Author: Debate_Guru

The US Postal Service Should Continue Saturday Mail Deliveries

PRO (4 arguments)


1) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid – “Cutting down mail delivery to five days per week will not save the Postal Service from insolvency. This short sighted measure will deal a crippling blow to the millions of Americans and small businesses who rely on the timely and reliable delivery to every community in our nation.”

2) According to a poll done by Mail Print, 86% of businesses stated that they would not be able to function as efficiently as normal if Saturday mail deliveries were eliminated.



US Postal Service: an independent federal agency that provides mail processing and delivery service for individuals and businesses in the United States


1. If the US postal service discontinues Saturday mail deliveries, many jobs will be lost.

“The Postal Service is the linchpin of a $1 trillion mailing and mail-related industry that employs more than 8 million Americans in fields as diverse as direct mail, printing, catalog companies, magazine and newspaper publishing and paper manufacturing," Maine senator Susan Collins said. "A healthy Postal Service is not just important to postal customers but also to our national economy." This quote shows that by cutting jobs, we will be hurting our economy farther.

Whatever savings do materialize will come primarily from cutting jobs  — a lot of them. Joann Weiner, an economist, says roughly 35,000 to 40,000 letter carrier jobs may have to be cut to make up for the projected but over-estimated $2 billion a year in savings. Richard Gallegos, vice president of the Fresno Area American Postal Workers Union and author of the Los Angeles Times article “The Truth About Saturday mail”, also agrees with Weiner, stating that 30,000-40,000 carriers will lose their jobs because of the cut. So many jobs are being cut, which hurts our economy. This in turn doesn’t help us in this recession but just puts us deeper into it.


Maine senator Susan Collins, Los Angeles Times


2. Contrary to popular belief, cutting Saturday mail actually loses money.

A 2011 Postal Regulatory Commission study indicates many of the alleged savings of five-day delivery are illusory—that, as all the political bluster suggests, cutting Saturday mail is a better bargaining chip than it is an actual budget measure. This study indicated that the savings are not actually reflected. In fact, they showed that the “supposed” savings will not occur and in fact will lose money.

Representative Gerry O’Connolly, a Virginia Democrat who is a co-sponsor of the House bill to preserve Saturday delivery, said in an interview that the Postal Service has not substantiated its projected $2 billion in annual savings from ending Saturday delivery.

In addition, financial experts, Jennifer Karls and Mark Giordio, analyzed the statistics concerning the amount of money saved. The amount saved, which they projected to be $2 billion, is actually much lower. A more recent and accurate study that the two experts conducted has proven that the total savings was only 20% of the projected amount. This is easily outweighed by the money that would be used to pay post office workers for overtime as a result of cutting Saturday mail service.  


2011 Postal Regulatory Commission

3. Discontinuing Saturday mail deliveries is an illogical plan.

The postmaster general proposes trading 17% of service for 2% in savings — an irrational business plan. Indeed, when the USPS asked the agency's overseer, the Postal Regulatory Commission, in 2011 to support ending six-day delivery, this illogic was one of the factors cited by the commission in declining to endorse the plan. "I am disappointed by the Postal Service's announcement today regarding its plans to transition to a five-day mail delivery schedule in August. This plan is completely illogical, because it doesn’t work! We are already in a depression and we need to focus on getting out of it, and this plan is not the way we will succeed," said Senator Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat, who has been working on a plan to save the postal service with Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican.


Senator Tom Carper and Darrell Issa

4. USPS lacks the authority to discontinue Saturday mail.

Postal Service began to question whether it even technically fell under Congress's appropriation bill, because the service is an independent agency that doesn't receive an annual taxpayer subsidy, but instead is reimbursed by Congress for certain relatively small areas, including delivering mail to the blind and overseas voters.The agency's reimbursement for those services is between $80 million and $100 million a year, he said, while the Postal Service's annual operating budget is about $73 billion—most of it raised through sales of stamps and other postal products.

Sen. Tom Carper (D., Del.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, which oversees postal operations, expressed disapproval Wednesday of ending Saturday service."I am disappointed by the Postal Service's announcement today," he said. "For nearly three decades, it has been the clear intent of Congress that the Postal Service provide most communities with six days of mail delivery."Rep. Gerry Connolly (D., Va.) said Mr. Donahoe lacked the constitutional authority to eliminate Saturday delivery and asked the Postal Service to provide legal justification for the action.The Association of Magazine Media, which represents consumer magazines, said it was taken by surprise. "While we have actively participated in conversations around postal reform, and in particular, five-day delivery, we did not expect the USPS would act unilaterally, without congressional approval, and we await Washington's reaction and more details," said its president, Mary Berner, in a statement



Wall Street Journal article “Saturday Mail Delivery nears end.”