The PJ Tatler

Joe Lieberman: Write More Passionate Love Letters to Save the Postal Service

The people who made the US Postal Service an inefficient, unsustainable mess are now trying to fix it before it goes broke. What can go wrong? A lot, actually.

In addition to structural reforms, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) suggested that USPS should mount a national advertising campaign promoting the value of printed mail.

“You cannot get money by text message,” McCaskill said. “I really think that there is a longing out there right now, especially in these uncertain times, for some of the things that have provided stability over the years.”

Apparently McCaskill has never heard of PayPal.

Donahoe said such a campaign is in the works. Aides said it will debut for the holiday shopping season.

Lieberman voiced his support, suggesting, “We should be writing more passionate letters to those we love.”

And send them via email, which is both instantaneous and requires no stamp.

Jim Geraghty ran some numbers on McCaskill’s plan to use taxpayer money to advertise the postal service. They don’t add up.

[T]o knock $1 billion off the current annual loss, the advertising campaign would have to spur Americans to buy 2,272,727,273 more stamps (2.2 billion) than they ordinarily would. In other words, if every man, woman, and child in America bought eight stamps, the Postal Service would shave off one-tenth of this year’s operating loss. Alternatively, the campaign could spur Americans to ship 54,644,809 more Express Mail envelopes than they ordinarily would.

A major poobah in postal service has a much better idea, but evidently the Democrats don’t want to hear it.

The Postal Service is a self-funding entity drawing revenue from the sale of stamps and shipments, but its workers draw benefits from the federal government’s health-care, retirement and workers’ compensation funds.

Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry, who oversees the health-care and retirement funds, said Congress should carefully study a Postal Service proposal to withdraw from the federal health-care and retirement funds to save money.

Or we could just privatize it and get Congress out of the mail delivery business altogether. FedEx and UPS already do the job better, at no cost to anyone who isn’t actually using their services.