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Pillar Of The Community
USA
2736 Posts
Posted 01/28/2009   4:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add bobgggg to your friends list Get a Link to this Message


Massive deficits could force the post office to cut out one day of mail delivery, the postmaster general told Congress on Wednesday, in asking lawmakers to lift the requirement that the agency deliver mail six days a week. If the change happens, that doesn't necessarily mean an end to Saturday mail delivery. Previous post office studies have looked at the possibility of skipping some other day when mail flow is light, such as Tuesday.

Faced with dwindling mail volume and rising costs, the post office was $2.8 billion in the red last year. "If current trends continue, we could experience a net loss of $6 billion or more this fiscal year," Potter said in testimony for a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee.

Total mail volume was 202 billion items last year, over 9 billion less than the year before, the largest single volume drop in history.

And, despite annual rate increases, Potter said 2009 could be the first year since 1946 that the actual amount of money collected by the post office declines.

"It is possible that the cost of six-day delivery may simply prove to be unaffordable," Potter said. "I reluctantly request that Congress remove the annual appropriation bill rider, first added in 1983, that requires the Postal Service to deliver mail six days each week."



"The ability to suspend delivery on the lightest delivery days, for example, could save dollars in both our delivery and our processing and distribution networks. I do not make this request lightly, but I am forced to consider every option given the severity of our challenge," Potter said.

That doesn't mean it would happen right away, he noted, adding that the agency is working to cut costs and any final decision on changing delivery would have to be made by the postal governing board.

If it did become necessary to go to five-day delivery, Potter said, "we would do this by suspending delivery on the lightest volume days."

The Postal Service raised the issue of cutting back on days of service last fall in a study it issued. At that time the agency said the six-day rule should be eliminated, giving the post office, "the flexibility to meet future needs for delivery frequency.

A study done by George Mason University last year for the independent Postal Regulatory Commission estimated that going from six-day to five-day delivery would save the post office more than $1.9 billion annually, while a Postal Service study estimated the saving at $3.5 billion.

The next postal rate increase is scheduled for May, with the amount to be announced next month. Under current rules that would be limited to the amount of the increase in last year's consumer price index, 3.8 percent. That would round to a 2-cent increase in the current 42-cent first class rate.

The agency could request a larger increase because of the special circumstances, but Potter believes that would be counterproductive by causing mail volume to fall even more.

Dan G. Blair, chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission, noted in his testimony that cutting service could also carry the risk of loss of mail volume. He suggested Congress review both delivery and restrictions it imposed on the closing of small and rural post offices.

The post office's problem is twofold, Potter explained.

"A revolution in the way people communicate has structurally changed the way America uses the mail," with a shift from first-class letters to the Internet for personal communications, billings, payments, statements and business correspondence.

To some extent that was made up for my growth in standard mail — largely advertising — but the economic meltdown has resulted in a drop there also.

Potter also asked that Congress ease the requirement that it make advance payments into a fund to cover future health benefits for retirees. Last year the post office was required to put $5.6 billion into the fund.

"We are in uncharted waters," Potter said. "But we do know that mail volume and revenue — and with them the health of the mail system — are dependent on the length and depth of the current economic recession."

He proposed easing the retirement pre-funding for eight years, while promising that the agency will cover the premiums for retirement health insurance.

At the same hearing the General Accounting Office agreed that the post office is facing an urgent need for help to preserve its financial strength. But the GAO suggested easing the pre-funding requirement for only two years, with Congress to determine the need for more relief later.

Potter noted that the agency has cut costs by $1 billion per year since 2002, reduced its work force by 120,000, halted construction of new facilities except in emergencies, frozen executive salaries and is in the process of reducing its headquarters work force by 15 percent.

———

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A Philatelic mind
is a terrible thing to waste

Pillar Of The Community
USA
1749 Posts
Posted 01/28/2009   4:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gussyboy1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That is hot off the presses! We knew it was a coming though-changes are going to be bountiful this 2009 everywhere!
Thanks, bobgggg!

