS to my house ffor the last twenty years and they never followed through. So, I know they were never serious about cutting costs. They get no sympathy from me.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  90. Theo

    The theory that USPS doesn't receive taxpayer funding is a myth. Nixon designated the USPS as an embedded federal entity which was supposed to operate separately from other federal agencies. They're unionized and have been operating in the red for many years and always going to the federal trough asking for billions of dollars to get bailed out. Postal employees are enrolled in the Federal Government Employee health care insurance programs but because of bargaining power they pay a small premium compared to what regular civilian federal employees. The USPS should be done away with and let the private sector handle the mail.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  91. Paul From Austin Texas

    The Postal Service is run on the cost of postage only so maybe they should raise the rates a dime per ounce on first class mail. So of the stupid things they Postal Service has done in the past and currently is to give customers free boxes and envelopes for priorty mail basicly another name for first class mail with a slightly higher rate. Then there was the Postal Services senior moments with the forever stamp buy stamps today say a thousand stamps for 45 cents and use them in 2045 when rates could be $5.00 a letter. Both not wise moves. The Postal Service should be told to run on the cost of Postage and no other funds. If that means delivery 3 days a week then so be it. Let time take the Postal Service on it course and it will just fade away as we know it.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  92. Rudy Padgett

    We really need the Postal Service. The only hope the Postal service has is for the union to make a few concessions.
    What is best-give up a little and save your job or give up nothing and lose everything? You can't keep on giving more than you are taking in.Unions are good, but their salaries and benefits have gotten outrageous. No wonder American business are moving out of the country.

    Rudy Padgett
    Roanoke, VA

    September 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  93. andyz Lynn, MA

    If you do a comparison with postal rates around the world you will find that the United States is paying far less than anyone else. Additionally, if its a case of needing more money then put a tax on email. Problem solved.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  94. Randy

    It should be put in the pentagon budget. After all the pentagon always seems to have tons of money to burn, 100 dollar per bag of soldiers' laundry, 15 dollar cans of soda, 1000 dollar a gallon gas for contractors, and endless overruns on almost every contract with crooks like haliburton and blackwater.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  95. Isidore Tamo

    If you are a republican, the government should do nothing and let the US postal service die quickly. If you are a democrat, the government should bail them out as soon as possible. Either way, the taxpayer is screwed.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  96. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    Let them charge more for junk mail. For first class mail let them charge a dollar. And have a seperate service for parcels. Closing the doors on saturdays won't effect me at all. The mail sorters, truck drivers and other back room workers can still work weekends, so the mail will be ready for delivery on monday. That works for me.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  97. Vickifb

    I think that we should cut the fat from the system, which we know exists. We need to eliminate not Saturday delivery but Wed delivery, then no one is out of service for two days in a row. They need to have guaranteed delivery for their special deliveries so that they are competitive, if they are not competitive there is no reason to have the organization.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  98. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    They, like many large corporations, should be allowed to restructure to catch up to the times.

    We must stop this compassionless attitude we have come to possess, and begin to worry about the hundreds of thousands of livelihoods that may be affected, instead of our own greed.

    Allow attrition to solve an over employment situation, and then restructure. But let's stop the absolute thinking of just throwing away people.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  99. Tom Bruce

    Drop mail service to three days a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Anythisng that needs to get delivered faster than that is sent by FedEx, UPS, or e-mail anyway. Keep first class mail rates the same; severely heighten 2nd and 3rd class postage rates. Let companies print stamps with their own logos for advertising and extra income to the post office. Individuals can also print their own stamps for issuance by the Post Office.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  100. How about this?

    Cut free deliveries to one day per week. If you want your mail delivered more often you will have to pay for the extra deliveries.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  101. Debra

    Of course we need the US Postal Service! How am I going to send those birthday and Christmas presents to my grand-daughter, great-nieces and -nephews? I can't email a coat! I am in favor of stopping Saturday delivery, closing down under-utilzed post offices, raising the price of stamps to 50 cents, and perhaps restructuring those retirement health benefit payments. They should take into account healthcare resources available to those who qualify for Medicare and work to supplement, rather than supplant Medicare. I can't believe the heartlessness of people who think it's OK to throw over 100,000 people out of work in this economic climate. Shame on you!

    September 19, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  102. bobsar

    They could cut staff 50% and get tthe same amount of declining work done. I worked there years ago and all the work was done by noon. Some of the guys worked other jobs in the afternoon while on the PO clock. Featherbedding to the max. What joke.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  103. marybeth, massachusetts

    Jack,

    I think the Post Office should be saved. Not all of us have computers or even internet access; in my town, we don't have internet access, which means I have to drive miles to the town that actually has internet service. And even if I had a computer and lived in a town that had internet access, I'm not sure I'd use the internet to pay my bills and for banking, not with all of the reports of hacking into people's accounts and identity theft.

    I still use paper to pay my bills, so I use the post office. The post office is a much better bargain for sending mail than FedEx or UPS. It only costs me 44 cents for a letter; it would cost nearly $20.00 to send that same letter using FedEx or UPS.

    Privatizing everything is not the answer to the budget woes; privatization means the costs go up because the owners and CEOs and big muckety-mucks have to make quarterly profits in the bazillions, which means the costs are passed along to us, the users. Private companies have more overhead and administrative costs compared to gov't, which also get passed along to customers.

    If you live in a big city, the loss of the post office will probably not impact you and people won't miss it. But here in the country and in the most rural parts of the country, many people still use the post office. Computers are great until your bank account is hacked and emptied out, or until someone in Nigeria steals your identity.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  104. corky

    Everyone talks about the internet like it can never go down, like it will always be with us no matter what disaster happens. I don't buy that. We need to keep the p.o. for communications, if just as a good bockup system that doesn't get "viruses".

    September 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  105. dave in nashville

    Tennessee breeds donkeys that have no work; sell the million fleet of trucks the post office fuels and put the carriers on jackasses with saddlebags. It won't take them any longer to deliver anyway. HEE HAW!

    September 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  106. roger from phoenix

    Nothing should happen. Excellent sorce for junk mail Jack .

    September 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  107. Glenn

    We still need the postal service. One way to raise revenue and cut down on the number of pieces of mail that has to be handled would be to raise the price on mass mailings (junk mail). Elimination Saturday delivery shouldn't be a big deal. Most people would hardly notice the change.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  108. Faye

    Someone needs to look into and report the whole truth. In 2006 Congress passed the "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act". Supposedly, this Act required the Postal Service to fund 75 years of liability over 10 years. What agency or company prepays insurance and pensions for 75 years in the future? How much excess money is in the two funds (health care and pension)? Is this just a continuation of our government trying to privatize all services. I don't like that our government is trying to privatize education, Postal Service, prisons, military and on and on.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  109. JomodaMusicMan

    Sure, who needs mail on saturday anyway. Actually mail could be delivered three days a week. Monday, Wed & Fri. Eliminate Junk mail 99% of it is thrown away

    September 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  110. Patrick

    Look, the Post Office delivers a lot less first class mail, but they now deliver a lot more packages than ever....WHAT?
    I buy a lot of things on-line and most of it come via the Post Office. You bet! So why is this NEVER mentioned?

    September 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  111. Dennis

    It should be allowed to modernize it pension plan and stop having to pay for future 75 years worth of retirees medical insurance payments. No modern business has to do this. Stop Sat. Delivery. Allow Post Office sites to sell in demand products like banking services or beer and wine. That what other countries do that have pofitable postal systyems.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  112. Cary

    E-mail didn't kill the Post Office it was opening up package deliveries to private companies. You notice that none of the private companies want anything to do with letter deliveries. They have always lost money it was the packages that kept the Post Office afloat. Private companies want the Post Office to shut down all package deliveries and shift that business into private hands. Congress has been more than happy to help. If they take away the last of the package business from the Post Office they'll have three choices, radically raise rates, heavy government subsidies or shut down. As always at the core of the mess are corporate profits. Look at everything from military spending to gutting the Clean Air Act and it always comes down to corporate profits.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  113. testerbill

    The Postal Service should reduce delivery to three times a week (Mon/Thurs & Tues/Fri & Wed/Sat.) That way an employee would deliver mail on three routes in 6 days, and two-thirds of the route personnal could be laid off. Also they could close some small offices as already discussed. In a small town, mail could be picked up at the grocery or the dry cleaners, as is already done in some places.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  114. JomoDaMusicMan

    Also raise the price of a postage stamp to $1. for personal use. This will not hurt anybody and for business raise it to -$.50 because they send millions of letters

    September 19, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  115. John Hald

    Why is Saturday mail delivery the issue? Daily mail delivery is done. Deliver every other day. Some areas would be on a M,W,F schedule; others on a T,R,Sat. schedule. This ensures every American gets mail every two days, would cut in half the number of mail carriers needed for deliveries, and put the post office back in the black.

