Congress may offer USPS a path out.
The Postal Service really,
really, really hates to lower its rates. Try as they might, the PRC has
failed to get the Postal Service to end the exigent "surcharge" and knock that
extra 4.3% off the rates. Invariably, the Postal Service takes it to court, argues
that someone forgot to carry the seven in their calculations, and the exigent
surcharge lives on. For the record, the USPS has never acknowledged that exigent
rates are a surcharge - it's just higher
rates to them. The United States Postal Service has not, does not, and will not
lower its rates. We admire the optimistic spirit of those who say they
The latest extension of the surcharge is
supposed to run out in the spring of 2016, whereupon the Postal Service will have
no choice but to lower their rates. But wait! Congress has a plan –
iPOST: Improving Postal Operations, Service & Transparency Act of
2015. This is a plan developed by Senator Tom Carper of Delaware, who is
a very influential senator when it comes to postal matters. Plus, the name of the
plan starts with a lower case "i", so it has to be good.
The key provisions of iPOST:
- Eliminates all of those pesky outstanding
payments to prefund retirement accounts until the all current members of congress
have died of old age and it's not their problem anymore, including forgiving past
payments not made;
- Creates a new Postal Service Health Benefits
Program (PSHBP), theoretically reducing costs and protecting taxpayers and postal
- Makes the exigent surcharge permanent,
and freezes rates at their current exigent-y level until January 1, 2018, after
which rates will be controlled by a dreamy new rate system to be designed by the
Postal Regulatory Commission;
- Pauses the closing of any postal processing
plants for 2 years, and post offices for 5 years;
- Allows the Postal Service to ship beer, wine,
and booze, and install "Wheel of Fortune" slot machines in the lobby of all postal
facilities. OK, that last bit may not be correct – well, the slot machines
at least. The beer, wine, and booze are for real, along with other new "non-postal
products and services." They may include offering state and local government
services. Maybe you can get married by a window clerk;
- Increases transparency of Postal Service
delivery results through a monstrous new bureaucracy that is "user
You can read a less sarcastic summary of the
Now remember, this is just a proposal from a
Democratic Delaware senator. Will it pass as proposed? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Probably
not. However, certain provisions may - in some kind of emergency legislation that
lets the Postal Service keep their exigent rates because they, as mentioned
before, really, really, really, really hate to lower their rates.
They will probably agree to not close so many facilities in return. Oh, and
the beer thing. That will probably make it through too. C'mon – it's
Our prediction: Don't spend
that postage reduction money just yet. The Postal Service now has a path to
avoid a rate reduction – they'll find a way to follow it.
Thinking Out Loud Webinar
Full-Service Intelligent Mail - Wednesday,
October 28 at 12:30 p.m.
While you were going about
your day-to-day business for the last couple of years, the mailing industry was
turned upside down with a new requirement to adopt Full-Service Intelligent
Mail. Many continue to struggle, while we are pleased that we have made the
transition here at ProList. What is Full-Service, and what does it mean to you?
We're glad you asked!
In our next Thinking Out Loud webinar, on
Wednesday, October 28, at 12:30, our Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Dave
Lewis, will tell you all you need to know about Full-Service Intelligent Mail
– and why you need to know it! Grab a sandwich, hook up your modem, and join
us – it's FREE!
Here's what we'll cover:
This is the nuts and bolts of how mail is prepared – if you
count on the mail for your success, this is stuff you really need to know. As with
all of our Thinking Out Loud webinars, our pledge to you is:
- What Full-Service is, and how it
- Why Full-Service is important to the Postal
- Benefits of Full-Service and how you should
take advantage of them:
- Postage discounts;
- Mail Anywhere program;
- ACS services;
- Mail Tracking;
- What's next, using Full-Service:
- Seamless acceptance;
- Real Mail Notifications;
- Why you need to care about
- We'll make it interesting and
- We'll keep it to 30 minutes;
- You'll get to have a sandwich (if you bring
It doesn't get much better than that!
So join us at 12:30 on Wednesday, October 28! You bring the chow, we'll
bring the know-how!
Click here to
sign up today!