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Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe  (Source:
The U.S. Postal Service plans to slow first-class mail delivery and close 250 mail processing centers come March

The U.S. Postal Service has announced that it will make about $3 billion in reductions next spring in order to climb out of the red, which is expected to affect first-class mail delivery and those who use it such as Netflix and Gamefly.

After five years of being in the red, the U.S. Postal Service is taking action to reduce costs while waiting for Congress to allow it to raise stamp prices, reduce health care/labor costs, and reduce delivery to five days per week.

Despite having to wait on Congress for such larger aspects of authority regarding cost reduction, the U.S. Postal Service is an independent agency of government that does not receive tax money, thus enabling it to make smaller-scale decisions of its own.

The U.S. Postal Service has decided to make its cuts in first-class mail delivery, which will slow delivery and eliminate next-day USPS delivery.

First-class mail is currently delivered to homes and businesses within one to three days in the continental U.S. Forty-two percent of first-class mail arrives the following day while 27 percent arrives in two days and 31 percent arrives in three days. Less than 1 percent arrives in four to five days. With the cuts in progress taking place, 51 percent of first-class mail would arrive in two days while much of the remainder would arrive in three days.

In addition to slowed mail delivery, 250 mail processing centers and 3,700 local post offices will close if the cuts are finalized, which would eliminate about 100,000 postal employees. This would save the U.S. Postal Service $6.5 billion annually.

These changes are currently awaiting advisory opinion from the independent Postal Regulatory Commission in March 2012, but Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has said that the cuts are urgent and will be put into action come March after the opinion is released.

The U.S. Postal Service is expected to have a loss of $14.1 billion next year. According to Donahoe, it must make $20 billion in cuts by 2015 in order to climb back into the black.

The U.S. Postal Service has already made a few announcements in regards to changes, such as a 1-cent increase in first-class mail to 45 cents starting January 22. It also announced in September the possibility of closing the processing centers, and it received 4,400 public comments where many opposed the idea. State legislators and small-town mayors were on the list of opposition, while companies like AT&T strongly urged the U.S. Postal Service to educate the public about any changes so that there is no confusion or delinquent payments when it sends its monthly billing statements. DVD-by-mail companies like Netflix and Gamefly will also be affected, since these services depend on timely DVD delivery. Customers will likely cancel such services if they feel they are not getting their money's worth.

"DVD by mail may not last forever, but we want it to last as long as possible," said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

Many who oppose the U.S. Postal Service's approach say that these cuts will likely make its situation worse by pushing customers to internet services instead such as online bill payment.

Source: Yahoo News

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USPS missed the boat
By One43637 on 12/5/2011 1:44:07 PM , Rating: -1
10 years ago, if USPS gave each US citizen it's own free email address, they could have sold ad banners and not be in the financial sink hole they are in now.

RE: USPS missed the boat
By abscode on 12/5/2011 2:26:19 PM , Rating: 5
Congress is more responsible for the post 2005 "financial sink hole" by requiring the USPS to pre-fund both their retirement program and their health plan well beyond what is required by other federal agencies including the military. The income from stamp and other user fees is greater than USPS annual operating costs if the prepaid benefits are lowered to S&P averages -- which is still greater than other federal agencies.

RE: USPS missed the boat
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2011 3:09:40 PM , Rating: 1
So your argument is that its a bad thing for them to insure they have enough money to pay for their lavish retirement benefits? Would you rather they kick paying for those things down the road like the rest of the government, ultimately resulting in tax payers bailing it out when they can't afford the benefits?

Exactly what will happen in coming years to Social Security and federal pension systems. Far too high of benefits without enough being contributed both by the government and the employees themselves to pay for them.

RE: USPS missed the boat
By Stuka on 12/5/2011 3:31:37 PM , Rating: 3
Why should 20000 employees have full retirement benefits at the expense of 2000 employees who are now jobless? Those numbers are not accurate, but the point is. All unions have fought for exorbitant benefits for themselves knowing that the cost is some of their buddies have no job at all, and in the long run, possibly no company at all. See: UAW; they have strangulated the auto industry to the point of the government bailing them out with taxpayer money. So, in essence, Uncle Sam paid UAW pensions with MY social security money. Why can't the USPS have a 401k plan like every other non-trade business in the country?? Why must they have full retirement benefits??

RE: USPS missed the boat
By Motoman on 12/5/2011 7:04:52 PM , Rating: 1
I think the better question is why government workers have any pension plans outside of social security anyway.

RE: USPS missed the boat
By nocturne_81 on 12/5/2011 7:50:15 PM , Rating: 4
Are you serious?! Social Security is not a retirement plan -- it's a very small level of reassurance, which should never account for more than a third of your total retirement income. If you are planning for your SS benefits to let you live comfortably in your later years, you are going to be sadly mistaken.