    Los Angeles, CA

    September 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  116. Kate W. in San Jose, CA

    It seems to me like the Obama administration is throwing the USPS that lifeline because there are still millions of Americans who depend on the USPS for paying bills and receiving income (pension checks, SS checks, and so forth). If the USPS goes under, what will those people do? We may be "going digital" more and more each year, but not everyone has the resources for it. Would it be less expensive to supply those who need it with a computer and an ISP along with some basic training?

    September 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  117. testerbill

    If the postal service was a private corporation like the UPS or FedEx you would not have mail delivery to many communites in the US. It was made a federal responsibility in the beginning so that every town would have service. That would not happen under private ownership. Some people would have to drive 50 or 100 miles to get mail.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  118. leemarie50

    No government bail out. Renegotiate the union workers contracts and make them pay into their health care and retirement like other private citizens.

    Put it up for sale. Hopefully someone will come in and change the work ethic that can be seen in all the employees I ever run into. This concept is there are guarentees in life is a thing of the past. Work, work hard and benefit.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  119. bgaleles@yahoo.com

    If our government would allow the Post Office to operate like a private business there would be no problem. How many businesses do you know that have to fund their health benefits plan 6 years in advance. How many businesses have to ask the Postal Commission for permission to raise their rates. By alkl means get rid of the Postal Service. Where can hyou mail a letter for 44 cents and have it forwarded for a period of up to 6 months if the recipient has movedl Check how much it is to mail an envelope thru UPS for Fedex – it aint 44 cwentrs. The Postal Service was only supposed to generate an operating profit and was intended to provide an affordable service to everyone. Name one corporation that has a fully funded pension plan. What a joke. Sure, go ahead andnput another 600,000 people out of work, just ehat we need in this economy.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  120. Charles

    In my opinion, the Post office should average break even.As a start we should stop Saturday home delivery. We should keep the post office open on Saturday for drop off or pick up of home delivery. If the piece of mail was specified for Saturday pickup.
    If this does not get us in a break even point we should add a small monthly home delivery charge. Maybe a charge equivalent to a P.O. box if you want home delivery
    The Post office should always exist, but we need to figure out a way to keep it paying for itself

    September 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  121. Greg in Falls Church

    They complain that volume has fallen off, but I pass their busy private sector competitors as I walk home every evening. Meanwhile, the Post Office is only open weekdays from 9 AM to 5 PM, making it impossible for me to pick up mail except on Saturday mornings. If the Post Office would consider the convenience of the customers instead of their overpaid employees, it would not have any financial problems.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  122. Beverly

    First they should close the unneccessary places that they call post offices, raise the stamp by 2 cents and stop the mail on Saturdays.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  123. Theresa Davidsaver

    1. Mail delivery Monday, wednesday, Friday.
    2. Mailboxes currently next to homeowners door. Make them attached to porch. Will save carriers numerous steps everyday.
    3. Limit number of years that pension, medical care, can be ongoing. For example if retiring at age 55, no more than 30 years.
    4. Go ahead with plan to close percentage of mail distribution centers.
    5. Raise price of mail that is not first class. theresa and john Cuyahoga Falls Ohio

    September 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  124. Bob Daniels

    Decrease service to three days a week. Decrease employees to number required to meet that service level with aim at first class delivery in 2-3 days.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  125. John in Olympia WA

    Five things:
    (1) Raise postage rates. 44 cents is cheap among nations (Canada is 59c).
    (2) Allow USPS to close/consolidate post offices. In most cases a private partner can be found to provide PO type services.
    (3) Bring wages down to the same level as that enjoyed by UPS/FedEx. Similar pay for similar work.
    (4) Allow USPS to offer early retirement buyouts.
    (5) Do not allow USPS to dodge retirement obligations. There is a good reason to require that USPS pre-fund its retirement accounts, since otherwise the taxpayers will be on the hook.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  126. Fran in Rochester, NY

    I expect better of you Jack! Taxpayer's money down the drain? The USPS doesn't get taxpayer money. They are saddled with pre-paying the retirement/health costs for 75 years of FUTURE retirees in just ten years. No company in the US and no government agency has that provision. They're asking for some of the extra back to offset costs and a reasonable adjustment in the pre-payment plan. Why is this so difficult to grasp in Washington? Easy...this scam was perpetuated on the USPS because they made money while all other federal bureaus spent money. Most likely the feds already spent the postal money to pay for something else and now it isn't there so they blame the USPS for it asking for money back? And as for the shrinking mail volume all of the references are geared to the two highest volume years in history. Was there no Internet or e-mail four years ago? Remove the 5.5 billion per year burden and the USPS made over 500 million dollars last year. All they're asking is to get some of their own money back to get the ship righted and this is a "bailout" or "gimmickery"? Come on Jack, get the facts straight.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  127. Ethan from Florida

    The postal service should be a FEDERAL service. The postal service needs some sensible reforms that will make it run more efficiently, but remain a federal service.We should be opposed to privatization of the post office. We should not want multinational delivery companies to come in and buy up the USPS even if we are being offered cheap prices, we will pay through the nose later on.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  128. Tim Grady

    Every local, city, county, state and federal agency has done the same thing for years – make wild pension promises they couldn't keep and overpay for everything they touch. They are the worst run "businesses" in the land – using our money! No matter what the post office does, it will be out of business in 10 years. We'll be lucky if the federal gov't isn't like Greece in that same time period.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  129. Larry in Houston

    nearly everyone is doing everything on-line now days, Jack. And I mean everything from e-mail to bill pay. At the Christmas season, I know more people ( including me ) that sends boxes & packages through UPS or FED EX, or other special times of the year. If anyone in our household gets any mail, it's typically "junk mail" or ads from the local grocery stores & such. To be perfectly honest, If I didn't get mail delivery more than twice a week, it would be fine with me. Even the Businesses should start adjusting their mail delivery & receiving systems.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  130. CARA

    For starters they need a new Postmaster who is not all about private sector but for a service as originally started. The post office should be run like the police, fire etc.. It started out as a service to the people "we the people" and it has been run to the ground. It is no longer about a service but rather a Corporate business. Then they need to cut the Management jobs – They are extremly top heavy in management. The have managers who manage no one. Save the blue collar workers who provide a good service and start from the top rather than the bottom.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  131. Dan

    The USPS should immediately raise the rediculous "Bulk Rate" it charges to junk mailers and unwanted advertisers. While this would cut down on their volume -a bad thing for almost all businesses- this would raise revenues per item and help cut down on dealing with the clutter and weight they currently have to deal with. If there is the need to downsize, raise 1st class rates, fund pensions in a more normal fashion or close unneeded facilities, then so be it.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  132. Tony of Florida

    I agree with Bill of New Mexico. Charge all, yes, ALL, who uses the USPS service. Company's, politicians, everyone. The world needs this organization. The world should pay for it.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  133. Nel Osborn

    To be more realistic the post office should go down to 3 days a week delivery until they become solvent.
    Cutting just 1 day a week won't make enough difference.

    Or they could make P.O. Boxes free and charge for home delivery.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  134. Rick

    I may be in the minority on this, but Saturday delivery is a huge plus that the other services do not do well. Perhaps the USPS could limit Saturday delivery to packages and items that require signature confirmation. In rural areas that is often the only time someone is home. I have a pretty positive take on the USPS...most of their folks are dedicated and hard working. Privatizing this service might be trendy, but the reliability of the US Mail is what differentiates us from a lot of countries where mail is a crap shoot. do a fair amount of international mail and the system that we have here for tracking, ensuring, etc. beats pretty much everyone else hands down.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  135. CARA

    Oh and for the people who say it should be abolished – that is such a foolish statement. Do you even realize how many jobs are in the post office. Our unemployment rate would go through the roof. That would destroy our economy. We need to go back to a personal touch and hand write letters. Then we need to start buying USA made products and when we order things have it shipped by USPS. Since the post office is for the people we should be using their service! Oh and the Post Office is self sufficient – they fund themselves!!!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  136. turtlehead

    Well, if the Republiscum take over you can just hire 9 year olds for 50 cents an hour without benefits, no vacation, and forget safety issues....the Conservative's dream.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  137. Brian

    Jack,

    it would take a constitutional amendment to eliminate the Post Office, since it's one of the few very specific items outlined in the Constitution as a responsibility of the federal government. Eliminating them would be akin to eliminating the military from a constitutional standpoint. With that said, the Post Office needs to raise their rates – compared to UPS and FedEx, the Post Office is both faster and cheaper. With more appropriate rates, combined with modestly reduced salary and benefits for future employees, they'd be just fine.

