Is struggling Postal Service a sign we're doomed?

One magazine wonders how Congress can tackle any important stuff if it couldn't handle reforming the USPS.

By Kim Peterson Feb 8, 2013 9:44AM
Image: Washington, D.C. ( Corbis)The unfailingly crotchety British magazine The Economist loves to shake its head at American lawmakers. And it's having a field day with the way Congress has handled the Postal Service.

The USPS is finally moving to five-day delivery, something it has been requesting for a while, the magazine reported Thursday. Most Americans are fine with this. Other countries have adopted the same policy.

But Congress' inability to take real action on the Postal Service shows that the U.S. is doomed, the magazine writes. Last year, the House of Representatives and the Senate each took up proposals reforming the service. Both bills died. The House bill never came to a vote, and the bill that passed in the Senate went nowhere in the House.

That Senate bill was as toothless as it gets, by the way. It simply delayed any action on the Postal Service for two years. So the USPS went ahead and canned Saturday delivery on its own using what the Economist calls "dubious legal reasoning."

It doesn't bode well for a Congress that absolutely must tackle some hard issues, including the federal deficit, the debt ceiling, Social Security reforms, taxes and Medicare and Medicaid.

And here's the Economist's point: If Congress can't even deal with something as relatively mild as fixing the Postal Service, how can it possibly handle anything more controversial?

"Does anyone truly believe Congress is up to the challenge?" the magazine asks.

More on moneyNOW



149Comments
Feb 8, 2013 4:47PM
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The Brits understand this one but things will only get worse here as politicians continue to put their political futures ahead of doing anything right. 
Feb 8, 2013 4:52PM
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 I think  the USPS is a great example of our governments capabilities. Our elected officials are greedy and corrupt and are simply concerned with their own lifestyle, doing nothing and getting rich. There's no question about it we're about to experienc an economic collapse on a scale that will make the great depression look like a walk in the park.. You can rest assured the politicians will take the money and run.
Feb 8, 2013 12:17PM
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Congress vs. 535 tits on a bull..........take your pick!

 

Maybe if we could get rid of the undue influences, e.g., lobbyists, superPACS, etc., something positive could get done.  Now, if we used those people for target practice...no...nevermind....I didn't mean that.

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Yet Congress just gave themselves a pay raise...
Feb 8, 2013 5:30PM
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The martial arts actor Jackie Chan called the U.S. the most corrupt country in the world.  Now the British are calling our Congress inept and incapable of doing the job they are elected to do.  In fact we are rapidly becoming the laughing stock of the entire world what with our inability to come to terms on any issue and the absolutely insane proclamations that occasionally issue forth from the mouths of our supposed leadership. 

 

Mind you I am glad that I was born and raised here but I have also watched the country that I knew and loved gradually fade away before my very eyes.  We rank lower and lower each year on all of the important social measures when compared with many other industrialized nations in the world.  Our star is fading and unless we can clean house and get rid of the corruption in Congress we are, as this magazine says, doomed.  Sigh.

Feb 8, 2013 4:08PM
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For those who are not a modern small business, the recent one cent hike in the Forever Stamp is all you know. Oh, and 5-day delivery for letters and junk mail. What happened without big media saying anything at all about it is- that the cost to ship to Canada jumped nearly 100% and overseas shipping increased about 50%. That pretty much stopped global exporting- dead. That pretty much stopped a lot of small business income and compromised or impeded growth. Aren't YOU tired of politics yet? Me, I want to take a crowbar to each and every flea-bag "career" pariah and start from scratch. Law-makers my as-----. Sloths on salary. Terrorists. I see no reason why all of America shouldn't drop everything, ring DC and ask it's elected Officials to promptly and diligently cooperate to remedy every crisis they caused (yep-- all woes lead to deadbeat bureaucrat Congress). Bring a stop watch. Put a time limit on it. ACT when they don't. America has been destroyed. President Andrew Jackson tried to accomplish TWO things-- NO Federal Reserve and NO Lawyers in Congress. Incredible man. Wish we had one just like him right now.
Feb 8, 2013 3:15PM
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How many congress people does it take to find two brain cells???
Sorry, I cant count that high!!!!

Feb 8, 2013 5:21PM
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Vote them out - duh!  Once America figures this out the message will be sent.  Don't keep voting these dubs into office - this includes YOUR senator/rep!!!!!!
Feb 8, 2013 5:13PM
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With as much money pumped into the economy in the last four years it should be going like crazy>> Where is all the jobs? Why is unemployment so high?  Jobs have left this country. China is where the jobs are.  Remember Ross Proit who said the  only sound you will here is the sound of jobs leaving the USE with NAFTA>  ON the money.
Feb 8, 2013 5:45PM
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The world is laughing at the U.S. Congress!  Congress members are so full of themselves that they are clueless to American.
Feb 8, 2013 5:29PM
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Politics in this country have become an embarrassment, top to bottom.  Especially at the top. But you get what you asked for!
Feb 8, 2013 1:09PM
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We are doomed as a nation and society.Time is long overdue to fix the military waste and corruption that is dragging down the economy and creating massive US haters abroad. We are not the worlds police and enforcers of nilly willy change our mind all the time views as to what is just and correct. Heck we do not care about democracy either abroad as long as we get what we want, dictatorships are just fine and dandy. Start there and then proceed to eliminate the USPS and then reduce massive medicare waste, fraud and corruption of the US health care system. The Congress and Senate are useless. To them they don't care what happens to this country as long as they get one up on the other party. Make their pay performance based and when each of them owe money at the end of the year maybe they'll get a clue. 
Feb 8, 2013 5:19PM
Feb 8, 2013 4:03PM
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America's system of government is the laughing stock of the world!!!
Feb 8, 2013 5:07PM
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We need to resort back to the 1700's before politicians figured out how to screw us!
Feb 8, 2013 4:54PM
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If you were a congressman and you are completely incompetent and lacking any moral compass oh am I repeating myself.
Feb 8, 2013 5:06PM
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USPS has a monopoly in the letter carrying business, and despite continuous increases in the postage rates, they are in huge debt.. They put huge amounts of money aside for the retirement of future generations of letter carriers that aren't even out of grade school yet. They pay no property taxes on their post offices, no registration on their vehicles that are self insured, and pay no corporate taxes. Any private company like FedEx or UPS would do a much better job even paying taxes, registrations, and insurance in a competitive market place, while the PO can't do it with a monopoly. And fools believe the government can do a great job managing their healthcare!!! Since when has the government been good at managing anything they touch?
Feb 8, 2013 5:41PM
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Overpaid gov. workers have become another demo special interest group. Votes bought with  our taxes and favoring laws.
Feb 8, 2013 4:34PM
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The Brits should talk! Their postal service sucks! You can't get out of a British post office to buy stamps in less than 45 minutes because of all the old people waiting in line for their pension checks. And the shops are notoriously jam packed with other items for sale because the postal system has been privatized and franchised to stationery and card shops. Not to mention that myriad and confusing options for shipping parcels.
Feb 8, 2013 5:07PM
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I'm so angry at the British!!!  I was going to protest this and hang their flag upside down, but it turns out it's the same as right side up!!!  Grrrrr....
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