Editorial: The Postal Service can’t fix what it didn’t break. Congress must act to save it. | Editorials
Congress continues to demand that the U.S. Postal Service undertake an impossible mission: provide a public service with revenue. The Postal Service cannot come close to breaking even if the restriction is restricted by revenue by freezing postal rates and imposing services on independent federal agencies that do not pay for them.
The result was more than a decade of Postal Service deficits that weakened modernization efforts and led to deteriorating mail services. Congress needs to rectify that situation.
The dazzling shortcomings in the agency were obvious in the last quarter of 2020 during the start of the holiday season, when the latter delivered first-class mail that people had directly suggested that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy should change the his surname in Delay. According to the Postal Service’s own account, on-time first-class delivery occurred only 63% of the time during that time. The increased demand for goods to be delivered during the pandemic and staff shortages have exacerbated pressures on the concerned agency, on which millions of Americans are still dependent even if the world is digital.
Congress is considering bipartisan bills that include necessary Postal Service employee reforms and enduring health insurance, which are the main drivers of the agency’s finances. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the law will have virtually no net new costs over the next decade, which will bring a pleasant relief to an agency that has been running at a loss since 2007.
It would also free the Postal Service from a heavy and unreasonable $ 35 billion paper liability as well as the need to record the amortization of this “obligation” in annual accounts, meaning the agency’s paper deficit would be reduced by large as it moves to a scheme for funding these obligations that is more closely aligned with those used by private sector companies.
Commonsense law should be passed, but the charges can and should be tweaked first. For example
The law also will not work to help the Postal Service close the real budget gap, which has risen more than 600% over the past four years. The gap is expected to be more than $ 5 billion this fiscal year, partly due to fixed postal rates, a continuing decline in first-class mail volume and other factors beyond the Postal Service’s control, including that the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and its workers.
While Congress is debating a wide range of new public benefits of questionable merit amid its current spending, it must also address the needs of the Postal Service and the invaluable public service it provides. The truth is that people are justified when postal problems have delayed their bill payments, annuity checks or prescriptions.
Similar to its embarrassing neglect of rising costs to fund Medicare and Social Security, Congress has refused to make difficult decisions that could put the Postal Service on rigid financial standards. Instead of emergency loans and other short-term repairs deferring, rather than solving, the agency’s problems, lawmakers need to approve a comprehensive plan that will help the agency adapt to its place in digital. world.
Congress needs to straighten out its priorities, stop chasing new ways to spend borrowed money and take care of basic obligations as efficient mail delivery. The pandemic reminded everyone of the important public good that the Postal Service provides. It’s time for Congress to deliver.