    Brian
    Boise, Idaho

    September 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  138. Tony Lee Shumake Atlanta

    Well you know with those politicians using the USPS as their personal drawing well for other projects, I'm not sure they've ever been paid back for the bilions taken from their revenues by those Washington politicians. So yes President Obama should help the postal service. After all, do you want a bunch of angry postal workers going postal on you? I just believe they may, if they lose their jobs like everybody else is. After this, they can cut Washington loose and run it like a business – and don't allow Washington anymore dips in the well.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  139. David Chapman

    Same thing as the buggy whip!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  140. ray

    Go the way of the dinosaur! THE END!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  141. Bruce of DE

    Under Bush the post Office had to donate/be taxed 2 cents off each stamp toward the general treasury. Now, it seems appropriate for the general treasury to return the favor. It could easily be paid for by considering capital gains as ordinary income, which it is, or by ripping up NAFTA.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  142. Jim , Midcoast Maine

    Postal workers are making over $52,000 a year in salary to sort and deliver mail. Guess where the problem is ?

    September 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  143. Don

    Double the price of the 1st class stamp and cut package delivery costs to provide a real alternative to UPS and FedEx.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  144. Mary Harris

    Privatize it and let it sink or swim in the free market!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  145. NoneOfYourBusiness

    Don't get rid of Saturday delivery first off. Get rid of Wednesday, Thursday or even Friday. To have a two day gap with no delivery is not a good idea. MY mailbox will be stuff to the gills come Monday if there is no Saturday delivery.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  146. John Gilligan

    The retirement accounts Civil Service as well as fer's are over funded to the tune of $75 billion to $85 billion, yet need congress to get the over payments back. They are funding future healthcare cost for future worker for the next 75 years, yet no other company does this private or public. This was done by congress again in 2006 with the postal service reorg. act. There were 850,000 employees when they decided to fund this . Well in the next 10 years they could be down to 300,000 employees. This means this account will be over funded as well.
    The smart thing to do is give the money back like when you need money move it from your saving account to your checking account, the same thing here. Then do buyouts so as to keep the cheaper younger workers. This could be done for every 10 that retire you hire 2 or less.
    Remember this mess was creative by congress, they need to fix it not Postal Employees !

    September 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  147. Aaron

    The U.S. post office needs serious help, I have personally had three packages stolen from me in the last five years and had one letter returned undeliverable (despite living at that address for over two years) which cost me over two thousand dollars in fees due to that mistake. Either fix the postal service or fire them all and let UPS and Fedex deliver physical mail. Realistic alternative: only deliver mail ever other day.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  148. Todd

    Jack, although I agree that the postal service needs reform and trim costs, the question is timing. THe Republicans just can't get it through their heads, now is not the time to have massive layoffs...not in the private sector and not in the government. That time will come after we recover. STOP KICKING THE DOG (ECONOMY) THAT IS DOWN.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  149. Ed

    Isn't taking money from one one account to spend on what it wasn't intended for the reason we have problems with SSN, Medicare, etc...? when can we depend on the "government" to follow thoughtful allocation of funds for their intent...

    September 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  150. Roy from Phoenix

    It's fairly simple, keep 1st class postage stamps at 45 cents but raise the fee for mailing credit card solicitations to 1 dollar. That keeps the USPS in business and makes consumers happy and distributes some of the wealth the thieving bankers have stolen from us over the past years.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  151. Chris from Cleveland

    Jack I believe we should either seriously reform the Postal Service or get rid of it all together. We use email and instant messaging so much now and with other options like UPS and FedEx what need do we have for it anymore? I think we need to seriously look at some government agencies and decide what we really need.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  152. Bruce Searles

    Jack, there have been no Tax Dollars in the Postal Service since 1983. Those $6.9 billion in over payments to the retirement fund were legislated by our Congress as a slush fund for their use.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  153. Doug (from Miller Place, NY)

    Jack, Fed-ex and UPS, which are infinitely more efficient in delivering timely pieces of mail, are private entities that are profitable. If the Post Office cannot follow the lead of these types of companies during these times, then they don't deserve a bailout. I am a self-employed individual who pays full brunt for Medical, and who funds his own 401K. No one bails me out, when times are tough, and I'm tired of paying for the ineptness of others.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  154. Juan A Martinez

    The Post Master General has said repeatedly that there are no TAXPAYER dollars at risk in the running of the post office. Why does this question imply the contrary?

    September 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  155. kim moon

    I go to my mailbox at the front of my community center and once every two weeks i stop by and empty out all of the crap that they put in there, so the mailman can have enough room to put more in. I pay all of my bills on line and havent sent a letter to anyone in my adult life.........I'm 55. Close it, cut back to 5 day delivery, whatever. It just a nusance for me.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  156. Thelma

    Jack, The postal service may be a dinosaur but there are still some of us dinosaurs out here who use it.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  157. Dennis

    Its like any other business: as long as the government keeps its hands tied with excessive regulation, no company could stay in business. The solution is to thet the government off their backs. They might evem nake a profit.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  158. Brigham in Utah

    Make the USPS a web site instead of brick an mortar – Staff accordingly.
    No Saturday service! Wow, I will have room in by neighborhood mailbox for all my catalogs and junk mail in Monday!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  159. kate rhodes

    Whydoesn't anyone tell the public that Congress passed a law mandating the US Postal Service to PRE FUND all employees retirement plans! Maybe Congress should treat FedEX and UPS the same and then see what the cost of postage and mailing fees would be!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  160. James

    What should happen? Exactly what the postmaster general suggests. Obama just doesn't get it.....you have to cut costs. Why is this so hard for Obama to understand...

    September 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  161. Joel Kaufman

    The postal service should be privatized. It is one of the most poorly run government services that I know of. Their service has become poor and there is poor accountability. Try making a complaint. Why must the tax payer have to keep bailing out a poorly managed and a poorly run agency?

    September 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  162. John Locks

    The postal service will eventually have to become a package delivery service like UPS or Fedex. It will cost 5 dollars to send a letter but sending a letter will be a rare novelty. But lets not get a head of ourselves the we're not there yet, not everything is ready for that. I still have to send a physical check to pay my rent.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  163. Sarah Kellum

    Microsoft and other large, very profitable corporations who have profited from the email explosion of the past 20 years should financially support the postal service while they are downsizing.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  164. RickFromDetroit

    They should void their union contract and start laying off employees and downsizing their facilities. The USPS may experience an upswing in business if the economy improves, but this is going to be a short term gain, and the long term outlook for the USPS is, they will be left with delivering our "Online Orders" [packages] and with the expansion of the internet it is very unlikely their their will be any "paper mail" 20 years from now.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  165. Don from Whitney, Tx

    Cafferty- Your comment "Yet our government is intent on throwing more taxpayer dollars down the drain." in reference to the President's proposal is totally inaccurate ;almost National Enquirer status. The govt actually does the opposite in they require the Postal Service to pay decades in advance on a pension fund so they themselves can "raid" the funds to pay for the endless spending they continue to do. The Postal Service should be allowed to provide the service as required by the US Constitution to ALL Americans rather than to just those who can afford private rates.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  166. Kevin from MA

    Sadly you have to let it go under. Though the postal service has been an icon in America, America itself has out paced it. Its sad to think that so many people will become unemployed, especially since I'm a Union worker. But the antiquated and out dated postal service is an industry that just cant be sustained.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  167. Jj

    Email your congressmen to privatize it, oh wait...doh!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  168. Nathan Mihelich

    The post office should be restructured to deliver to only 1 day per week. There's no need for mail everyday. The only regular mail we get anymore is junk and bills! If expedited delivery is needed mailers should use Fedex or UPS. It's that simple! Nathan MIhelich, 33, New Lenox, Illinois

    September 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  169. David Peltier

    I would not like for the postal service to end. It was one of the most earliest accomplishments in American history and I am proud to have it. The postal service should just expand routes to cut down on trucks and raise stamp prices by 1 or 2 cents. If they think laying off workers is the key to keeping it going, well they are wrong.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  170. Marty, Houston, TX

    How about bringing their absurd level of benefits down with the rest of us? A postal worker/patient of mine was enjoying disability payments while off work. As long as she remained off work her nurse/caseworker informed me that the worker's salary would be 80% but would be TAX FREE. I said "wouldn't that mean she would be making more money OFF WORK than working? The nurse's reply? YES.
    There is something immoral about that.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  171. Mike, Simi Valley, CA

    Cut delivery days by 50%. Deliver half of the mail on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the other half on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I can wait one extra day to get my electric bill and politaical brochures.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  172. Ralph

    I gave my congressman thousands to keep our post office off the closing list.

