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Post poll: Majority support cutting Saturday mail

By Ed O'Keefe

Updated 6:28 p.m.
By Ed O'Keefe and Jon Cohen
A majority of Americans support ending Saturday mail deliveries to help the U.S. Postal Service solve its financial problems, but most oppose shuttering local branches, according to a new Washington Post poll.

The public support for moving to five-day deliveries may bolster a new proposal to end six-day deliveries to help the mail agency trim hundreds of billions of dollars in losses by 2020.

Cutting Saturday mail deliveries would save $3.3 billion in its first year and about $5.1 billion by 2020, Postmaster General John E. Potter said Monday. But the changes would also mean cutting the equivalent of 40,000 full- and part-time jobs through layoffs and attrition, Potter said as he prepared to formally submit his proposals to postal regulators on Tuesday.

Under the plan letter carriers would stop delivering mail to American homes and businesses and would not pick up mail from blue collection boxes on Saturdays. Post offices would stay open on Saturdays and mail would be delivered to post office boxes. Mail accepted at post offices on Saturday would be processed on Monday. Express mail and remittance mail services also would continue seven days a week.

Potter’s proposal has the support of 71 percent of Americans, with most Democrats, Republicans and independents in favor of the idea, according to the poll.

But the revisions would mean big changes for how customers send and receive mail. Residential and business addresses would not receive regular mail for three consecutive days on weekends that include a Monday federal holiday, such as Presidents' Day. Federal, state and local agencies would have to shift the delivery of checks and other benefits to ensure they arrive before Saturday. The increased use of direct deposits and debit cards should ease the potential negative impact, Postal officials said. Other mailers – including magazine publishers and gift companies -- might also have to alter delivery schedules to ensure timely deliveries.

If the changes are approved Saturday delivery cuts probably would not occur before March 2011. The Postal Regulatory Commission must issue a non-binding advisory opinion, a process that should take six months, Potter said. Congress must also eliminate a rider in the annual appropriations bill that mandates six day delivery, a process likely to conclude by the fall. The Postal Service would then wait six months before implementing the cuts, allowing time for customers to shift delivery schedules and for a new advertising campaign to explain the changes.

The Postal Service would also cut about 26,000 full-time positions through attrition and lay off 13,000 part-time jobs, Potter said. The attrition should come easily, since the average age of a letter carrier is 53 and about 10,000 carriers retire each year, Potter said. Most of the part-time workers carry the mail only one day per week as a substitute for a full-time carrier.

The Postal Service Board of Governors approved the cuts last week, ordering Potter to submit the proposals to the PRC on Tuesday. Potter and others have said however that the board of governors may soon have to consider other ways to save money, including closing thousands of post offices and raising stamp prices.

Despite the popularity of cutting Saturday service, closing post offices is much less popular, according to the poll. Sixty four percent of Americans opposed closing post offices, including their local branch, the poll shows. Those with college degrees or more education divided about equally on this question (47 percent approval versus 51 disapproval) and those with less formal education broadly opposed to the idea (29 percent to 70 percent). The idea of closing post offices hasn't advanced beyond discussion stages, but Potter and others have said the mail agency will consider closures if it can't save money elsewhere.

Fifty-five percent of all respondents said they opposed raising stamp prices, but the idea earned majority support from liberals and those from households with income of $100,000 and higher.

The Postal Service receives no taxpayer funding, earning revenues from the sale of postal products and services. Fifty eight percent of Democrats supported providing federal funds if necessary, but a majority of Republicans and independents opposed such a move.

As for the future of U.S. mail delivery, nearly as many Americans trust e-mail as they do the Postal Service to send messages reliably. Overall 43 percent said they trusted e-mail as more dependable; 47 percent said the Postal Service. That’s up considerably from a 1994 poll when the Internet was in its infancy, and the Postal Service had a better than 2 to 1 advantage. A majority of people under 30 put more faith in e-mail, while seniors overwhelmingly supported traditional mail.

Two-thirds of respondents expected traditional “snail mail” to be obsolete by the end of the century; only 29 percent said it will still be in use. Potter in fact has been asked to submit his plans to the PRC on Tuesday via e-mail -- at the request of the regulatory panel.

The poll was conducted by telephone March 23-26, 2010, among a random national sample of 1,000 adults including users of both conventional and cellular phones.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

RELATED: Previous Federal Eye reports on the U.S. Postal Service.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | March 29, 2010; 10:38 AM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Comments

"Federal, state and local agencies also would have to shift their delivery of checks and other benefits to ensure they arrive before Saturday"

Why? Because the dependent class can't manage their own money or beer stash well enough to save up for Saturday night?

But they won't even consider closing empty, redundant post offices? Mail delivery is vastly more useful than a poor-service redundant post office.

Posted by: corrections | March 29, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Great idea!

Posted by: angie12106 | March 29, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

If they need to cut out a delivery day (or two) why Saturday? I'd be fine with cutting back to 4 day a week delivery, as long as it was Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with Tuesday substituting for Monday when Monday is a holiday.

Posted by: ricktd | March 29, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

So they discovered they could save money by not providing services and by laying off personnel! That's akin to someone claiming he can save money by not working, since there wouldn't be any need for transportation expenses to/fro workplace, also save on clothing and grooming expenses!
pleaaase

Posted by: rancho3chico | March 29, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

we can bail out the banks but we can't help out the men and woman of the postal service who go to work ever day and deliver excellence every day to the american public. most of these folks are ex marines army navy.people who have served the american public in one way or another for decades. wake up america next is your job.

Posted by: beenthe424 | March 29, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"Saturday delivery cuts probably would not occur until March 2011 at the earliest."

Tragi-comically, this is part of the problem. USPS can't do ANYTHING without engaging in a several months-long bureaucratic exercise in management decision making.

You KNOW you're losing money. You KNOW you've got a plan to reduce your losses. But you're locked in for another year, at least, before you can do anything about it. For no good reason other than an arcane set of rules that dictate your inefficiency.

Meantime, more money is lost, and the competitors run circles around them.

May as well just have a bonfire in front of L'Enfant Plaza to burn all the money. It would be more entertaining that way.

Posted by: chambers14 | March 29, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Ah, more unemployment, just what the nation needs, NOT.

Posted by: funfun881 | March 29, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I remember when the Post Office was the government, now at least it just has some government strings. eliminating Saturday delivery just makes so much sense that only Congress could be against it.

Posted by: JoeT1 | March 29, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Guess this is one way to get smaller gov't!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | March 29, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I had to pay thousands to my congressman to keep our post office off the closure list.


Posted by: blasmaic | March 29, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

USPS could go further with savings if they make health insurance benefits to be equal to their Federal employee counterparts.

