What the USPS Needs from Congress

[responsive]USPSeagle[/responsive]“Hey, Congress, the Postal Service is scrambling to keep its head above water because you’ve created a helluva mess. Now could you get off your butts and do something more useful than naming post offices?”

While it’s not exactly what the USPS’ top brass told Congress in their annual report last week, the above translation that appeared in Dead Tree Edition last week does a pretty nice job of summarizing the issues.

It’s easy to blame the USPS for its less than stellar financial performance, yet when we look under the hood we quickly realize that the agency is often hampered and frustrated by its overlords in Congress who keep a tight rein on what they can and cannot do.

Outgoing Postmaster General Pat Donahoe and lame duck president of the USPS Board of Governors Pat Barnett laid out exactly what they need from Congress to move ahead and solve their issues. According to Dead Tree Editions, the report urges Congress “to pass comprehensive postal legislation” to “ensure that the Postal Service is self-sustaining and financially strong as well as a reliable, low-cost partner to the American people and the communities it serves.”

Items on their wish list include an adjusted delivery schedule (six-day packages and five-day mail); a streamlined governance and oversight model; reform to Workers’ Compensation; and authority to expand products and services as they see fit among other things.

As any business owner knows, government regulations and overzealous oversight can lead to stagnation and inaction. Combine that with the political posturing all too common in Congress and the USPS effectively has its hands tied.

We support the USPS’s efforts to increase autonomy and do business like a business. We think Congress needs to listen to the USPS and stop playing games with this critical service. They need to let this organization run like a business and stop getting in their way. To do otherwise is unconscionable, potentially costly to the American taxpayer and disastrous to businesses.