    Dulles, Virginia.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  173. Paul K.

    I work for DOD and we use FedEx. Why does the government do this? Are they biting the hand that feeds them? Madness.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  174. Geoff Lindemer

    The USPS is a dinosaur that missed the boat a generation ago when communication began to change. It's too late to salvage the USPS from its own poor management. Now is not the time to raise rates and subsidize a bad business model. It must change quickly or die. It is no longer a sound business model.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  175. Pam Williams

    The over funded pension plan money should go back to the Post Office. They should also get all or part of the $50 billion over paid into the civil service plan. This is not allowed because our Nations deficit would increase by that amount. How many of us would not want our money back if we overpaid for something? The USPS does not receive any tax revenue. It's funny how the Post Office is only considered part of the government when the government needs it"s money or when it needs to make adjustments it must have Congress approval!! I myself still love to receive a card in the mail instead of an e-card. What kind of a bafoon thinks that is a kind gesture? Save our Post Offices.!!!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  176. barbara turpin

    I live in a very small town in Virginia. Not only do we rely on the USPS for mail, but the PO is also a social gathering/news sharing place for the community. We already live in a society that discourages interaction among people with all the texting, twittering, facebooking, etc. We should not further isolate people by closing post offices. We have become a nation of people who have lost the fine art of communication and that is a terrible loss.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  177. Ronda (from Canastota, NY)

    Raise the price of stamps, eliminate Saturday delivery, charge more for "bulk rate" (i.e., junk mail), and hire executives who can better manage postal revenues. The postal service shouldn't be eliminated, as there are still many people who don't have or can't afford computers for e-mail and therefore depend on the postal service to pay bills. For the most part, the postal service does an excellent job. If these few changes will keep hard-working employees like my sister, who's a 30-plus-year postal mail carrier, from losing her job, then I'm all for it.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  178. Juan A Martinez

    Bring the PO into the 21st Century. Get the 150 million addresses it serves daily to pay a subscription fee to have their mail delivered each year. Say $150. I would pay the fee and in addition the postage rate as well. The mail is still that important. However if you would prefer not to receive mail then dont pay and go to the PO to pick up your mail.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  179. Patrick Walsh

    I have no connection to the Post Office whatsoever so I have no reason to be biased.
    I still cannot believe that for 45 cents I can stick a piece of paper in my mailbox and someone will carry clear across the country for me in a few days. We should be thankful for the Postal Service as we should for many things we take for granted. Patrick Walsh from Mt. Olive, NJ

    September 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  180. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – The postal service imperative to physically deliver a letter to any legal address in the United States is simply uneconomic. No other nation expects its postal service to run like a business. Snail Mail is a government service – it costs money, it does not make money. In order for it to make money it has to provide insufficient service! If you want it to be more solvent, give it back its monopolies that were taken to create FedEX and UPS. Otherwise, just shut up and pay the bills, like well-behaved sovereign power, instead of whining about how the public cannot afford the service it demands..

    September 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  181. Matthew Steinbacher

    I support the postal service and the men and women who work for this agency. These men and women deliver mail through any weather conditions rain,sleet,or snow. I would rather see the government help out this agency instead of giving these corporations money who send american jobs overseas. Its a sad time in America when the only thing we seem to do best is allow jobs to leave.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  182. Tomcat

    The post office should STOP delivering junk mail to every house or charge them the same as first class. In this way, a postman would only delver mail that people actually want instead of piles of junk mail. You could still deliver every day but could most likely hit only a few houses instead of every house which means less carriers saving money, fuel & time. UPS would be out of business if it tried to deliver to every house and business.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  183. Sandra

    I think there is still a need for the postal service. However, it needs to be redefined for today's culture. The steps outlined by the postal service and the Obama administration is a step in the right direction.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  184. Marilyn, North Carolina

    Deliver mail only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. No one really needs to get mail every day. If you need something the next day, then use FedEx or UPS.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  185. Angela from Bakersfield

    If businesses no longer provide a service consumers want or need, they don't stay in business long. I rarely send anything via USPS, and I only check my snail mail once every week or so. Everything that's important, I now receive by email. I say do away with Saturday service, and cut any other services that aren't needed. But the USPS should not get a bailout from the government. Its a dying breed.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  186. Daniel I. Radakovich

    A post office is essential to a democracy. It is an organ of govenrment not something that must rely onthe market and should not be asked to. Before the semi-privatization ofthe postal servccie none of these problems were around. They should A) raise first class to $.50/piece, they should up the cost of junk mail to $.33/piece, they shoud not count on making a profit and should just go about their business, inclusive of lookng at trains instead of airfreight and local mail sorting not having to go to massive distribution centers first.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  187. carlos silva

    As a driver for Ups our contract/union has us making decent money even on layoff.we carry already and help the usps with package delivery.Usps must raise stamps,and cut more unnecessary facilities.some facilities are too big.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  188. Sid

    No use of my tax dollars please, I can't afford anymore bailouts. Do whatever a private corporation has to do to turn things around. But that may be asking too much while President Obama is in office.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  189. John Barton

    Just let it die Jack..just like the space program.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  190. devinjgray

    I'm embarrassed to admit I'm not CERTAIN of this, but I think the Constitution of the United States directs that the U.S. government must provide a postal service. If I'm right, I don't see any reason to change the constitution, and I do not think the USPS should be done away with entirely. I don't want to get into the political bickering that plagues every single CNN opinion page. I believe that the USPS should take the steps necessary to modernize as much as possible, cut services (I think cutting Saturday delivery is fine), shut down branches that can be shut down, and be as creative as a private enterprise to find other ways to cut costs.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  191. Gary Horn

    The USPS has announced plans to close more rural and small village post offices and consolidate some operations while also promoting the idea that Post Office operations and services can be consolidated into grocery stores where minimum wage and part time, non- Postal employees can receive and dispense mail and mail services. It should be pointed out that the USPS is obligated to serve ALL Americans, regardless of geography, at uniform price and quality. SERVICE is the U.S. Postal Service's ONLY product! That service is GUARANTEED every man, woman and child in the continental U.S., Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories and Possessions including American Samoa, by statute and law providing Universal Service at Uniform Rates. Due to enactment of the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), the Postal Service is obligated to pre-fund future (not even hired yet, but funding 75 yrs.out) retiree health benefits to the tune of $5.5 billion before selling its first stamp each fiscal year for 10 years. That's quite a hole to start off each fiscal year. Efforts to enact H.R. 1351 introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) which would address the cause of the USPS financial crisis without cutting pay and benefits, eliminating collective bargaining rights, or slashing service, are blocked by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  192. K Hillman

    After what happened to the last parcel I sent through the U.S. Postal Service, they can shut it down for good. Some of the neanderthals working there should be on the umemployment line.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  193. B Bolton

    Hey Jack in order to fix the USPS you need more volume of mail, packages and letters. Although medical marijuana is not the topic it is part of the solution. If marijuana was not classified as a scedule one drug and if there were sensible federal laws reguarding its distributution via the USPS and the WWW. The USPS would be working seven days a week.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  194. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    Why not sell the P.O. to the Chinese? They seem to be able to do well. Of course, that would mean we would need to restructure our laws about child labor, when they recruited some school kids to do the mail. I'm a little leery about the kids driving the mail trucks, too.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  195. Erik - Denver

    Although it is undeniable that technology has changed the way that we exchange information the Postal Service is still very necessary. Businesses rely upon it and while it is often the butt of a lot of jokes, the Postal Service is in general very efficient at what it does. Obama's solution seems like a good one to keep the organization running. Privatization would be a horrible idea. If you think that companies like UPS and FedEx could deliver letters and magazines as well as they do packages then you are deluding yourself.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  196. MC in TX

    The fact that FedEx and UPS continue to thrive is a testament to the fact that there is a market for the general type of product that the USPS offers. But a major shift in its offerings needs to happen. Perhaps a monthly fee for regular service is appropriate (i.e. you don't get standard mail unless you pay a monthly service charge). Perhaps the USPS should get into becoming an internet service provider of sorts. But regardless the USPS should at least be able to continue to sell a product that is comparable to the private carriers.