Posted by: swederose | March 29, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

It is time to privatize the USPS. While we are at it, maybe we ought to privatize the government as well.

In the meantime we will just keep bowing to the bow-meister himself, Comrade Obama.

Posted by: bryanmcoleman | March 29, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

What is the big deal cutting Saturday delivery? I have no mail delivery. If I want my mail I go to the Post Office and pick it up. And I pay the same rates as everyone else.

Posted by: jdonner2 | March 29, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Eliminating Sat. Delivery is a bad idea. If they feel the need to only deliver 5 days a week, they should cut out Wed. delivery. This would mean 2 days of delivery, 1 off, 3 days of delivery and 1 off. IT would make it much easier for people. The USPS is grossly mismanaged and eliminations should begin at the top before they take away our mail delivery.

Posted by: katesgram | March 29, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

But the real question is...... will it still take four days for a 1st class letter to get to my next door neighbor?

Posted by: nosuchluck | March 29, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Potter is cutting 49K jobs to save his own job and benefits.

Posted by: kms123 | March 29, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

more jobs lost by the obama plan of unemployment...

Posted by: DwightCollins | March 29, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

With Internet, fax and PUS they will just be putting themselves out of business. I remember when we got 2 deliveries a day. Badly managed and lasy workers never get fired.

Posted by: crrobin | March 29, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

What, federal news is so scarce you are compelled to recycle stories from 8 weeks ago? This ain't exactly new news, dude.

Posted by: nicekid | March 29, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

C'mon folks, this constant USPS hate is a little childish and narrow minded.

The USPS is in many ways a victim of its own success, but mostly it is a victim of having a sole business model that no longer is needed. Like brick and mortar travel agencies. How many of those do you see now that everyone does their own travel planning online?

They are literally delivering 40% less mail today than they were 15 years ago. Thats a massive loss of business.

And while it is easy to say (well lay people off, close offices), many towns and states either outright prohibit USPS office closures (keep them tied up in jurisdicational or zoning treadmills), or petition their Senators to keep them open. From a retail/foot traffic point of view, post offices have become town or neighborhood fixtures, like libraries and we all know how hard libraries are to close.

As far as efficiencies of scale go, USPS does a job equal to or better than UPS or FEDEx. Where else/how else can you send a letter/envelope from DC to LA in 2 or 3 days for 44 cents?

Sure, FedEx can do it in a day, and even track it for you... for $20 dollars. The USPS could do it too for $20 bucks, but people think that it is ok for UPS to charge "market" rates for something, and that the USPS can't.

Posted by: Nosh1 | March 29, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Do it.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 29, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

USPS prices are locked in by government mandate, but they don't get any taxpayer money, so why does the public think they can put in their two cents about how many days, and which days, postal services are extended? They're fighting a losing battle -- can't raise their prices, and they don't get any help from outside, so WTF? You can't keep this going just to keep people in jobs. How would you like it if someone told you that you *had* to pay a maid service to come clean your house even if you didn't want to? All because she "needed" the job. We all need jobs, and it's not the job of the USPS to provide them.

Hey, if you're really worried about saving jobs, why not write to your representatives and ask them to support H.R. 3167 -- a bill that would make it possible for the USPS to conduct the 2010 census. Makes sense, doesn't it? The postal carriers are going to each and every house anyway, aren't they????

Go to thomas.gov and put in the bill number for more info....

Posted by: bikinibottom | March 29, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Where in the Constitution is it guaranteed we, the people, are entitled to mail delivery six days a week?

All those complaining about not getting their mail on Saturdays are the same group who love to shop at WalMart and brag about the bargains they got on t-shirts made in China. But they are so economically illiterate they haven't connected the dots between layoffs here and cheap goods from WalMart; or that the USPS has been, for years, not charging enough for the service they provide and cannot pay their bills with the current business model.

The combination of technology (email), competition (UPS) and a blind adherance to a quasi public private buiness model has led to the current bleeding at USPS. Only a major shift in operations can change what is inevitable...higher costs for the service, less service, layoffs and cut backs among employees, a shrinking of the capital base or a combination of all of the above.

If those complaining about the lack of a Saturday service are really serious, how about considering paying a premium price for it? For an extra hundrerd bucks a year the USPS truck will stop at your mailbox on Saturday and bypass all the other dead beats on your block who don't want to pay for it. Should be relatively simple to do using computers and GPS, which I assume the USPS has; FedEX does!

Posted by: bobfbell | March 29, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

There will never be another remake of Miracle on 34th Street at this rate.

It's hard to believe, but there was a time when the Post Office delivered mail twice a day.

Posted by: hlabadie | March 29, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Accordng to my parents, there was not six day delivery way back when. I don't see a problem going to 5 day delivery and the post offices being open on Saturdays for people that can not get their during the week. Too many people have switched to email and paying bills online - this did not exist 10-15 years ago and now the rates keep going up and the post office delivers fewer and fewer pieces of mail each year. We don't need to start subsidizing the postal service and we don't have the money to do it either.

Posted by: DRSMERC11 | March 29, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for this explanation. Good to know the post office will still be open for business and mailbox access on Saturdays for those of us whose work hours prevent visits on weekdays.

Am I the only person in America who loves my local post office? The folks there are both pleasnat and helpful, and know everybody's name. (Life "Cheers" with stamps!) Hope none of them get laid off.

Posted by: Rivery | March 29, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Just do it! The Postal Service has been "eyeing" this for ages. I'm tired of reading about it. Cancel Saturday delivery. NO ONE CARES! HELLO!

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | March 29, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

As a Fedex retiree with a healthy respect for the USPS...This step is way overdue. The private carriers have never offered Saturday service except as a premium service.

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | March 29, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Should be relatively simple to do using computers and GPS, which I assume the USPS has; FedEX does!

No GPS at FedEx express....

FedEx retiree

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | March 29, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

How about setting up accounts for those folks who'd be willing to pay extra for more pieces of mail during the week, especially on the Friday of a 3-day-holiday weekend?

Posted by: judie111 | March 29, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The USPS has priced itself out of the market. There was a time when mailing a letter or a response was a lot less expensive and required a lot more of "touch labor." Machines have replaced a lot of the sorting and delivery support mechanisms in place.

The US Constitution as one of the enumerated powers to the Federal Government is to provide a postal service in place for it's citizens. As long as the USPS raises their rates, people will switch over to electronic payments and use more e-mail and e-cards, rather than taking a pen in hand and showing proper etiquette.

A 17% cut in service, with the potential of a raise in postal rates, is not the answer.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | March 29, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Does eliminating Saturday delivery address the real issues facing the USPS? The problem is loss of revenue, and eliminating potential sources of revenue, i.e. Saturday delivery, which none of their competitors offer, does not fix that problem. You don't grow your business by giving up strategic advantages you have over your competition.

