Page 2 Progress on Point 17.5
revisionist histories penned by some of these scholars would have us believe the FoundingFathers were practically media Marxists, enthralled with public subsidization of the press. Of course, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Just because they provided a modest
postal subsidy for press materials doesn’t mean the Founders believed that government shouldbe micromanaging or massively subsiding this sector. The “Congress shall make no law”
language found in the First Amendment confirms that.
Can We Afford It?
Practically speaking, the idea of expanding postal subsidies at this time seems like a non-starter.The U.S. Postal Service
absorb the losses associated with expanded postalsubsidies.
The Washington Post
d that, “The Postal Service is on course to lose
more than $7 billion this year, despite substantial recent cost-cutting, and it could lose morethan $238 billion by 2020. Approaching the limits of its federal credit line, the USPS mustchange drastically
or go bust.”
he U.S. Postal Service itself has noted that, “even if its plan [to
cut losses and increase revenues] was to succeed in every action that present legislation allows,the Postal Service would still face unsustainable losses of at least $115
billion by 2020.”
Yetthe Postal Service acknowledges
it has “an unsustainable business model” as volume and
revenues continue to plummet with no end in sight.
Similarly, in a recent report to Congress,the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) f
ound that the Postal Service’s businessmodel “is not viable due to [its] inability to reduce costs sufficiently in response to continuingmail volume and revenue declines.”
One cost-saving method that the Postal Service has floated is an increase in
(subsidized rates for media products):Addressing the pricing of preferred mail
such as non-profit mail, Media Mail,Library Mail, and Periodicals
would ensure that these products get to a pointwhere they cover costs while contributing reasonably to overhead costs. Analternative would be appropriations funding to cover the gap.
Thus, it seems clear that the Postal Service itself believes even existing postal subsidies placetoo great of a strain on an already failing system. And the GAO notes:
Congress is Running Out of Time to Save the Postal Service
United States Postal Service,
Ensuring a Viable Postal Service for America,
2010, at 1, www.usps.com/strategicplanning/_pdf/Ensuring_Viable_USPS_paper.pdf
United States Government Accountability Office,
U.S. Postal Service: Strategies and Options to FacilitateProgress toward Financial Viability,