[vendtalk] Fw: Article from USA Today News 2010 03 19

Joe Shaw jrs3147 at comcast.net
Fri Mar 19 23:06:34 UTC 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "NFB-NEWSLINE Online" <nfbnewsline at nfb.org>
To: "Jody Shaw" <jrs3147 at comcast.net>
Sent: Friday, March 19, 2010 6:00 PM
Subject: Article from USA Today News 2010 03 19

Senators challenge post office's retooling

By Donna Leinwand

The top Republican on the Senate panel that oversees the U.S. Postal Service 
said Thursday that  a financial overhaul plan that includes cutting mail 
delivery from six days to five could set off a "death spiral" for the 

The Postal Service "will have to present a compelling case that reduced 
delivery will not further decrease volume, setting off a death spiral," Sen. 
Susan Collins of Maine said.

Postmaster General John Potter made his first appearance before Congress 
since announcing a 10-year strategy for pulling the Postal Service out of 
debt. He said lawmakers must allow the agency to take drastic actions, 
including eliminating Saturday deliveries, laying off workers and closing 
post office branches.

A $4.8 million study made public on March 1 predicts the Postal Service will 
lose $238 billion over the next decade as consumers and businesses conduct 
more transactions online. Cutting a day of delivery will save the Postal 
Service $40 billion over the next decade, Potter said.

Serious questions need to be asked and answered before Congress simply 
changes the course and embraces major change in mail delivery," said Sen. 
Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on 
Financial Services and General Government.

The Postal Service is not funded by taxpayers, but federal law requires that 
mail be delivered six days a week to every household and business in the 

Postal Service Inspector General David Williams said Thursday that the 
Postal Service is "moving in the right direction" but not fast enough to 
avert "an economic catastrophe.

Williams said Congress should fix laws that require the Postal Service to 
prepay for its retiree benefits, which result in overpayment.

I am not aware of a business in the world that could forfeit $7 billion 
annually, before it opens its doors, and survive," Williams said.

The agency also needs to pare its network of post offices and retool its 
workforce to give it more flexibility to respond to the fluctuating mail 
flow, he said.

The Postal Service should act aggressively and quickly, he said, because 
"the clock is ticking, and this may be their last shot.

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