(HorizonPost.com) – The United States Post Office (USPS) is in dire financial straits at the moment, awash in an estimated $188.4 billion of outstanding liabilities and looking to add another $160 billion in the next decade, according to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Believing that the national mail service must face a period of austerity that will allow it to come out the other end as a profitable enterprise, he has published a 10-year plan he believes will work.
What’s In the Plan
DeJoy envisions the turnaround happening in approximately five years through a series of service cuts and refocusing toward greater package delivery potential, in addition to other adjustments. This shift in priorities would include an extended period for the delivery of first-class mail.
Under the current standard, first-class mail is typically delivered within three days. In the new blueprint, first-class mail, often transported by air, would switch to over-the-road truck transportation. Approximately 31% of deliveries would be delayed to five-day deliveries.
According to DeJoy, the massive switch to online consumer shopping caused by the pandemic will become permanent. Letters accounted for 51% of USPS revenue in 2008, according to The Washington Post. That percentage shrunk to just 33% in 2020 while packages went from 14% to 39%, accounting for DeJoy’s theory.
The Left Pushback
As soon the postmaster’s plan was made public, Congressional Democrats went on the offensive by offering legislation that would preclude part of DeJoy’s plan from taking place. Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) is one of seven planning to introduce a bill that would require things to stay as they are. They even titled it in a somewhat derogatory manner as the DEJOY Act by using a painfully long official title — the Delivering Envelopes Judiciously On-time Year-round Act.
Dems are also urging President Joe Biden to make appointments to the Post Office’s Board of Governors. The president no longer appoints the Postmaster-General but instead appoints the board that makes that appointment. There are four vacancies, and President Joe Biden has already nominated three. He’s expected to name the final one soon.
Could the nominations be politically motivated? Democrats have said they expect a new Postmaster General soon after the board vacancies are filled, and one of the appointees is a voting rights advocate. The strategy could help keep mail-in voting a viable option, as advocated for in the recent Democrat HR1 legislation. It could also be a way to foil the plans of states like Arizona and Georgia, which recently enacted laws to strengthen mail-in voting procedures. When you consider all that, the DEJOY Act and board nominations certainly seem pretty partisan.
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