    Fundamentally a major part of the solution to the postal service's problems is to cut it off from draconian regulations. Regulations ensuring transparency and enforcing some reasonable guarantee that it maintains its commitments are importan. But the fact that so much of its basic operation is regulated by the legislature is crazy. If Congress won't fund it they should not dictate the price of stamps or how it manages its finances. Perhaps the only way Congress would be willing to do that would be to privatize the USPS. Personally that is a bit scary to me in that then the government would have no influence to ensure that universal mail service continues. But it is better than the whole thing just going under.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  197. peter burnette

    Jack,
    They should start out by firing the guy who had millions of boxes printed, passed out to customers, and told to pay for it when they ship.

    Do you realize how many of these boxes will never leave peoples attic after packing up stuff to store?

    peter b.
    Seattle, WA

    September 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  198. Pat Herring

    Why are you asking me? Just go straight to the union, who can then in turn go straight to the president who can then proclaim, "So let it be written. So let it be done."
    Pat Herring, Huntley, IL

    September 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  199. Barry Black

    Halve the salary cost and limit future pension costs by going to mail delivery 3X a week. Deliver to half the town on Mon, Wed, and Fri. Do the other half on Tue, Thur, and Sat. There's no need for mail service 6X a week!

    Barry Black, Hillsdale, NJ

    September 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  200. Leonard NC

    Jack think about it, the United States Postal Service is the only organization that can deliver a letter, package, or magazine to every address in the world and some of us do depend on that type of service

    September 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  201. Monica

    I like the US Postal Service! It's an American testament of our history. I've always wanted to be pen pals with someone and receiving snail mail makes me really happy. Plus a lot of people use US Postal for packages and I feel like I can really trust our governments Postal service to deliver our packages more so than a private company. And besides that I would be ashamed and pissed as hell if the National postal service went under but Fedex was still going strong. As for how to keep funding it, I've heard other entities are draining the Postal revenue. Why can't we just leave the mail alone? The Postal service is obviously a business that dosn't or shouldn't make more than it actually needs to sustain itself and yet we get people trying to scam others! What the heck?! It's petty, greedy, and childish. Grow up, and just let people get their mail delivered.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  202. Mary Lou

    Jack,
    Are you kidding me? We need to save the postal service, of course.
    I'm ALL FOR saving the planet by not killing trees, recycling, turning off my lights and etc... but how do we send Grandma (who has NO computer) a birthday card without the post office? Do I have to use Fed ex to send a letter? Yikes, no!

    Talk about hurting the middle class! This will hurt us big time!!!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  203. Bob Wicker

    It's obvious that the postal service is just another overinflated federal bureaucracy whose time is over. When you look at all the unnecessary overhead; such as 3,200 underutlized post offices, a bloated pension system, and excessive government oversight and regulations, it's not hard to ask if it's time to get rid of the institution and look to privatize the mail service. The Pony Express outlived its usefullness too, Jack!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  204. MW

    I for one could do without all the direct mail ads, catalogs and (with this political season coming up) political attack ads. The ACTUAL mail I need could be delivered one or two days a week and I would be perfectly happy. Cut days, raise rates and cut staff or go the way of the dinosaurs

    September 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  205. Susan Hayes

    Postal service clerks earn $25.25 per hour or $52,520/year (The Tennessean 9/18/11). How on earth did their salaries get so high? Perhaps it's time for a salary review so their wages will be more in line with other similar jobs.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  206. yikes

    I live in an area where there are several methods of delivery. My mail is put in a box (dedicated to just my address) in front of my house where a driver puts the mail in it. In another area there are 5 boxes in front of 1 house and the driver delivers to 5 addresses at one location. In another location the "mailman" actually walks up to each house and puts the mail into a door slot or a small box. In another area the driver gets out of the truck and puts mail in a huge box that contains 30 boxes for 30 separate addresses (like an apartment but outside for single family housing. Obviously something is wrong here – 4 methods all within 1 square mile. They need to have more continuity and use only 2 methods. Get rid of walk-up service. get rid of 5 boxes for 5 addresses on 1 property – people get really angry about having to take care of 4 boxes that don"t belong to them. Also, raise the cost of a stamp to $0.47 – with another increase to follow one year later. Close as many buildings used a a full service location. Do it like FEDEX – some full service but mostly storefront. I want my mail!!!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  207. Marta from Phoenix

    The United States Postal Service is not passe. Many businesses use it on a daily basis, as do people who do not
    use the internet. They have overpaid the fund substantially, and should be allowed to take that money back. They are
    being held to a different standard than any other federal agency. You might ask yourself why? And is there any motive
    to break their union?

    September 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  208. Linda in Arizona

    The Postal Service was required to pre-fund their retirement health fund when no one else was. They should be allowed to do what they need to do internally as any other business would be allowed to do. They are NOT funded by taxpayers, and operate as a business. Of course, the republicans are salivating at the prospect of privatizing the Post Office. Why does letting the Post Office move funds internally equate in your mind with "our government... throwing more taxpayer dollars down the drain"? That is a completely spurious statement. I want the Post Office to continue to be the Post Office, not some private contractor hiring people off the street to handle and deliver my mail. We NEED the Postal Service, especially in poor and rural areas where other carriers won't go. If eliminating Saturday deliveries would help, I'm willing to accept that. After all, UPS has NEVER had Saturday delivery. Also, people shouldn't expect to have their mail delivered to a hole in their door. Put a box on the street and walk a few feet. It will do your fat behinds a favor. Meanwhile, quit picking on the PO. Overall, they do an excellent job.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  209. william Gillen

    Like all outdated entities, the USPS must find its new place. Stop Saturday delivery, close many many unnecessary post offices, keep some others on limited schedules and lay off all those postal employees seemingly on permanent break when customers form long lines. UPS could handle it easily at a profit

    September 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  210. Scott in Oregon

    It should have to SINK or SWIM, like the rest of American. If they swim it means making proactive changes to turn a profit, and that's a good thing. If they sink it means others will fill in the gaps and/or step up to the plate, which is also a good thing. Bailouts are NEVER a good idea, especially when our broke government is the one handing out the money.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  211. mike in CA

    People are certainly rough on the post office. To think or imagine that it can run like a business is to simply say abolish it. It will and never did make a profit because it was never designed to. It simply never will based on its mission to deliver mail to any far off and isolated place which iit has a legal obligation to do so at a fair rate. Keep in mind that it is also the second leading employer in th US behind only wal mart. Discarding it means lots more unemployed.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  212. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    Raise the cost of 'junk' mail to $0.30/oz. Stop Saturday mail delivery and close all post offices on Saturday.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  213. charlie

    The last thing you want to do is privatize the u.s. mail.you think stamps are expensive now! Not everybody has a computer or knows how to pay there bills on line not to mention the problem with identity theft. Maybe we might have to pay a couple of cents when we pay a bill on line.It's hard to compete with free.Oh yea,one big solar flare and we are all screwed!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  214. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, a word from the old West to answer you question. Ask yourself - what ever happened to the Pony Express? When it was established it took 10 days to get a letter from New York to San Francisco. All these years later using the US Postal Service, it still does. The Express went out of business most likely due the high price of hay. The current postal system appears to have run out of gas.should too.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    September 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  215. Matt Williams

    USPS should eliminate 2-3 days of delivery, raise parcel post rates that actually reflect the cost to deliver it and relax some of its insane collective bargaining rules---you can never lay off employees really---and we wander why the govt waste money. And I dont want to see another add from postal union about not touching taxpayer money---–you already got 15 billion and your hand is out for more.............

