It’s unfortunate, but not a surprise to Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, who says the financially-struggling, quasi-governmental agency has been hemorrhaging billions.
“There are some things that we can do here,” Grassley says. “We could modify their health benefits plan, their unemployment plan. We can allow them to raise postal rates at more than the CPI.” That’s the Consumer Price Index, the benchmark that’s used in determining the fairness of price hikes.
The Postal Service reported nearly 16-billion dollars in losses for its last budget year and expects even larger losses in 2013. The losses last year were triple the losses from the previous year. The problem isn’t just the popularity of e-mail, but also the costs for future postal retirees’ health benefits, which made up for $11-billion of the near-$16-billion in losses.
“The post office is a business and they have to seek their own revenue and if Saturday delivery is part of their efficiency,” Grassley says. “They’ve already got their employment down below a half a million. How much further it has to go down, I don’t know.”
While Saturday mail delivery to homes and businesses across Iowa and nationwide will end in August, the Postal Service will continue to deliver packages six days a week. P.O. boxes will still get mail on Saturdays and post offices that are now open Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays.