Monday, September 19, 2011
President Barack Obama has unveiled a plan to cut the national debt by roughly $3 trillion in the next ten years. Included in that plan is a way to help out the USPS.
Within the White House plan, the U.S. Postal Service would be allowed to bypass its regulatory commission, giving it the option of eliminating Saturday mail service to save money.
For the U.S. Postal Service, the plan is a move in the right direction.
In a written statement, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said he thanks the President for acknowledging the value of the USPS, and recognizing its need for reform.
"The President has offered helpful recommendations to stabilize the postal service's financial crisis," said Donahoe.
Those who use the postal service are conflicted. Many say they see benefits and drawbacks to the possible change.
"I think we ought to keep Saturday service, because it keeps people employed," said Don Mock, Wichita.
"I depend on things getting to a place in a timely fashion, and sometimes those two days can make a difference," said Ernest Marks, Wichita.
"If they had to do that to save some post offices, I think that would be better than cutting them out all together," said Rex Young, Wichita.
Besides Saturday elimination, the plan could also help the 3,700 post offices facing closure by also allowing the USPS to use $7 billion from a pension account.
The USPS would also be allowed to postpone a $5.5 billion payment toward a health care retiree fund that is due in two weeks.
Finally, the U.S. Postal Service would be allowed to raise the price of stamps by two cents to 46 cents.
All moves in the plan could free-up $20 billion in the next few years.
For the White House plan to be enacted, Congress would have to pass the measures.