Number 1. No tax-payer dollars support theUnited States Postal Service.
The Postal Service is self-funded without taxpayer dol-lars. Congress reorganized the Post Office Departmentin 1970 and created the U.S. Postal Service as an inde-pendent agency of the executive branch. The USPSoperates as a commercial entity and is expected to coverits costs. The Postal Service has not received taxpayerdollars to fund operations since 1982. Its revenues,which amounted to $67 billion in 2010, rely on the saleof postage and mail products. Annual increases inpostage rates cannot exceed inflation.To live within its means, the Postal Service, since 2002,has cut its costs by $43 billion, including $6 billion in2009. These savings have come through work-force andovertime reductions, the renegotiation of more than 500supplier contracts, the consolidation of facilities, theclosing of administrative offices and cuts in travelexpenses and supply budgets. These cost-cutting movesare continuing.
Number 2. The Postal System is an econom-ic engine for the nation.
The Postal Service is the driver of a $1.2 trillion-a-yearmailing industry in the United States, responsible for8.3 million jobs. The Postal Service is the nation’s sec-ond largest employer, with 600,000 employees. Themailing industry includes catalog companies, publish-ers, charities, advertisers and transactional mailers—banks, insurance companies, utilities, telecommunica-tions companies—as well as those that support thesebusinesses, including printers, paper companies, tech-nology companies and other service providers. Thesebusinesses and organizations rely on a healthy andaffordable Postal Service to communicate with cus-tomers and promote commerce. Households rely onthe mail to communicate and receive goods.
Number 3. The Postal Service deliverseverywhere, others don’t.
The Universal Service Obligation (USO) ensures thatevery American citizen can send and receive mail ataffordable prices. The USO originates from the consti-tutional obligation of the federal government to main-tain and operate post offices. The USO is achievedthrough a Postal Service delivery network that reachesall addresses in the nation and serves a larger geo-graphical area than any other post in the world.The Postal Service delivers mail to 149 million resi-dences, businesses and post office boxes in every state,city, town and borough in the country. UPS and FedExdo not deliver express mail or packages to suburban,rural and remote locations that are not profitable; theyrely on the Postal Service to take their packages the“last mile” for delivery. Yet the Postal Service does noteven impose a fuel surcharge on its customers.
Number 4. Postal Service customer serviceand trust are at record levels.
Customer satisfaction with the Postal Service and thePostal Service’s satisfaction of its own service stan-dards are at the highest levels ever reported. For sixyears in a row, the American public has rated thePostal Service the most trusted government agency,according to the Ponemon Institute.
Number 5. The Postal Service is “GoingGreen.”
While mail remains reliant on paper and its deliveryrequires energy, the Postal Service is becoming anincreasingly eco-friendly government agency. Its fleetof 44,000 alternative-fuel-enabled vehicles is the largestin the world and includes electric, three-wheeled elec-tric, hybrid electric, ethanol, fuel-cell, biodiesel andpropane technology. More than a half-billion of thepackages and envelopes the Postal Service provides freeare recyclable and made of environmentally friendlymaterials. Last year, the Postal Service recycled morethan 200,000 tons of paper, plastics and other waste—the equivalent of saving 1.67 million barrels of oil,according to the Environmental Protection Agency. TheEPA also reports that advertising mail represents lessthan 2.1 percent of the material in our nation’s landfills.By comparison, disposable diapers represent 2.2 per-cent; glass beer and soft-drink bottles, 3 percent; andyard trimmings, 6.9 percent.
Five Things to Know About the Postal Service