The U.S. Postal Service's move to cut service on Saturday is being met by shock. Shock from the same people who think Times Square is too commercial.
Today, 25 members of Congress' New York Delegation sent a letter decrying the move by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. Some were Republicans and some were Democrats.
The truth is, a smarter move than cutting service on Saturdays would be to cut service Monday-Friday, and be open Saturday only.
Here's why: the Postal Service is broke and no matter how much hand wringing there is in Congress, we can't afford the USPS.
If things keep up this way, you know they will come for a taxpayer bailout.
In the final three months of last year, despite campaign flyers and Christmas cards, the Postal Service lost nearly $1.5 billion! It actually loses $25 million each and every day.
In truth, the USPS is the biggest patronage program in the country. It employs the largest public workforce and only Walmart is bigger.
Walmart has 600,000 unionized workers and their wages and benefits comprise 80% of the USPS operating expenses.
Compared to 32% at FedEx, four out of every five operating dollars go to wages and benefits. That's not a recipe for success.
You get the picture. The U.S. postal service is unsustainable.
Liberals like to harken back to an era, way back when the system was started in 1788, when 75 post offices served four million Americans. They say the system provided a reliable way for information to flow, believe it or not, newspapers were sent by mail. They say today it provides an unrivaled opportunity for community members to get together.
Today, there are 32,000 post offices and 313 million Americans.
So, instead of one office serving 53,000 people as it did back at the start of the Republic, one office services less than 10,000 folks.
Bloat, waste, and excess are the hallmarks of the Post Office. When I want "community" I go to church or get on email or the phone.
The sad reality for the Post Office is this: it's most profitable businesses have already moved to FedEx, UPS and the internet.
Even First Class Mail service is declining, down 4.5% last quarter.
The only thing the USPS delivers to my house these days that I don't get elsewhere are retail catalogues, and that's not a business I think the Federal Government should be in.
Either downsize the Post Office or close it.
We can't afford to bail it out.
The Willis Report with Gerri Willis investigates the top business stories, outs corporate scams and polices D.C. policy.