Gussyboy1
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Nobody gets in to see the Wizard. Not nobody. Not No How!"
Pillar Of The Community
USA
9747 Posts
Posted 01/28/2009   5:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add philb to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My Heart Bleeds For Them !! I have seen waste everywhere for 20 years..now the chickens are finally roosting !!
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APS 070059 Life Member International Society of Guatemala Collectors I.S.G.C. #853
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1566 Posts
Posted 01/28/2009   5:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mkfarm to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Lets see we can add all that pork to a stimulus bill but we can't support our postal service? I wish people would read a little more about what they are now doing you Washington and what is coming.

I will miss my six days of service. I consider the postal service worth saving and a little but more important than digital TV converters.

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Pillar Of The Community
USA
2736 Posts
Posted 01/28/2009   5:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bobgggg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
My Heart Bleeds For Them



Quote:
Live your life in a manner that you never have to cross the street to avoid anyone !


I would watch out for your mailman
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A Philatelic mind
is a terrible thing to waste
Edited by bobgggg - 01/28/2009 5:41 pm
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United States
1806 Posts
Posted 01/28/2009   5:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 1775mac to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Forever millions of dollars have been spent to to improve that mousetrap. And the simple fact is the first and cheapest one has always killed the rat.

Some progress is good but not all.
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Pillar Of The Community
USA
2498 Posts
Posted 01/28/2009   5:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add modern_who to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Lets see we can add all that pork to a stimulus bill but we can't support our postal service?


Postal services are actually paid for by the people that use them. So they're not like government programs that are paid for by the people who don't. In the grand scheme of political things, they don't qualify for help! And aiding this part of our "infrastructure" probably won't buy anyone any future votes.
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Larry, APS Member

Modern-Vue Stamps on eBay
Pillar Of The Community
USA
2498 Posts
Posted 01/28/2009   5:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add modern_who to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Live your life in a manner that you never have to cross the street to avoid anyone !


That's not from The Godfather, is it?
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Larry, APS Member

Modern-Vue Stamps on eBay
Pillar Of The Community
USA
2736 Posts
Posted 01/28/2009   6:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bobgggg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
That's not from The Godfather, is it?


Larry..If someone would have said that in The Godfather,
they would have be whacked in 3 seconds
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A Philatelic mind
is a terrible thing to waste
Pillar Of The Community
Canada
907 Posts
Posted 01/28/2009   7:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add WpgLwr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You can live without Saturday mail delivery. We've been doing it since 1972.
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Pillar Of The Community
USA
9747 Posts
Posted 01/28/2009   8:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add philb to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree, they dont have to work on Saturday..
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APS 070059 Life Member International Society of Guatemala Collectors I.S.G.C. #853
Pillar Of The Community
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Canada
3858 Posts
Posted 01/29/2009   08:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Dianne Earl to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You guys get mail on Saturday

You're so spoiled.

Dianne
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Don't grumble that the roses have thorns, be thankful that the thorns have roses
Pillar Of The Community
USA
2736 Posts
Posted 01/29/2009   09:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bobgggg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
You guys get mail on Saturday


Dianne..yes, and the Post Offices are open for a 1/2 day
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A Philatelic mind
is a terrible thing to waste
Pillar Of The Community
USA
9747 Posts
Posted 01/29/2009   09:44 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add philb to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
When I was a kid on Loooooooong Island..the postman came twice a day !
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APS 070059 Life Member International Society of Guatemala Collectors I.S.G.C. #853
Rest in Peace
Learn More...
United States
1806 Posts
Posted 01/29/2009   09:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 1775mac to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As a boy visiting Grandma's house. The mailman would walk right by the mailboxes to the front door and hand deliver all mail. Today you may be lucky to get it throw out the car window as a drive by.

You know thinking more about this why do they try and alienate collectors by the the service some of us get or the soaking issue or crazy new worthless issues (not all mind you). I mean think about it we are a 100% markup for USPS. We purchase 90% of our stamps never to be used.
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Edited by 1775mac - 01/29/2009 09:54 am
Pillar Of The Community
USA
2736 Posts
Posted 01/29/2009   10:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bobgggg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
We purchase 90% of our stamps never to be used


Ponder this.... There is a fellow, in my stamp club who collects
only used US.

With these unsoakable newer issues, he purchases the self adhesives,
he then removes the stamps on each side of the middle stamp, and affixes them to envelopes for future mailings.

Trims the sides so that there is the backing paper to the left and right portion of the stamp.

Goes back to the PO, and gets a cds cancel on the stamp.
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A Philatelic mind
is a terrible thing to waste
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