How to fix the US Postal Service

Two widely discussed — and necessary — elements of postal sustainability include (1) ensuring the Postal Service operates its business-like functions as efficiently and reliably as possible, and (2) fixing the pre-funding of retiree benefits.

But it’s the funding model for the Postal Service that most needs fixing. Today’s service should be financed by a combination of congressional appropriations (reflecting the post office’s public sector role) and customer fees (reflecting its commercial identity).

This is not a new idea: It is how the Postal Service was funded for its first 200 years. Until President Richard Nixon signed the Postal Reorganization Act, or PRA, 50 years ago this month, we funded the agency with postage paid by those who send mail and annual appropriations by Congress, acknowledging mail delivery as a public service.

The PRA was intended to depoliticize and require the Postal Service to operate in a business-like fashion. The law changed to full funding by postage, regulated by a new agency, now the Postal Regulatory Commission. Public service appropriations were phased out by the 1980s.


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Great Article! I agree!

Park and loop costs the Post Office billions of dollars per year. All customers should be required to install curbside boxes.