Letter: USPS works hard to control costs
Saturday, September 1, 2012
I have a different view of the United States Postal Service than the Aug. 23 editorial, "Reality hits postal service." The USPS serves everyone in the country equally with worldwide services at affordable graduated postage rates. No business can do this without charging rural areas an arm and a leg.
From 2007 to 2011, USPS statistics reports show a 19 percent reduction in employees, a 20 percent drop in mail volume, a 12 percent decrease in revenue and a 12 percent drop in expenses, while the number of delivery points increased by 2 percent. While not in perfect balance, the statistics show an agency working diligently to control costs and revenues while meeting public expectations.
Funding a retirement system for 75 years seems excessive unless one considers the unfunded pension liabilities nightmare faced by city, state and federal governments. Many business and unions also face the same problem because of inadequate reserves. I suspect that USPS retirement payments actually subsidize, through postage and fee revenue, the rest of the system. Pulling the USPS employees out of the system might actually create a greater unfunded pension problem.
Congressional mandates are why the USPS cannot be a business. Congress is not a board of directors. Congress and others should back off on criticism and fix the basic funding problems. Saturday delivery is not the problem.
Mark E. Swenson