    September 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  216. omalley

    Your remarks left out some important facts – taxpayers do not sustain the post office. The sale of stamps sustain it. The US post office was financially sound until congress passed a 2006 postal reform law requiring the USPS to pre-fund 75 years' worth of future retiree health benefits within just 10 years. It accounts for 100 percent of the Postal Service’s $20 billion in losses over the past four years and for 100 percent of the rise in the Postal Service’s debt in recent years. If we lose the US post office, see how quick fed ex and UPS rates sky rocket. The U.S. Postal Service provides basic service to people who can't afford to use private businesses. Also fed ex and UPS don't always deliver to rural areas.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  217. Richard

    Its the unions, we are seeig this administration pandering to the auto workers unions, and the same here. The unions are putting too much pressure on the economy, and should be reined in first by disbanding the NLRB.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  218. JT

    Maybe USPS should be outsourced to UPS and become profitable overnight? UPS offers practically the same services and surely could add mail delivery 3-4 days a week at a reasonable price. Postal problem solved!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  219. Diane in Phoenix

    Save the Post Office! We still need it. Email doesn't do it all. I depend on catalogs for my shopping. Can't look at computer screens for hours. Some of my friends don't even have computers or email. I ge good service from USPS. There's something refreshing about getting mail–even some of the junk mail– which I get plenty of. I don't like getting wedding invitations on email. Not personal enough. Save the post office. My delivery people are wonderful people.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  220. stepasidesue

    I love the post office and everyone else should too. When was last time your cable or satellite dish company came to your door, yet most people pay them well over one hundred dollars A MONTH and all they do for you is flip a switch to give you service. How about your cell phone service. This may not seem relevant but the country is made up of primarily small towns who know their postal servers personally. All it costs you is .48 cents a letter. Do you think the costs would stay the same along with the service in the private sector. Increase the price substantially for junk mail If everyone bought an extra book of stamps a month, the system could survive. Of course we know all of the postal workers will lose their pensions not to mention jobs.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  221. Melinda Mitravcih

    I'd pay more for mail. I like getting my mail through the postal service. – I know a great many people who can't afford or don't know how to learn or don't trust computers-heck the more we rely on them the more we set up ourselves up for cyber attacks. and Fed Ex and Ups charge way too much for the same service. We can't keep letting this anti-government rhetoric take everything away especially since the people who suffer the most are the least likely to know other alternatives. I know veterans who rely on the post office and taking it away so they can pay more for the service sickens me. Why can't we old people have something we like and depend on.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  222. Michael

    If the post office can't operate effectively on it's own then it needs to be privatized and if that fails then we validate one key point that the Government Cannot be allowed to run anything. This becomes an example of continued requirments for bail out money from Taxpayers. Enough is enough. Shape up or ship out!!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  223. tom

    The post office should stop giving a 75 percent discount to nonprofits on their postage. Why does the post office have to subsidize charities.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  224. Rob

    Man, a lot of know it all`s here about the Post Office. The truth of the matter is most of these people don`t know two things about what they are talking about. Pre-funding of retirement benefits and an over-bloated upper management that thinks like private corporations do, cut the worker and service and expect that to fix things. Wrong, you want to fix the PO, trim the excessive fat at the top and stop pre funding retirements. Wages for the PO are on the same par as UPS and Fedex. All use union labor. It is not the lower level employees, it is the higher waged employees that are not union that are the problem. Non union programs like buying million dollar homes at incredible losses so they could jet set upper management around the country. Programs that paid the PMG twice what the Prez makes in bonuses for failure. That is right the out going PMG made 1 million largely due to bonuses while the PO was tanking.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  225. samuel agyei

    jack, if it would cut $3 trillion from deficits over the next 10 years, which is very good, i think president obama should go ahead.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  226. Joshua Reese

    The USPS is faced with an illogical prepayment schedule for its retirement benefit packages. If Obama allows the USPS to borrow against this overly funded cash cow, this would only make sense. Having to cover future payouts up to 80 years in advance is as ridiculous as the GOP jumping all over Barack's case for attempting to salvage the one area of federal government that maintains functionality. After all, it was Republican Senator Olympia Snowe that birthed the idea which led to this fiscal calamity – even she now supports alternative methods. We'll just have to wait for the new bill to pass through Congress. Good luck there.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  227. Ed Cwalina

    Well a good place to start might be to cut the 800 grand salary and benifit package that the postmaster general recieves...but to operate like a business they need to remove the reigns of congress in order to run it like a business.....they shouldnt need to wait for congressional approval to raise postage rates because fuel prices most definitly dont need approval to go up....and if ups can operate at a profit why cant the us postal service....probally because ups does not need to wait 2 years for congress to approve a rate increase

    September 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  228. David Benjamin

    A calm and reasoned discussion of what to do about something so essential as the postal service needs to look at all the accounting of what happens to the USPS revenue and the laws that govern how the USPS must distribute that revenue. Rash suggestions by TV commentators on what to do about our infrastructure are useful to get the debate going but we need to realize that we do not know what would happen if the USPS was allowed to collapse, and we should not risk finding out! This is like the discussion about other government regulated corporations created by Congress, such as Amtrak, that has been hamstrung since inception by antiquated laws governing how and where it must serve our transportation needs. Rather than crow about too much money going down the drain, perhaps Jack would like to actually suggest a solution, seeing as how millions of people out there in TV land listen to you. And there are many kinds of correspondence that have to be done physically, so that businesses like Amazon have a way to economically ship us our books.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  229. Jenny

    What the PO SHOULD DO is cut the management down. Too many big fish in a small pond. Management alone WASTES money. They bring in "idiots" from another area, pay for all expenses, to and fro home EVERY WEEKEND, put them in hotels, hire rentals and then they MOAN they are not making enough money. They WASTE it! NO.. the Postal Office does not need to be privatized. If it is, then its over. Margaret Thatcher privatized just about everything over in the UK and afterwards it all went to pot (I'm an UK xpat). Those who rant on about cutting this and that and making it private, are talking out their ass and obviously have NO connection with working for the PO! The PO needs to reinvent itself and keep up with competition – not close everything. The management need to be replaced with people who have BRAINS in their heads, instead of the current morons who are destroying it.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  230. RonnieD

    Let them go under the same as any other company. I'm sick & tired of all the unions benefiting from everyone else's misery.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  231. John

    Jack,

    Get your facts straight, the Postal Service does NOT receive any tax dollars. All revenues are from stamps and services. In addition, why is it that the Postal Service the only agency required to pre-fund its health/pension for 75 years.

    John

    September 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  232. andrew

    They will never allow privatization. Too many of our elected officials abuse the usps with ther FREE campaign propaganda every two to four years, which costs the postal service millions and millions dollars to deliver.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  233. Jay

    While it's true that there is fewer pieces of mail sent using USPS, it is not true that all of that decrease could be contributed to the electronic way. Look at UPS and FEDEX. They thrive! They thrive even though they charge much more for the same services. Give me a brake. Ups charges about $10 for second day delivery while USPS 49 cents. Ridiculous! The fault is on the congress which does not allow USPS to function as the normal business and to compete with the other two.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  234. Judy

    First, the overpayment to the pension fund is 75 bill. that the US treasury already has for a pension plan that is no longer offered to employees. Second, the 5.5bill payment is for FUTURE retirees healthcare 75 years out. No tax payer dollars fund USPS, so what should they do, the US treasury should give back the overpayment of 75 bil, get rid of the requirement to fund healthcare 75 years out, get rid of the top management who can't figure that out and let the worker bees continue to provide the service they are best at. Also don't forget the USPS is not just about delivery it is also a life line for many elderly and the first line of defense to get out emergency meds to all americans if there was a biological attack. I just wish people would check the facts. Also Jack if Cnn funded healthcare 75 years out and paid 75 billion extra to a pension fund which no new hires can't even get how long would they last? HUH!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  235. pat m.

