It's official: Post Office to stop delivering mail on Saturday
This was inevitable. as is the closing of hundreds of rural post offices. Even with a bailout by Congress, the USPS will need to drastically cut costs.
The service announced on Wednesday that it would discontinue mail delivery on Saturday but still continue to deliver packages six days per week, according to the Associated Press. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla), hailed the decision, saying the plan is expected to save $2 billion, according to the CBS.
"It's a proper business decision and [in the] long run, good for the Postal Service and good for Americans," Coburn said.
The plan is likely to take effect in August.
The change illustrates the financial burden the service has struggled under, having reportedly cut 35 percent of its workforce in the last few years. The decision to retain package delivery, which has increased by 14 percent since 2010, could mark efforts to build on one of the service's bright spots, despite the decline in first-class mail.
The Postal Service lost $16 billion in fiscal year 2012, with $11 billion coming from defaulting on required payments for healthcare for future retirees.
The agency has attempted to cut costs by consolidating processing centers and intends to shorten hours at hundreds of post offices around the country.
The Postal Service, though, has repeatedly sought help from Congress to prevent deep funding cuts.
It's unclear how the service can cut back on deliveries on Saturday without the approval of Congress.
Legislators have also voiced an interest in working with their Senate and House counterparts to try and come up with a solution to preserve the Postal Service and prevent deep cuts. Early in 2013 Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) jointly released a statement promising to work together to save the service from dramatic changes.
A postal service that can't pay its own way will either be eventually phased out or completely taken over by government again. They aren't making it on their own and even with the reforms Congress has in mind, another bailout down the road is probable.
One can foresee a day when the USPS goes the way of the Pony Express. But as long as government checks are mailed, and dead tree publications are around, it will be necessary to maintain some kind of postal service. And the more it shrinks the more expensive it becomes.