Furthermore, I'm really getting tired of the ridiculous notion that all government employees (not appointees) have incredible medical and retirement benefits. Practically every government agency operates just like any other companies do in this regard -- create or hire an entity to manage a gathered pool of retirement benefits. According to your employee contract (varies by region, branch, locality, or even person to person -- just like any company), you pay a specified portion of your retirement benefit payments. Often you may be matched 1:1 by the employer, though in exchange for less pay. You may get full medical benefits, though in exchange for less pay -- just like any other company.

I myself worked for the state of Ohio for 3 years.. I paid 100% of my retirement benefit payments, and received no medical benefits as I had a 'part-time' position (even though I was working 60hrs a week) -- which if you knew better, is the case with most actual government jobs.

RE: USPS missed the boat
By LordSojar on 12/6/2011 5:23:18 AM , Rating: 2

Yes, these guys are serious. Most of them are so delusional that they'd sooner destroy 95% of the government agencies to save some ill conceived notion of "tax payer money", where private industry would them rape and pillage all of society because there are so few companies with a code of ethics anymore that goes beyond the simple law.

I really hope they do succeed in getting rid of the NHTSA, EPA, etc... then we can all die happy capitalists at the ripe old age of 30 from our cars spontaneously exploding when a shopping cart dings it or from the water we cook our yummy spaghetti in being laced with arsenic, mercury and all matter of other things, so long as those socialist organizations aren't around, it's a-ok!

Everyone is trying to be "more like the Founding Fathers" in that they want to take us back to the late 1790s and early 1800s, when America was so "great". NHTSA won't be around to require seatbelts in our horse carriages either! HOORAY

RE: USPS missed the boat
By Skywalker123 on 12/6/2011 5:47:11 AM , Rating: 1
Oh, no! We won't have an agency to make us wear seat belts! Whatever will we do?

RE: USPS missed the boat
By Motoman on 12/6/2011 9:19:58 AM , Rating: 2
No, you're both wrong. Although the government is clearly vastly larger than it should be, but anyway...

Are you serious?! Social Security is not a retirement plan

Yes it is. And it's billed as "good enough" for workers who can't afford anything else...either by getting jobs with supplemental plans, or by managing their own IRAs etc. It's actually more than a retirement plan, as SS includes disability and unemployment benefits, so it's actually both an insurance policy and retirement plan.

My point is that if SS is in trouble, why are all these government agencies funding secondary retirement systems instead of, you know, working to ensure the continued viability of SS?

Ultimately, I don't want SS to go away. I want it to be strengthened and made healthy for the benefit of all Americans. And that won't happen when even the government itself doesn't support it.

RE: USPS missed the boat
By Schrag4 on 12/6/2011 9:27:01 AM , Rating: 2
...then we can all die happy capitalists at the ripe old age of 30 from our cars spontaneously exploding when a shopping cart dings it ...

That's funny, because the EPA is working quite hard to make all cars death traps.

RE: USPS missed the boat
By Breathless on 12/6/2011 9:56:40 AM , Rating: 2
I would rather die a happy capitalist then a miserable socialist.

RE: USPS missed the boat
By Chaser on 12/6/2011 10:48:24 AM , Rating: 2
I myself worked for the state of Ohio for 3 years.. I paid 100% of my
First of all most people that refer to outlandish benefits are usually talking about Federal employees. Not the local yokel state job you landed. So you're generalizing just as much as the people you are accusing.

Anyone that wasn't born under a rock is well aware of the financial abuses of the Federal government especially when it comes to benefits and also from so called "public unions" of several states employees too. New Jersey and Wisconsin, such as state teacher tenures (pensions) come to mind if you happen to watch TV news once in a while?

RE: USPS missed the boat
By room200 on 12/5/2011 8:56:34 PM , Rating: 2
Because you saw what happened to all the 65 year olds who were ready to retire in 2008; they can't afford to retire because the market crashed. The banks nearly ruined the American economy; they don't have unions to blame. We bailed them out. 401k's are a rip-off.

RE: USPS missed the boat
By Spuke on 12/5/2011 3:55:58 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly what will happen in coming years to Social Security and federal pension systems.
Federal pension system? Since when?

RE: USPS missed the boat
By nocturne_81 on 12/5/2011 7:55:14 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly! Where do these guys get the assumption that the federal government (or any governmental agency for that matter) don't want to screw their own employees over as much as possible, just like any company or corporation?!?!

The only good gov't jobs are the ones you get appointed (or born) into..

RE: USPS missed the boat
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2011 10:39:17 PM , Rating: 2
Are you contesting that there is a federal pension system or that its under funded?

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