U.S. Postal Service needs help
Talk for months about how inefficiency and lax security in the U.S. Postal Service may affect the upcoming presidential election has had an unfortunate side-effect: It has distracted attention from the agency’s very real, deeply rooted dilemma.
Any private company suffering as badly as the Postal Service has for long as its problems have been allowed to continue would have filed for bankruptcy protection years ago.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has been caught in the partisan battle over mail-in election ballots. DeJoy, nominated by President Donald Trump, has been accused of attempting to hamper mail delivery in advance of the Nov. 3 election.
But at least some of the changes he has made pre-date the COVID-19 epidemic which prompted millions of Americans to decide to use mail-in ballots. DeJoy’s goal was to make the Postal Service more efficient.
Whether the steps he took were good or bad may be open to debate. Clearly, however, someone needs to do something about the Postal Service.
Postal Service deficits during the past decade reportedly totaled about $70 billion — and the situation is growing worse. During the third quarter of the current fiscal year, at a time when COVID-19 had increased package shipments dramatically, the agency lost $2.2 billion.
So fiscally unstable is the Postal Service that, in order to ensure mail delivery was uninterrupted, Congress included $10 billion for the agency in the CARES Act.
Once the dust is settled from the Nov. 3 election, long after the last lawsuit over mail-in ballots has been settled, the Postal Service will be in trouble. The next president, whomever that may be, should make addressing the crisis a priority.