It's a quick fix to cut costs right now, but doesn't address any of the issues of long term survival. If the goal is simply to reduce costs, and not ensure the survival of the Postal Service, then they can save way more money by shutting their doors completely.

For those who think the USPS competitors "run circles" around the USPS, look and learn:

Shipping a one pound package cross country via FedEx 2 day: $26.02
http://fedex.com/ratefinder/home?link=4&cc=US&language=en

Shipping a one pound package cross country via United Parcel Service 2 day: $24.62 https://wwwapps.ups.com/ctc/request?loc=en_US&WT.svl=SubNav

Shipping via US Postal Service Priority:$4.95-10.70 (depending on size of box)
http://www.usps.com/prices/priority-mail-prices.htm

Posted by: kayebee_18901 | March 29, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Our postal service does an excellent job in a vast country. I generally get 1-3 day service within 200 miles for 44CENTS....

FedEx and UPS do an excellent job but they are not intended for routine mailings. The UPS and FeEx ground services are reasonable and the USPS parcel post pricing competes well for that niche. The premium services offered by UPS and FedEx...i.e. Overnight, Saturday etc. are products that the Postal Service should never have offered.

The USPS haters are way off base.

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | March 29, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

and when, oh when, will USPS start charging the full cost to deliver bulk/junk mail.... 2 or 3 times a week we get all the various inserts just like thounsands of other households on the carrier route.. is this junk mail paying its full fair share? if not, it should... which would help to reduce all the junk mail that just ends up in US landfills, littering the streets, etc..

Posted by: RoguesPalace | March 29, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Better yet, half of the residences get mail on MWF and the other half on TTS. Business routes 5 days a week. Anyone that wants daily service, get a PO Box. Also, close 1 day a week during the week and be open on Sat and/or Sunday. Does not have to be all post offices, but maybe within a 15-20 mile radius. If there are more than 1 PO in a slightly larger area, one open on Sat and the other on Sunday.

Posted by: gmclain | March 29, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

It's a change well past due. More than 80 per cent of my mail is junk mail anyway, and what is not junk mail doesn't need to be delivered on a Saturday. Perhaps even a 4-day delivery schedule is enough. I do think the USPS does a terrific job; it still amazes me that I can drop a letter in the mail on a Monday and it reaches California on a Wednesday or Thursday for less than .50 cents. Factoring in inflation, the price of first class mail is cheaper today than it was in the 1930s.

Posted by: logan303 | March 29, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me if the Post Office is/has already lost business that is costing it billions of dollars in loses, they would of already got rid of a bunch of workers. No business in the world can survive those type of down turns in business with out cutting staff. Why has the Post Office leadership not taken appropriate action yet?

Posted by: gunnysgt77 | March 29, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I'd be happy with delivery three days a week. Some areas would get deliveries Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The other areas would receive mail Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Posted by: wolfcastle | March 29, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

LOL. Why does it take 6 months for the Postal Regulatory Commission to issue a "non-binding" (It isn't even official?) advisory opinion (that's redundant with non-binding):

Would two or three weeks be all it takes? Two or three days if you had your act together.

90% of my mail is advertising mailers anyway, stuff that I don't look at. I suppose there is the Netflix though, if I can return a movie Thursday morning I may get the next one Saturday.

Anyway, right thing to do. USPS is a sunset industry and should act accordingly.

Posted by: jhtlag1 | March 29, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Just an observation.... Government has requested/forced us all to use computers (that seem to constantly get hacked) for government business. How much of the loss of business has been due to local, state and federal forms, checks and other mail being computerized. Seems that USPO is antiquated and needs to be gone or sold to private industry altogether.

Posted by: gunnysgt77 | March 29, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

How many people in this day and age really GET MAIL THAT IS NEEDED to be delivered daily????
Junk mail, mailbox stuffers, and all that crap.
if they got rid of that stuff it should be easy.
I wish I could get off the DO NOT SEND JUNK MAIL as easily as I got off the do not call and can get off the DO NOT SPAM LIST.

Heck, savvy people get bills and the like are more environmentally concious and get stuff electronically NOT SNAIL MAIL.

Posted by: racerdoc | March 29, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

It would have been better to have picked any day other that Saturday. I get more mail Saturday than any other day of the week. I run all my errands on Saturday because I work he rest of the week. Taking away my mail serve wiil adversely affect my lfe.

Posted by: kew_kew | March 29, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

WIN WIN Situation:
Charge bulk rate users the price of 1st class mail. think about it.

Posted by: yamamah | March 29, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I wish they would start charging more for delivering junk mail. You know, the kind that goes directly from your box into the trash can which is sitting right next to it.

Posted by: swissmiss150 | March 29, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Benjamin Franklin came up with the business plan for the Post Office. What Would Benjamin Do?

Posted by: hlabadie | March 29, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's a great measure to save the costs and guanrante the normal operation of the postal service. I really don't know how the postal service run in the USA for I'm a Chinese student just on another side of the Pacific Ocean; but in China, the postial service is supported by the government's tax if it runs bad! Maybe it is also unreasonable! While the service cuts in the US should enact step by step. They should consider the public opinions and benefits.

Posted by: 20061180032 | March 29, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Ben had a solid respect for money, he would have charged business a price for doing business not punish people for communicating. I shouldn't have to pay more to pay a bill then the business spends to send it.

Posted by: kew_kew | March 29, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

This move is LONG overdue. Who the heck needs mail on Saturday? Let's get rid of Tuesdays and Thursdays and freeze that postage stamp price for two years. Hold the price and adjust the service to that frozen price.

Let's get people on e-mail.

Come on USPS. Get with it. At least act like you have a clue how to run a business in a dynamic world.
.

Posted by: hz9604 | March 29, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

How about an attitude adjustment along with the cuts...I'm tired of going to my local U.S. Postal Service Office and having the line practically reach the front door.

Posted by: moebius22 | March 29, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Eliminating Saturday delivery is an excellent idea. Many people nowadays have their benefits checks deposited directly into their checking accounts. And even if Saturday fell on the day they receive their check, chances are their bank is closed anyway.

And to those posters complaining about Obama cutting jobs if they streamline the post office - that is what technology has done, not the president. Years ago the post office required numerous employees to sort mail, now the job is done by scanners and conveyor belts, without the need for human intervention.
Technology has made many jobs obsolete.

Posted by: missingwisc | March 29, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

What will this cost the Post Office in retirement benefits or severance pay? The Union's stranglehold on the Post Office must be broken. We cannot continue to pay these benefits to people who have worked for the Post Office just a few years.

Posted by: bobbo2 | March 29, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

kayebee said "For those who think the USPS competitors "run circles" around the USPS, look and learn"

kayebee_18901, I have a thought exercise for you.

Which parcel and shipping organizations are seeing revenue, profits, and market share increase?

Which organization, which only has to break even, is seeing its revenue and market share dwindle?

Forget the business about the universal service mandate. That's actually an advantage when managed properly.

USPS is the victim of arcane governance, and a slow-to-innovate business structure. But that doesn't excuse it from ceding the most profitable portion of the business to the "competition."

Congratulations Posties and unionized labor. I love ya. But UPS out-hustled you on parcels and FedEx ate your lunch on flats. (What is a FedEx letter but a flat?)

Posted by: chambers14 | March 29, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I think the Postal service should cut, but I am not a fan of just selectively making a few agencies whipping boys or targeting a specific sector of the populace with new taxes (let's just tax the evil smokers and beer drinkers! No one else! OK, how about a 500% tax on firearms and fireworks and candy???)

If we need to cut back, we should start with a 5% cut on EVERY agency. The military, food stamps stipends cut 5%. Michelle Obama told her travel budget is cut 5%, same with Congress. No COLAs for social security, or Congressional pay, or Eric Holder's lawyers.

Everyone in the same boat, everyone sacrifices...not just singling out postal employees over welfare offices emplyees or TSA "Heroes Who Keep us All Safe". You cut funds for Parks by 4.8%, you cut Medicare by 4.8%....

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | March 29, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

there's never been a worse time to eliminate jobs

Posted by: inono | March 29, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a problem w/a cut in Saturday delivery, but maybe the USPS should look more closely at other ways they throw money away. One example; in rural Swan Valley, ID. there are two small post offices within 4.5 miles of each other. Granted, they are very small, but is it really necessary to place two of them, each representing a settlement with populations of less than 250 people less than 5 miles apart? Multiply these two by what? 100s or 1000s of similar situations around the country? It is a colossal waste.

Posted by: wydafish | March 29, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@bryanmcoleman
We have at least three private mail delivery services UPS, FedEx, DHL, that can deliver you mail instead of using USPS. Of course last time I checked they wont deliver a letter for around $0.44

Posted by: dctax4u | March 29, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Folks,

Stop the blubbering. This cut makes perfect sense. The mail volume is down so far, I would cut a 2nd day, although personally I would keep the posts offices open on Saturday so those of us who earn money to support the rest of you don't want to take vacation time to send a package.

Posted by: Skeptic1 | March 29, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

NetFlix customers aren't going to like this. As for me, I'd be OK with Saturday delivery and forgetting mon-fri.

I can remember when I'd buy a book of 100 stamps. Now I never buy more than two, fearing I'll just lose them before I use them.

Posted by: rjma1 | March 29, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Never understood why they delivered on Saturdays to begin with and why they charge only a fraction of what UPS does.

Posted by: metroman76 | March 29, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Keep the post offices open Saturday for customers who work Monday through Friday and can only pick up deliveries not made because nobody was home. Those dreaded yellow notifications are a real pain, but if you can't pick up your delivery Saturday...?

Also, if you must close, close on Mondays, not Saturdays.

I am in total support of cutting service from 6 to 5 days and cutting all USPS salaries, benefits, and retirements by the same proportion.

But then if schools are only teaching 4 days instead of 5, are teachers getting 20% less pay?

Thank you, unions. Same pay for less work.

Posted by: cibor | March 29, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

It is certainly not a good time to be putting more Americans out of work. I can't believe that there is not a better solution. That said, I haven't gotten a "real" Saturday delivery in years. I am convinced that the only mail delivered on Saturday is junk mail, and personal mail and packages have only been delivered Mon-Fri for longer than they want us to know. Has anyone else noticed this trend?

Posted by: CAC2 | March 29, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

we can bail out the banks but we can't help out the men and woman of the postal service who go to work ever day and deliver excellence every day to the american public. most of these folks are ex marines army navy.people who have served the american public in one way or another for decades. wake up america next is your job.

Posted by: beenthe424 | March 29, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Really??? the PO workers over here in VA are all Asian. They don't appear to be ex military anything. I love when people try to add their own personal feelings into the discussion. However if you feel so strongly then contact the post master and tell him you would be willing to pay .75-1.00 per stamp to save jobs. Oh no!!!! that would mean you have to DO SOMETHING other than complain. I guess the PO is out of luck. Also there’s a difference between loaning a bank money (they pay back) and giving money away. Try keeping up.

Posted by: askgees | March 29, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Why Saturday? Take a day off that's not next to another day off (Sunday).

Posted by: LifeBeforePrinciple | March 29, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Ah, more unemployment, just what the nation needs, NOT.

Posted by: funfun881 | March 29, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

_________________________________________

Hey funfun...you might have more fun actually READING the article. It states 26,000 full-time jobs will be eliminated through ATTRITION.

I see attrition may be too big a word for you and your Tea Party friends.

13,000 part-time jobs for people that would otherwise work at Lowe's or Home Depot and the such will be eliminated as well. Guess that's great for corporate America, which you probably support.

Posted by: dc1020008 | March 29, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The USPS is one bargain. Try France, England, or any other place on the universe. They do a good job for the money and reducing delivery to four days per week should not be a problem. If Saturday is a problem cut Tuesdays and Fridays.

Posted by: cmstraub37 | March 29, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

there's never been a worse time to eliminate jobs

Posted by: inono | March 29, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Unless you count the great deperession or the other recessions that the US has dealt with. I think what you meant to say was.

there's never been a worse time to eliminate jobs IN MY LIFE TIME

Since it's apparent your to lazy to look up any facts. Yes the world existed before you arrived. LOL

Posted by: askgees | March 29, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a good plan even though I hate see anyone lose his/her job. These cuts still don't cover the shortfall. So what's next?

Posted by: forgetthis | March 29, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who are arguing that rising postal rates are causing USPS a loss of business. Umm.... PLEASE. It costs 44 CENTS to mail a letter. I can't even pay my niece 44 cents to walk to the end of the driveway to get the mail out of the mailbox. Business has fallen off because, lo and behold, in the computer era we can pay bills online and send e-cards. The problem is actually that USPS can't raise their rates ENOUGH to keep up with their rising costs (gas is more expensive, labor is more costly, fancy electronic/tracking equipment is more expensive, etc.) By eliminating Saturday delivery they cut both gas and labor costs. And no, they don't lose business this way -- people who want to mail a letter on Thursday will still mail a letter and it will get there on the following Monday instead of Saturday. If the timing is important, then they'll just have to mail it a day earlier. BIG DEAL. And if someone wants to mail a letter on Saturday then they can go to the post office and do it -- the offices will remain open, it's just the carriers who will not be working on Saturday. Seriously, you can't live without your mail for 2 days?? What in the world are you getting in your mail that is so freakin' important?

Posted by: bikinibottom | March 29, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

And the reason why it has to be Saturday? It's either that or it's Monday. It's a lot easier to employ someone 5 consecutive days in a row. I mean, think of the postal carrier -- wouldn't it be nice for them to get two days off in a row versus some BS 2 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on, 1 day off, etc.

Posted by: bikinibottom | March 29, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

The Postal Service runs the only constitutionally mandated enterprise, one that I believe has had a positive role in the nation’s development. Part of that mandate is “universal” service, and the need to fulfill that concept has been both a benefit and a burden. When the volume is strong, the attendant economies of scale are a benefit; when volume is weak - well houses won’t get any closer together. Right now, the service could use a creative breakthrough, and I don’ see one forthcoming.

Posted by: SCKershaw | March 29, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Ah, more unemployment, just what the nation needs, NOT.
Posted by: funfun881 | March 29, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse
_________________________________________
Hey funfun...you might have more fun actually READING the article. It states 26,000 full-time jobs will be eliminated through ATTRITION.
I see attrition may be too big a word for you and your Tea Party friends.
13,000 part-time jobs for people that would otherwise work at Lowe's or Home Depot and the such will be eliminated as well. Guess that's great for corporate America, which you probably support.
Posted by: dc1020008 | March 29, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse
If LIB losers like you we’re willing to pay .75-1.00 per stamp I’m sure you could save those jobs. But that would mean actually doing something other than whining. Well we all know how that’s going to turn out so we may as well apologize to the PO because LIB jerk0ff’s like you cost them their jobs.

Posted by: askgees | March 29, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

AND I'm pretty sure postal carriers would rather have Saturday off because 1) their friends, families and kids probably have Saturdays off and 2) many of our holidays fall on Mondays. Why would they want to lose all their holidays for what would be a regular day off?

Posted by: bikinibottom | March 29, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Do it already.
We do not need Sat post delivery.
If a mail is really urgent it will be delivered over night anyway.
So this is a great way to save money, save gas, save on pollution, etc. benefits.

Posted by: RealNews1 | March 29, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse


Why wait 'til next year. Start the savings now.

Posted by: AlanBrowne | March 29, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

An extra day in which I can expect no bills or junk mail. Now I can be gone for the whole weekend and not worry about anyone stealing credit card applications from my mail and filling them out.

Posted by: Capn0ok | March 29, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

An extra day in which I can expect no bills or junk mail. Now I can be gone for the whole weekend and not worry about anyone stealing credit card applications from my mail and filling them out.

Posted by: Capn0ok | March 29, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I would be o.k. with mail delivery every other day.

I don't need it EVERY day!

Posted by: nestorb98 | March 29, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone note this throwaway line in the story?

"Potter will submit the plans via e-mail, aides said."

Ha Ha! He's using e-mail, not snail mail for submitting his proposals...

Posted by: mm489942 | March 29, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

They need to close some of the post offices, in MA we have 3 post offices one after each other on a single road. They are all in different, 150 year old cities, but it is still a big waste of resources. I admit that closing a Post Office in Alaska which serves far fewer people is out of the question, but people can drive another mile.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | March 29, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I can live without Saturday delivery, and I'd bet most people and even businesses can, too. But NO WAY should they CLOSE post offices on Saturdays - with 9:00 - 5:00 daily hours, it's the only day many working people can get there.

Posted by: RightWriter | March 29, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm wondering if the lack of Saturday delivery also includes our friends in Congress. I notice some comments saying the PO should be privatized. Wonder how the citizens living in rural areas feel about that since private industry won't deliver to those areas due to the inability to make a decent profit. Part of the PO shortfall is they deliver everywhere regardless of profit or loss which industry does not do.

Posted by: studious20853 | March 29, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

No postal service on Saturday will result extra mail to deliver on Monday. Mail will run VERY late on Mondays, or be carried over to Tuesday. Americans are VERY spoiled when it comes to "services." There is little understanding of how accurate our mail service really is compared to other nations. These services require better funding. Pay up or lose a day...or two!

Posted by: c121cgal | March 29, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

The postal service is still in business? Really? Who knew.

But, why?

Posted by: thebump | March 29, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Sigh . . Fox and its GOP Pundits will use this suggestion to further slam Obama and "Big Government.

Ridiculous that Tea Party dumb arses don't realize that AS THE POPULATION EXPLODES we HAVE to have MORE government involvement - in providing safety of food, adequate sewage systems, waste disposal, highway management, Atlanta's Infectious disease control, etc. etc. etc.

Posted by: lufrank1 | March 29, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Several things to remember about Postal economics:

(1) When it comes to letter carriers they have 4.5 day employees and a 6.0 day workweek ~ except for "business routes" which have had 5.0 day's delivery for years and years.

What this means is that USPS must have specially trained carriers on the rolls (at a higher rate of pay) to handle parts of routes on that .5 days per week (average) where the regular carrier is off duty.

This is quite a remarkable scheduling trick.

By dropping Saturday it doesn't go away. Instead, USPS will need fewer of the higher priced specialists. Savings in T6 salaries will pay for the few additional carriers needed to handle more mail in less time.

(2.) USPS has about 28,000 post offices that aren't needed. These are small facilities in rural areas. The people can be better served by rural carriers.

Postal Management has never had the guts to shut these places down because the residents complain about "losing our identity". This really means they don't want to change their addresses (which doesn't need to be done thanks to ZIP+4). It isn't a case of a bunch of rural types having an identity crisis, although your typical Congressman faced with a rural closing believes this to be a complaint about service.

No, it's not about service, it's not about identity, it's just about addresses. They do not want to have their post office closed if their address is to be changed as a consequence.

Posted by: muawiyah | March 29, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Less service for more money. Sounds like the government to me.

Posted by: greg3 | March 29, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I feel that the USPS does a great job.

Posted by: jdr4488 | March 29, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Ed, Why don't you post the complete poll results so we can view them instead of a hodgepodge of your paraphrasing.

Posted by: bobwiley | March 29, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I gather there was no poll question about returning to the taxpayer-subsidized mail service we had in the 50s and 60s--when the P.O. could deliver slightly more costly airmail consistently in two days--not the three or more it takes premium-priced Priority Mail. Might have been interesting had that been an alternative.

Posted by: stuck_in_Lodi | March 29, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Unless you change "how" you're doing business, cutting days, adding or reducing employees is not going to change the profitability of the U.S. Postal service. You'll still be unprofitable and now you'll be reducing the number of days you're distributing the mail but that's the government's mentality.

Posted by: kevina2 | March 29, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I if they were to close for a day, why not on a Wednesday than at least you would only miss one day of mail twice rather than two days of mail.

Posted by: cjride | March 29, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Many of you with such easy answers are forgetting a few things: first, there are many people in this country who do not have a way to get to the post office on a Saturday, or any other day, due to age, disability, lack of transportation etc. Many of these same people cannot afford a computer with which to send and receive e mail. Just because these things are a way of life for you and for me, that does not mean that everyone who needs the postal service can provide these things for themselves. Not could many of our fellow citizens afford a PO box IF they could get there to use it. Additionally, sending registered mail and other special requirements are less expensive with USPS and for many of us that is critical. So, count yourself lucky if can/could supply these resources for yourself but you have fellow citizens, in droves, who cannot do that. Get your minds off yourselves for a pleasant change!

Posted by: nana1ellen | March 29, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Why not skip Wednesday instead? That way, Monday's mail will still fit in the mailboxes and we might have the pleasure of getting mail at home at least one day on the weekend. And there will be no period where there are two days in a row of no delivery.

Posted by: fmjk | March 29, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"May as well just have a bonfire in front of L'Enfant Plaza to burn all the money."
Posted by: chambers14 | March 29, 2010 12:25 PM
==
Talk about being "Inside the Beltway" blind, deaf and dumb ...
How many people in this country know what "L'Enfant Plaza" is?
About 95 percent of the people commenting have no clue who the Postal Service serves by Constitutional mandate.
Conduct everything by e-mail?
Right.
Check out the statistics about the number of people in the nation who are illiterate.
How many people grew up without getting beyond the 6th or 8th grade -- not because they are dumb, but because they had to go to work to help support their family?
(Child labor laws?
Who monitors that in farming communities when people are working in the fields?)
How many people can't type?
How many people live away from big cities, so far that Internet service -- especially broadband, is difficult, if not impossible, even if they could use and/or afford a computer?
How many people conduct their business using straight cash (no bank account)? -- (This statistic is astounding.)
The notion that the USPS should conduct the census is an interesting one, but that won't work in very small towns with widespread populace in the country -- with one postmaster and maybe a part-time helper (everybody gets their mail in a post-office box).
The Postal Service is Constitutionally mandated; privatize it?
We already have.
That doesn't remove the Constitutional mandate.
Want to say that people in the country will simply have to pay the price for expensive delivery?
What if they can't afford it?
That doesn't excuse the Constitutional mandate.
Just because we "privatized" the USPS, don't you think, if FedEX or UPS could make a profit on 1st-class delivery that they wouldn't have stripped that service away from the USPS?
FedEX & UPS are exorbitantly expensive, compared to USPS delivery of packages.
Check it out.
Get real, folks.
We'll always have a USPS.
The main reason people grouse about the USPS is because the workers are unionized and they hate unions, as a matter of prejudice, not practical fact.
Actually, the USPS would be in lots worse condition today and give much worse service had they NOT been unionized.
We've tried to starve the USPS out of existence, but we'll never be able to do without one.
If we don't have services out in the country, the U.S. will turn into a country with big cities surrounded by dangerous wildernesses in which ground travel would be treacherous.
So, grow up and face reality, folks.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | March 29, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

RougesPalace writes:

"Is this junk mail paying its full fair share?"

The answer is YES. All that 'junk mail' subsidizes a 44 cent first class letter for everyone else. The answer is it's paying more than its fair share because it's paying part of your share for any letter or parcel you send. It subsidizes the nice greeting card my mom sent for my birthday with a gift check tucked inside.

Everyone needs to listen to Jack Potter on the Kojo Nmamdi Show. There is an archive of his March interview on WAMU. The Postmaster general lays it all out. The biggest financial burden to the USPS is the fully funded pensions it has for its employees. No company, public or private does that anywhere because Congress does not require it of them. Congress only requires it of the USPS. That financial burden is killing them, along with the rising price of gasoline.

I'm tired of hearing people slam the postal service. You know what? I WANT Saturday service, so that my credit card payment gets there in time so I'm not slammed with a late fee. I count on Saturday processing for some transactions. Just think about that for a minute. All that credit card reform will have been for nothing if people start assuming their payments will be processed on Saturdays by USPS when they aren't. (And yes, some of my bills are paid online, but the online bank sometimes sends a paper check anyway instead of an ACS or EFT. So you can't get away from it even if you wanted to.)

And for the 6 month lag in cutting service? THAT IS PUBLICLY MANDATED so all you whiners in the comments can put in your two cents with the PRC before the USPS does anything. So get your letters into the PRC and quit your complaining here. The PRC isn't reading this and doesn't care what you think till you tell them directly. (They do have a website. PRC.gov.)

Posted by: brcmapgirl | March 29, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Where was the following answer choice:
Cut the unsustainable retiree pension and health care benefts.

Why are government employees, who wrote into law their own benefits (ie MORAL HAZARD), cutting all services or increasing taxes/prices instead of facing the root of the problem.
They created a huge underfunded monster with all the wrong actuarian assumptions. How shocking that it's practically bankrupt? They only assumed each person could pay in based on 5% of one salary and retired with 30 years at close to full salary plus healthcare for life! That equates to a $1.5M+ annuity in present value terms.

The U.S. Postal System should not be a tax-payer funded retiree community that sorts and delivers mail on the side.

Posted by: SamRon1 | March 29, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

For consideration by the Postal Regulatory Commission:
1) Retain across-the-counter postal service on Saturday and eliminate mail delivery to residential and business addresses on Saturdays
2) Continue processing and moving mail on the weekends to provide continued timely deliveries, much improved in terms of delivery times from five decades ago.
3) Continue to accept bulk mail and business mail through designated regional mail centers on Saturday mornings to permit expedited business mail handling. Consider processing charges on a sliding scale for the use of the service.
4) Consider increasing postage stamp booklet sales through grocery chains, drug stores, and big box stores, in different denominations, and increase the number of mail kiosks at post office lobbies, including stamp dispensing services from those kiosks.
5) Consider recruiting "educated, service oriented, and test qualified" postal clerks to work on a part time basis at big box stores and mall outlets on Saturday to provide traditional but limited postal service to replace closing of post offices on Saturday (if suggsstion (1) about is not implemented). Involves moving postal equipment to secure premises at big box stores and required additional audit and monitoring of services, I would guess; and providing transportation at the end of the day to move mail to regional processing centers. If cost prohibitive, then disregard as desired but not economically feasible.

I believe I am being pragmatic, politically insensitive, and have an educational background in public service and researched technology-based postal mail handling services as part of one of the graduate courses.

Is the survey statistically valid for the different political, economic, and demographic aspects noted? Seems to me to be too small a sample for the number of different aspects and did not appear to have enough geographically diverse sampling. there was no mentin of rural, suburban and urban responders.

