Wrong solution

EDITOR: Your editorial on ending Saturday mail delivery ("Delivering some relief to postal budget," Saturday) did not address facts in the news article printed the same day ("Postal Service lost $1.3 billion"). In the last quarter, the U.S. Postal Service "actually made $100 million delivering the mail."

There is no question that the use of email, electronic billing and the recession have reduced the volume of mail. Most of the red ink, as Rep. Jared Huffman said in Thursday's paper ("So long, Saturday mail?"), is caused by the congressionally required prefunding of retiree health benefit costs. No other agency or company prefunds future health benefit costs to the extent that the Postal Service must. This mandate consumes 9 percent of the Postal Service's annual budget and led to red ink every year since it was required in 2007. It is clearly an unsustainable business model.

Last year you noted, "Congress has imposed costly mandates while micromanaging operations" ("Creating a 21st century Postal Service," May 24). You voiced the hope that after the election Congress "may tackle postal reform." Congress did not, nor has Congress acted on proposals to allow the U.S. Postal Service to engage in new services, such as shipping wine.

Cutting service will drive away more customers and exacerbate the problems. It is not the solution to the Postal Service's financial problems.


Santa Rosa