    I think that the action that the president suggested for the u.s. postal service is more appropriate then adding 100,00 or more unemployed postal employees to the already tremendous unemployment rate. I believe that it is preferrable to permit the postal service to borrow against the retirement benefits that it pays well in advance to the fund ( the fund is paid-in years in advance.) Why didn't CNN object more strenuously when tax payers footed the bill to bail out Wall Street greed? There are many people who still rely on the post office for medications-by -mail, and other services.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  236. Michael

    The US Postal service needs an overhaul and become competitive with UPS and FedEx, that means making shipments much more business friendly and make them DEPENDABLE & Accountable, But do have a question, If they are in such a financial crunch... including possibly eliminating Sat delivery and closing branches, does it really make sense to spend money on advertising to convince the US Public they solvant??? Money seems much better spent on many other things...!!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  237. william Gillen

    Let private industry at it!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  238. Jose , from illinois.

    Jose, 33 years with the post office.. 4 years in the Marines. Retired this year and I'm already bored to dead. The post Master General is on the right track. There is a lot of fat in the postal service that need cutting. Closing down processing centers and post offices is coming. Going to 5 day delivery is coming. 50 % of the post offices need to be close , Why ? they don't make a profit. The reason they remain open ? the politicians won't let the postal service close those offices, but they will now.. Just don't let the postal service control the pensions, why ? they will use the funds and not pay it back like the politicians are doing to the Social security fund. DO not let the postal service get control of our pension fund, please. Semper Fi.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  239. Patrick- Massachusetts

    The Postal Service needs to be allowed to run like business. End all of these ridiculous policies of not letting stamp prices exceed the price of inflation and the ridiculous union contracts.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  240. Joe

    2006 Congressional mandate put on the US Postal Service contained in the “Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006” to pre-fund healthcare benefits of future retirees, a 75 year liability over a 10 year period. ( future employees NOT even born yet )
    ++ Someone was NOT thinking ++ This mandate expense never adjusted into the price of stamps..
    Who in their right mind thought this up ??
    NOTE: the funds in this is NOT taxpayer dollars.. it comes out of the Post office monies deposits from the sell of stamps.
    1st thing to do : KILL this 2006 Act.. at least until the PO budget is correct then RE-Adjust this 75 years to 10 or 20 years.
    2nd : REFUND the overpayment.. Pay their expenses,
    3rd : Kill Saturday Delivery.. save that fuel & payroll expense
    4th : Remove as much of CONGRESS as they can from what is needed
    .... ( I'm surprised CONGRESS can go to the bathroom by their-selves )
    5th : approve an increase of 1st class to 50 cents and Don't penny me to death
    ...... increase JUNK MAIL Postage !
    6th : close the small PO's.. move into Walmart, Kmart & such
    7th : slowly reduce the congested mail sorting facilities where they can without harming 1 to 3 day delivery and
    STOP the mail sorting consolidations when their profits are in line !
    .

    September 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  241. Anthony

    Let the post office die, workers are uneducated and way overpaid, just like the autoworkers.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  242. Ray

    The USPS is not funded by the government and receives no tax dollars, although it has mandates (universal service) and micro-mamagement by congress. The amount in question to be paid from the retirement fund is what has been determined to be an overpayment by the Postal Service to the fund. Finally, the mandate that 5.5 Billion per year be paid for future health care for postal retirees is unheard of and there is no other agency or private comany that comes close to this unfair mandate. Take away the 5.5 billion yearly mandate for the next few years, the Postal Service would be near their mandate to "break even".

    September 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  243. K Hillman

    After what the knuckle-dragging neanderthals did to my last parcel, they can close the U.S. Post Office for good

    September 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  244. jay ny

    What you don't know is the postal service has also about 75 billion with a b in over payments in the civil service portion of our retirement system two independent audits proved that. Without the additional retirement funding 75yrs in advance they would be making a profit.There are numerous bills in congress which are being blocked by rep. Issa because he wants his own bill voted on which give congress even more control over the Post Office. Didn't they do enough damage with the bill in 2006 which started this mess.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  245. Scott Marcot

    How to handle the Post service for financial melt down? Order all members in Congress, all State & Federal agenices not to accept emails and when writing to any agency, send either fax or snail mail period, including payments to the IRS. Have an agreement with Congress to not use Twitter, Facebook, Hotmail or any form of written communication but through the mail. This would prevent any US Postal Service shutdown and would avoid closing & raising the price on stamps. If the government is being asked to raise money, skip to the chase and use real old fashion mail. That would do it.

    Scott Marcot
    From: San Luis Obispo, California

    September 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  246. tom

    The post office gives a 75 percent discount to nonprofits for their mail.
    These non profits are only paying 11 cents for their mail. The post office needs revenue they can't afford to give away services.

    columbus ohio

    September 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  247. quickdraw

    The Postal Service dilemma is both simple and difficult to solve. Simply figure out a way to stop delivery of 'JUNK MAIL'. Everyday after I pick up the mail, the 'JUNK MAIL' goes from the mailbox directly to the trash can without ever opening it. So if they figure that out, it relives them of unnecessary time and money, landfills from more trash, and no doubt, helps to save trees. It gets worst during the holidays.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  248. rich b, NJ

    What tax payers money Jack? The Post Office does not get funding. Their money is generated by postage sales. As far as everyone saying lay off the workers just what the economy needs is another 550,000 unemployed. Everyone says let them run like other buisnesses, other business do not pre-fund and can change rates at any time. Congress controls their every move and we know how fast they move. Gas goes up a penny a gallona nd it takes a year to raise rates to compensate and tehy have been making it for years. What other part of our goverment makes money? Whenever, or if ever, the USPS makes any profit it is takin and put into the budget. They are handcuffed by our elected officials.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  249. Mark Ford

    The postal service should be put up for sale to the highest bidder – everything from vehicles, processing machinery, properties and buildings. I'm sure FEDEX or UPS can do a better and cheaper job of processing. I can get a pair of shoes from Zappos in 24 hours...it takes me a week to get a letter fro the USPS.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  250. Pete Beckmann

    The only thing we don't hear about is raising the price of th other classes of mail. I get tons of advertisements and catalogs a year. Is first class caryying them all?

    Pete in Hartford CT

    September 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  251. Thanos

    The Post Office should be allowed to control its own rates like UPS and Fedex. Raise stamps to $1.00. Cut Tuesday delivery(its the lightest day), Work 4 ten hour days M-W-T-F. No Saturday delivery. Allow the Postal service to raise its rates comparable with UPS and Fedex. Centralized delivery to save on fuel cost. For all those who complain that they only get a little mail or only junk mail make them get a post office box and pick up their mail. And last but not least since everyone seems to mistakenly think that the Post Office is currently subsidised by their tax dollars START subsidizing the Post Office with tax dollars.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  252. Dave Keeler

    Quite simply the Post Office Department was established as a Cabinet position with the responsibility to: "provide postal services to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities." Primarily the Post Office enabled independent news and newspapers to be circulated throughout and for the benefit of the nation. The dismantling of the Post Office Department and the establishment of a 'for profit' Postal Service was the beginning of the end of truly independent media to accurately inform or provide the function of the 'fourth estate' check and balance. Journalism is dead and the elimination of inexpensive transportation of news and print media is just another nail in the coffin of the the American Dream.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  253. Glenn

    hey look at it as it is the post office has given people a break since dinosaurs rome the earth. Now they need to ask the people to up the ante and then let Richard D. Parsons (the man who ran time warner) run the joint.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  254. lynnej in nc

    As one that lives in a rural area, I depend on the United Postal Office a great deal. I don't have to worry about my important mail being swiped out of the box one the street or anything. I think it should stay as it is with the government paying back the monies that were borrowed from it as well as cutting the pay of some of the overpriced higher ups.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  255. Mary Rose, Mabie WV

    Following the example of Marlow WA would allow USPS to maintain speed of delivery–which at times is necessary for hard-copy necessities: allows client safe, secure, annominous, 24-hr potential access to mail; would reduce cost of doing business tremendously. We must accept that technological advances are here to stay, and small business owners would appreciate this type of helping hand.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  256. Arlene M. Naulty

    The Post Office is a disaster and has been so since leaving Government control. The postal union is actually spending money on TV advertising to state their position rather than spending time and money to work closely with
    the Postal Service. The entire system needs a top/down makeover. Look at Fed X and UPS....private corporations.
    Those companies are making money and providing great service. The Postal Service needs to strip down and step up.
    It will take guts and fortitude...but the Postal Service is broken.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  257. Beverly

    This whole thing with the postal service has been coming all along. Ever since snail mail became e-mail, people have having been using a better way of getting the message across. It cuts down on time and money. This is one way the postal service has began experiencing problems. It wasn't until utility bills became a faster way to pay your bills on line the postal service kept raising the postage on stamps. You can only do this for so long. The best way to look at it is to start by closing some of the post offices that bring little revenue but a cost to keep them open. The next thing is to offer a deal with the bill companies in receiving some of back from the lost they encountered. Lastly, let others who are close to retirement retire.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  258. Greg G.