Posted by: tmkurihara | March 29, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I believe goint to a five-day week would work but not Saturday. Also not a middle of the week day that would preclude anyone having a two-day holiday like most of the rest of us get. that, of course, leaves Monday. That way holidays that fall on Monday would not be affected

Posted by: rvs1105 | March 29, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I have a problem accepting a public "poll" of 1,000 respondents as adequately addressing a situation that affects a vast number of people in all walks of life. However, whether the idea of Saturday delivery cuts is supported by this phantom "majority" or not does not affect my own view that Saturday delivery is important and needs to be continued. With USPS losing money, obviously something has to be cut out and inevitably the cuts have to be people related since that is where the preponderance of money goes. I've been interested in this discussion to hear about reorganization, streamlining of management and supervision, and elimination of non-performers, of whom I have met an unpleasantly large number during my many years of using the post office (compromising the hard work and reputations of decent, reliable employees). Does the USPS personnel system have to reflect and even magnify the shocking inefficiencies of the Federal personnel system (had plenty of experience with that over a 34-year career!)? I'd like to see a full-dress survey of USPS personnel and management practices and a "mission definition" of a streamlined postal service, and identify which of all that is a business-related situation and which may be related to the needs of governmental units (fed, state and local) and start attributing to those costs to the budgets of those entities. For instance, postal personnel handling passport applications is undoubtedly a great convenience to the traveling public but it hardly something the 44-cent stamp should be helping pay for. Similarly, I would suggest that a finite financial administration of the philatelic part of the system be established and it be required to show profit and loss--if the former prevails (and it should if run better than the system has been in recent years) the funds can be reallocated; if losses prevail....bye bye.
I have been very impressed, both in this country and in Canada, by the remarkable level of service to patrons achieved by some well-run postal agencies located in drug stores, supermarkets, etc. I would recommend that the USPS leadership visit Joe's Supermarket in North Bismarck, North Dakota, and see what a motivated employee can do. I also note that in Canada, for example, in Vancouver, BC, such facilities even provide Sunday service to patrons.
Finally (and I apologize for the length of this posting but I just can't take subject that has such wide national ramifications and reduce it to the equivalent of a 1000-person-poll), I suggest that some discount be extended even to individual patrons, not just businesses, such as larger stamp purchases at one time, to encourage more individual business while instituting modest charges for special forms (e.g., customs forms) that are required for some special service. This all sounds like penny-ante but let's face it multiplied annually by the millions and more, it might help, too.

Posted by: fdcorrel | March 29, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

We all love our post offices and mail men.
The U. S. Postal Service because of revenue cuts must consider : 1)eliminating Saturday delivery of mails,2)post office service and 3)closing or combining of post offices in selected some zip codes . This would not be bad for customers .

Posted by: dmfarooq | March 29, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DwightCollins
more jobs lost by the obama plan of unemployment...

-----

Hey Dwight, Aren't you the one on here always calling for smaller government? Ya can't have it both ways!

Posted by: dlpetersdc | March 29, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

This is just a preview of the future of government controlled healthcare. Then the issue will be more like. Lets drop care on all people over the age of 65, they are no longer productive and are a drag on costs. Or extend to cancer patients. Any of which can be the parent or loved one of you reading this comment.

Posted by: ajmg1 | March 29, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I suggest they keep post offices open and reduce delivery to three days a week with two separate routes on alternate days. Cuts delivery staff in half and still gets the mail there on time. If you need it in a hurry, you can still use express.

Of course, that would probably increase private sector business.

Too logical?

Posted by: jcoxatty | March 29, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Living in a small rural community with no home-delivery my family must retrieve our mail at the little post office that serves us . . . and pay $100 per year to rent the the box!

Those complaining of losing one day of delivery might consider the above.

Posted by: talitha1 | March 29, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

The US Post Office has something to sell that they have overlooked ... Privacy.

If you want to keep your information out of the hands of the entire web world -- for now and for potential mining later on ... send it by mail.

Just a thought!

Posted by: scott56 | March 29, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

fr moebius22:

>How about an attitude adjustment along with the cuts...I'm tired of going to my local U.S. Postal Service Office and having the line practically reach the front door.<

Oh, you and me BOTH. There's one PO near where I live, right on the way to work, but I ALWAYS have to figure on at least 10-15 mins of standing in line while the two workers at a five-person counter stand and yak with their friends BEFORE waiting on customers.

Once I told the mailman that we pay his salary, and let him sputter and fume when I told him that everytime a stamp is bought, a package is sent, people collect mail from their PO boxes, that IS paying their salary. He also desperately needed a lesson in dressing properly for the job.

Posted by: Alex511 | March 29, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"We have at least three private mail delivery services UPS, FedEx, DHL, that can deliver you mail instead of using USPS. Of course last time I checked they wont deliver a letter for around $0.44"

DHL is dead in the US. UPS and FedEx are not suthorized to carry or deliver first class mail.

Posted by: BEEPEE | March 29, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

"How about an attitude adjustment along with the cuts...I'm tired of going to my local U.S. Postal Service Office and having the line practically reach the front door"

Agree about the lines, but at least at my post office it is NOT the postal workers, it is the customers who cause the problem.

I'm tired of people that get to the counter and THEN start addressing envelopes. Or they come in and expect the postal workers to pack, address, and seal boxes.

The workers do their best to be helpful and polite in dealing w/ the morons.

Posted by: BEEPEE | March 29, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

This is stupid to cut delivery - just one more example of services being cut and quality of life declining. How about increasing the price of a domestic stamp? The current price is ridiculously low. Many countries much smaller than the United States charge more for a domestic letter. I am sure that 65 cents for a domestic first class stamp would solve any budget problem.

Posted by: AnonymousBE1 | March 29, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

if congress, led by senator "free market" demint would allow the usps to stop subsidizing junk mail (like free market's company used to flood us with) saturday mail delivery could be continues. if fed ex or ups wants to pick up the 3rd class subsidy, usps would be happy to let them compete for first class.

Posted by: george32 | March 29, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

All of those who posted evidently do NOT get mail in 20613. We have put up with atrocious mail for more than 20 years that I have been in this zipcode. Mis-slotted mail, crumpled mail, crammed mail, missing mai. Remember the slogan: 2 POUNDS/2 days/2 dollars-- try 13 days from Chesapeake VA to Brandywine MD. Store coupons delivered up to 3 weeks after the sale. Stop me before I start foaming at the mouth.

Posted by: katydid3363 | March 29, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Netflix just started shipping on Saturdays so this will suck if I can't get new rentals on Monday. Just raise the postal rates!

Posted by: TidusNVA | March 29, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

It appears, the United States is falling apart. Every city small or large seems to have deficits including the Federal Government. It's doom and gloom.

Posted by: cancer1 | March 29, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the suggestion that USPS conduct the census because "they are going to every single household anyway".

