Once again, we are left to wonder whether Steve Pociask just doesn’t understand reality as it pertains to the United States Postal Service or whether he is deliberately choosing to ignore it – perhaps at the behest of Postal Service competitors who stand to benefit most from such factual distortions. Either way, it is difficult to take any of Mr. Pociask’s biased and misguided musings seriously. However, to the extent these half-truths and distortions are being put forth to derail fiscally responsible bipartisan postal reform legislation to help return the Postal Service to a position of financial stability – we feel compelled to respond.
First, while we take some solace in the fact that Mr. Pociask actually took the time to look at some of the information on the PRC’s website – his reading selection in that regard is curiously limited. Even his selective references to the ACD seem designed to distort facts in support of an agenda rather than shed any real light on the serious challenges facing the Postal Service. A more complete review of the ACD and many other materials on the PRC’s website would show that contrary to Mr. Pociask’s shallow take on the facts, the Postal Service has made tremendous strides on service throughout the last year. This achievement is even more impressive given the recent right sizing of the Postal Service’s delivery network that was made necessary by volume declines – which, of course, Mr. Pociask conveniently fails to mention as it would be inconsistent with the narrative he wishes to create.
If Mr. Pociask has real interest in the state of the Postal Service we suggest he expand his PRC reading materials to include the PRC’ Financial Analysis of the Postal Service and maybe even the Postal Service’s recent comments on the PRC’s Ten Year review docket. These documents and many others will provide a more accurate view of the serious financial challenges facing the Postal Service and the fact that they are largely beyond management’s control. They will also explain why, even with recent price changes (which were capped at the rate of inflation by law), the Postal Service still faces serious financial headwinds. If Mr. Pociask is going to write about the Postal Service he should at least take the time to get all the facts and propose real solutions. Unfortunately, Mr. Pociask seems strangely oblivious to the real problems facing the Postal Service.
Three things are required to get the Postal Service on a path to economic sustainability. First, we need swift enactment of the legislation currently in the House of Representatives. This legislation addresses, once and for all, the Postal Service’s retiree health benefit obligations through Medicare integration and does many other things that will enable the Postal Service to achieve better financial standing. Second, the Postal Service needs more pricing flexibility which can be obtained through a successful result in the PRC’s 10-year review. Despite his repeated protestations regarding the recent increases in the prices related to First Class Mail, Mr. Pociask never mentions the fact that 3/4 of the Postal Service’s revenue is governed by a price cap tied to the rate of inflation. Finally, the Postal Service will to continue its efforts to aggressively manage the business by reducing costs, increasing efficiency and generating new revenue while providing first-rate service the American public – which, by the way, we are doing now.