12/9: Is Congress to blame for postal agency crisis?

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The U.S. Postal Service and the letter carriers union agree on one thing — Congress is to blame for the agency’s financial crisis. But they disagree on the former’s plan to close mail processing centers around the country, eliminate jobs and cancel Saturday delivery. In columns written exclusively for the AJC, leaders debate the proposals:

Michael S. Furey, acting district manager of the U.S. Postal Service’s Atlanta district;


Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers.

What do you think?

21 comments Add your comment


December 9th, 2011
11:45 am

The crisis is really no one’s fault other than management of the USPS failing to recognize our technology was going to impact their business and waiting so long to begin addressing those changes. The USPS should have been downsizing long ago. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the fact I can send a letter through USPS for $.43. That’s cheap! I just overnighted a letter via UPS this week that cost me $19. For all those who grip about USPS, just wait until its gone and then you’ll see the costs you are facing with sending letters through FedEx or UPS. The USPS still has a place in our society, though a smaller and less accommodating USPS is what we need. Less accomodating meaning that I think Americans can live without Saturday delivery and the fact that next day letter delivery may be a thing of past. The USPS, UPS and FedEx all serve a purpose. I personally want to continue to see all three exists so I have options.


December 9th, 2011
11:41 am

We love the Post Office. We don’t know how to make it profitable. The junk mail business is probably not cutting it. They do fine with packages. Maybe they can just deliver fewer times per week if they don’t have package deliveries.


December 9th, 2011
11:23 am

Direct deposit, cheap long distance, and now the Internet have removed from the mail stream most of the mail that people were eager to receive. And it’s not going to get any better. When any organization is looking to cut costs, one of the first things they always look at is printing and postage.

JF McNamara

December 9th, 2011
10:34 am

E-mail is to blame for the Post Office’s financial crisis. They just don’t have the volumes and revenue they once had because there aren’t as many personal letters.

UPS and FedEx are NOT competitors for the Post Office, so please stop comparing them. The USPS primarily delivers mail to everyone in the country and must do so daily. FedEX and UPS ship packages, and only to a small amount of people (by comparison).

In addition, the USPS only charges $.44 to send a letter/flier. For the same delivery on UPS or FedEx, that letter/flier will cost you $11.00. The United SPS runs circles around FedEx and UPS in terms of size, delivery availability, and price.


December 9th, 2011
10:28 am

It’s not Congress’ fault the USPO is losing money. It’s due to the … wait for it … THE INTERNET!

It’s Congress’ fault the USPO still exists.


December 9th, 2011
9:57 am

Considering the enormous volume of mail and parcels they handle the Postal Service does a pretty good job. I can count on the fingers of one hand the pieces of mail I’ve had go astray in 50+ years.


December 9th, 2011
9:11 am

While the Post Office does do a good job at times the problem is that when they do a bad job they really do a bad job. UPS and FedEx from the top to the bottom are much more professionally run organizations. Saw a guy on CSPAN who worked for the Post Office and retired at 51 and now collects lifetime pension. Think about it retired at 51 – nice work if you can get it. Yes, they need to cut people, buildings and benefits.

jay b

December 9th, 2011
7:14 am

The Postal system is already setup for six day a week delivery.
Cut all residential deliveries to three per week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday for one area, and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for another area.
Allow five for businesses with set minimum volume. If the business does not meet the minmum, it can pay a surcharge to continue with five deliveries per week.

Joel Edge

December 9th, 2011
6:28 am

I would love to know more about this pre-funding. Where does it go? Into an Al Gore style lock-box? Into the general funds? Is it administered by the Post Office? Apparently it winds up in the keeping of the US treasury which is responsible for payouts to retired postal workers. Even reading from other sources doesn’t give a clear picture of the problem. Facing losses of 8 billion two years in a row, while paying in 21 billion over the last three years. The postal service wants to administer their own retirement but the postal union doesn’t want to be separate from federal retirement benefits. We seem to be bleeding the postal service to guarantee pensions and, at the same time, crippling the postal service.

Hillbilly D

December 8th, 2011
10:02 pm

For all the griping I hear about the Post Office, my local Post Office does a fine job. I’ve had more damaged packages over the years, from UPS and FedEx, than I have from the Post Office.