Well, no they aren't. Home delivery is not available in many areas; folks retrieve their mail at post office boxes, for which they pay a fee. So the census idea isn't viable as a means to obtain an accurate count.

(Now if you want to talk about using USPS by the Census Bureau to deliver the letter to tell you they're sending you the census form and then another postcard to remind you to fill out and return the census form:
well, that piece of brilliance is in effect as we type!)

Posted by: talitha1 | March 29, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

make the junk mail BS subject to a rate equal to the public. subsidizing free advertising for the financial bloodsuckers and basic crap is stupid. as for the internet as a source of personal correspondence u have to be an absolute moron. 5 days w/o this is worth it. looking forward to an unclutterd mail box

Posted by: pofinpa | March 29, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

It's fine with me if there are no Saturday deliveries. Who wants to think about the bills on the weekend, anyway? If you get a piece of bad news on a Saturday, you just have to stew about it until Monday morning, which is the earliest you can make business calls, anyway.

In fact, with the advent of technology, I think we could probably even get by with a 4-day delivery.

Of course, businesses and government offices will have to adjust some of their rules and regs to accommodate, which is only fair.

Posted by: kentuckywoman2 | March 29, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

May I ask why so many comments here reflect the mistaken assumption that the USPS is tax-payer funded? The postal service is constitutionally mandated but not tax-payer funded. This fact is clearly stated in the article . . . read it!

Posted by: talitha1 | March 29, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

This will end up giving people more time back for their weekends. That's ok with me for sure.

Posted by: Nymous | March 29, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Why cut Saturdays? Tuesdays and Thursdays are much less important. I don't like the idea of going 3 full days between delivery.

Posted by: slar | March 29, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

DRSMERC11 - your parents are wrong. Saturday delivery has existed since home delivery began.

Posted by: Mark20005 | March 29, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

The Post Office should take a lesson from history.
During WWII they established V-Mail to expedite flow of mail from the war zones to loved ones back home.

Today, in the interest of innovative and efficient service, you might think out-of-the-box and explore how you can use the internet to receive and deliver what might be called "E-letters".

This type of service would be beneficial to persons that do not have computers to receive normal E-Mail.
(One extremely large group to consider as customers would be nursing home residents).

This service could easily be performed in a fashion similar to the MAILGRAM service you once provided in a joint operation with Western Union.
The advantage being, that computers connected to the internet can now be used for both receipt and delivery of the product.

Posted by: leberk | March 29, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Please cut back my mail service to once a month. All the USPS ever delivers is useless junk mail. The entire organization is a complete waste of time. A jobs program at its finest.

Posted by: amfast | March 29, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

This is rotten if you're a Netflix customer.

Posted by: herrbrahms | March 29, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse


RE: Netflix (and I'm an avid subscriber)

I think we can all agree that's the least of our worries. Keep the darned DVD for an extra day! Netflix will survive until it is replaced with better technology and/or a better business model . . . unlike USPS.

Posted by: talitha1 | March 29, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Some items are shipped in thermal containers with ice packs. An extra day delay would cause problems. Other perishable items could be damaged by being stored in an unheated or non-air-conditioned space for an extra 24 hours. This would force shippers to ship only on Monday or Tuesday.

My mailbox is sometimes packed with one days delivery. Don't deliver for one day, and the postal carrier must spend additional time with a to the door delivery or taking some of the mail back, to be delivered on another day. Combine this with heavy mail at the beginning of the week, and many of us will require super size mailboxes. Lacking new mailboxes (difficult in apartment buildings), there goes the savings in labor costs.

I remember when we had two (2) mail deliveries per day and first class postage cost three (3) cents. I agree with increased prices for bulk mailing as a way to reduce volume and thereby reduce costs. With automated sorting machines, presorting of bulk mail should not reduce the postal rate below any savings derived from presorting done by the customer.

Posted by: roypeck | March 30, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

This is an interesting article. I am a full time carrier and I don't have a part time carrier do my route on my day off. I have a carrier technician, a full time position, do this job. Eliminating 6 day delivery means eliminating approximately 1 out of every 6 full time carrier positions. Does Congress really want to be responsible for the elimination of more jobs???? I thought they wanted to create jobs in these poor economic times.

Posted by: CLSnyder1 | March 30, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Its okay to stop Saturdays especially in the warm weather. My mail on Saturdays is often utility's payment or nothing at all.

Posted by: marcy20046 | March 31, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Eh, I like Saturday mail but I don't see it as that big considering email has become the #1 choice of important news

Posted by: Bious | April 1, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

A poll of 1000 people constitutes the majority of Americans ... give me a break.
I've also been a part employee for 5 years and have never seen less than 40 hours a week
where did Potter find 13000 carriers that only work 1 day a week. By the way are TE's have getting over 40 hr's a week for quite sometime.

Posted by: ptf4life | April 1, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I am a full-time letter carrier who is very much against moving to a 5-day delivery schedule. This move could very well cost me my job. Not that this is any concern to the vast majority of you folks posting your comments. Where's all this hatred for the USPS stemming from? I think people hear the word "government" and automatically decipher that as a negative. Believe it or not, the great majority of your postal service employees work their butts off to provide the services that many take for granted. Like any company, there are some deadbeats. But it is unfair to characterize all USPS employees as lazy, overpaid slobs with bad attitudes. I love my job. I love interacting with my customers. As is often the case in life, people think they have all the answers to a problem when presented with very little information (information they glean from the media for God's sake). Yes, the postal service is in trouble. Yes, the postal service needs a modern business model. But, no, the postal service does not need to cut service. This would only force us further down the hole. The real reason the postal service is losing money year after year is due primarily to one reason. The Bush administration in 2006 made it a congressional law that the postal service pay 5.6 billion dollars per year into its pre-funded retiree health care package. This is above and beyond what is expected of any other government or private-sector agency (including the Congress itself). It is a statistical fact that the postal service would have made sustainable profits over the last three years if this ridiculous requirement was not mandated by congress. I agree that some changes are needed to keep the USPS moving forward. But many of you folks are targeting postal workers when it should be congress you're after. Go after those geniuses with your torches and pitchforks!

Posted by: wright28 | April 3, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I am a full time letter carrier. Yesterday (saturday) I delivered and picked up a total of 24 movie/game discs, four apparent birthday gifts, at least 15 packs of vitamins/medicines, eyeglasses from the VA (according to the customer), a vehicle title, numerous birthday, Easter, and other greeting cards and some electric bills. Also sent out two sets of circulars. How in the world can we cut Saturday delivery and be able not to work 12 hour days the other 5 (or 4 during holidays) days a week? Fix the prefunding requirements and give the USPS some breathing room to make necessary fixes over the next few years.

Posted by: big63ray | April 4, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

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