This L.A. Times letter to the editor is worth a re-post (I managed to lose the link, sorry):
It’s called the U.S. Postal Service because it is a service, not a corporation. Who decided the Postal Service must be profitable? Do other government agencies, like the Defense Department and the Department of Education, have to turn a profit?
Benjamin Franklin was the first postmaster general, and the Post Office has effectively served the American people for 237 years. But now it is under attack because, gasp, it’s losing money. No wonder: The Republicans in 2006 made postal workers pre-fund their retirement 75 years in advance, making it nearly impossible for the USPS to make a profit.
Let’s be honest: Conservatives want to privatize the Postal Service, home to two of the nation’s largest unions. If Congress insists that the USPS be profitable (and it shouldn’t), then the solution is simple: Raise the price of stamps a few cents.
The rest of that post is well worth a look, too, including this Ed Schultz quote:
You see, the post office is required by law to provide universal delivery, regardless of geography and regardless of whether or not they’re going to make a profit. It’s a big service for America. This is a rights issue. This is more not so much about convenience, this is about what you in Real America voted for: Tea Party America.
So now, after the USPS has announced the demise of Saturday mail delivery, Congress seems ready to act. The question is, what will they do? I trust Darrell Issa the way I trust Anthem Blue Cross to provide the opportunity for "high quality care at a low cost."
Bipartisan legislation to help the struggling U.S. Postal Service could be enacted and sent to President Obama’s desk within months, top lawmakers said Wednesday.
Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), testifying before a Senate panel, said that last-minute efforts at postal reform in the previous Congress came very close to a bipartisan agreement.
Cummings, the ranking Democrat at the House Oversight Committee, even went so far as to say the legislation could make it through both chambers before the end of March.