    1. NO TAX DOLLARS have gone to the U. S. Postal Service since it was converted from the old Post Office Department in 1970.
    2. The Postal Service has the LEAST EXPENSIVE First Class delivery rate in the world.
    3. FIRST CLASS RATE CHANGES have to be approved by an independent BOARD OF GOVERNORS.
    4. The first step in re-capitalization of the Postal Service should be to dissolve the Board of Governors so that it can be run like a business.
    5. The Postal Service and it's great employees "invented" Parcel Post, Air Mail, The ZIP code, Express Mail and Priority Mail flat rate containers. Shipping rate breaks are given to libraries. There is free shipping for "reading" material for the blind as well as reduced rates for MEDIA mail (books, CDs, etc.). I suggest the naysayers price compare UPS, Federal Express and DHL the next time they want to send a package or a letter. The price differential is shocking!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  259. David Jados of Michigan

    I hope that USPS goes out of business because it is their own fault they are in this situation, anyone with business sense knows you can not pay 85% of all revenue to employees and retirees. GM for too many years tried the same model and in end they failed before have to make extreme changes to soluble again. Drastic changes need to happen at the USPS or they will continue to fail.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  260. S. TVESKOV

    FROM VANCOUVER, CANADA/ Jack, just be glad you don't live in Canada where my monthly bills don't get to me until a week after they are due-the ones I still get by mail. I know it is the mail's fault cause it's consistent month to month. Plus we already have only M-F delivery, though I doubt that is the cause of this problem.I wish I still lived at home in CT!!!!!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  261. Scott Marcot

    Jack

    How to handle the Post service from financial melt down? Order all members in Congress, all State & Federal agenices not to accept emails and when writing to any agency, send either fax or snail mail period, including payments to the IRS. Have an agreement with Congress not to use Twitter, Facebook, Hotmail or any form of written communication but through the mail. This would prevent any US Postal Service shutdown and would avoid closing & raising the price on stamps. If the government is being asked to raise money, skip to the chase and use real old fashion mail. That would do it.

    Scott Marcot
    San Luis Obispo, California

    September 19, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  262. matt johnson

    The USPS does not use any tax payer money and is the only federal agency in the constitution. We are not permitted to make a profit and are not asking for any type of bailout. We are being asked to fund 75 years of retirement in 10 years and that's the cause of our problems. get rid of that mandate and we will be fine. Congress caused this problem so they should fix it.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  263. Trahart

    The Congress has been ripping off money from the Postal Service since the service became a semi-private agency no longer receiving taxpayer money but still reporting to the Congress nevertheless. They pass these ripoffs over to the cost of stamps and you never know that you have been taxed. And, the Postal Service can do nothing about it. Why do you suppose that the Congress wants the Postal Service to prefund pensions? They want the money. You never saw it taken. It just appeared in an increased cost of stamps.

    Why do you suppose the Postal Service costs more for small parcels and bundles when there is a postman going to every house who could deliver far cheaper? Is the Rate Commission, which sets Postal rates, setting the rates artificially high to protect some company like UPS and FEDEX? Why do you suppose they would do that?

    What to do about the Postal Service is a complex problem. There are no very simple answers. And, as usual Jack prefers very simple answers and has a simple view of most problems. Just understand that the welfare of the United States still depends on this service. And, understand that a private contractor is going to charge whatever the market will allow as mail volume goes down. How would you like to pay $2 or $3 or maybe $5 for a letter? Without this Postal Service house to house structure you may get to do just that.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  264. Dave

    I don't understand these penny increases. $.44 to $.46 what's that about? Just go to $.50 and stop penny pinching the issue. People need the Postal Service . . . . . . . if $.50 isn't enough, start raising it a nickle every quarter until it starts paying for itself.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  265. Glenn

    rise the price of stamps to 50 cent rise the price to send packages so that it is compatible withe Fed X and UPS

    September 19, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  266. Tina

    Mailing a letter is a bargain any way you look at it. It's also by far the most efficiently run government agency out there. Compared to the billions of items mailed each year, the number of lost items is miniscule. You put a cherished photo inside a thin paper envelope with total faith it will arrive at Grandma's house in a few days. With very few exceptions, it does. Get Congress out of the way and repeal the prepayment bill, one of the worst things to come out of Washington.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  267. Ray

    The USPS is not funded by the government and receives no tax dollars, although it has mandates (universal service) and micro-management by congress. The amount in question to be paid from the retirement fund is what has been determined to be an overpayment by the Postal Service to the fund. Finally, the mandate that 5.5 billion per year be paid for future health care for postal retirees for the next 75 years is unheard of and there is no other agency or private company that comes close to this unfair mandate. Take away the 5.5 billion yearly mandate for the next few years, the Postal Service would be near their mandate to "break even".

    Ray
    Claremont California

    September 19, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  268. Jim Moulton

    Congress should pay up or shutup when it comes to the postal service. Give the USPS the money the CBO says you OWE them and then we can talk about "reforms". The total is $55-75 Billion from CSRF and $6.9 Billion from FERS. We will take a check. Oh. Wait. You want to default on the money you owe us? Yeah. I guess we can owe you money to prefund retirees 75 years into the future (something that not one member of Congress has ever done for any business THEY owned or ran), but we can't demand a refund for an overpayment (something you would ALL do if it happened on your taxes.)

    September 19, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  269. Ruskin

    The answer is simple. Sell it! We don't hear UPS complaining about going bankrupt.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  270. Beverly

    Junk mail brings in revenue.........it dont correct the problem, it aids in helping it out. That is why the credit card offers and the junk mail is still available. This why our postal service has its doors open to the public and provide a service to us people. So, with most paying bills online make it difficult to get around the system to make it run more efficiently and to devise a plan is like saying we must allow only 2 bills to be paid monthly or we can no longer send letters or cards out to our friends and family. In all respects, some people are going to get a hard rap .

    September 19, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  271. Joe

    1. I've been ranting to friends, family, and anyone else who will listen for years about how the post office should be cut back or be eliminated altogether. Newspapers, magazines, and most forms of the written word have moved to digital format in recent years. These institutions have done so out of necessity as demand for printed media has declined and consumers turn to online sources that provide up to the minute information. There will always be a demand for printed document delivery, mostly legal and government forms, but we don’t need 6 days of mail delivery when I can probably count on both my hands and maybe a toe or two the number of legitimate mail parcels I receive each year. Move to digital PO boxes powered by Google, Microsoft, Groupon ad services where YOU subscribe to fliers you want along with a digital store front for products like greeting cards, local business and political circulars, and order mail pickup for delivery that’s serviced by UPS/FedEx in most locations. For some rural areas where the new system isn’t feasible, transfer the responsibility of mail delivery to local government and incentivize infrastructure development to get these areas on par with the rest of the country.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  272. Worried American

    have had the chance to try and do business with the USPS over the last 5 years and it has been the greatest disappointment in my business career.
    Have to identify everyone we came in contact with as approaching their job "as working welfare" – really a very negative job environment – functioning as drones – no sense of urgency – no follow up – a bureaucratic maze of incompetence that escalated as you went up the management chain. Truly unbelievable.
    Was offering them a chance to develop a recurring revenue stream and the ability to compete in the digital age.
    Dealing with the local branch in Bloomington, MN is like trying to work with a clown college. Surprised that they are able to open the doors and turn the lights on in the morning.
    The early retirement plan is obscene – nothing like it in the private sector.
    There has to be a better alternative – real life dumb and dumber.

    Tim Bloomington, MN

    September 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  273. Robert Ballenger

    Something that should be pointed out is just how closely our lives are tied to the postal system after so many decades. The post system is a major conduit for for medial supplies for the veterans administration, and I suspect for Medicaid and all of the home medical supply systems distributers as well. It would be morally and in my opinion criminally wrong for the congress not to fix it for it's long term survival.
    If not it is very likely people will die because they did not get their critical medications.. Not everyone lives next to the hospital,the pharmacy, or their doctor,

    September 19, 2011 at 6:55 pm |