The United States Postal Service is on the brink of financial collapse. Right now, your elected representatives are reviewing the options. To save the Postal Service, $16.8 billion in spending must be cut over 2 years.
Your mission: be the Congressman, weigh solutions the Postal Service says would save money, and decide how you'd save $16.8 billion. Bonus: find $5.8 billion savings to replace aging postal delivery trucks. So roll up your sleeves, enter your information and get to work saving the Postal Service. The clock is ticking…"
Americans visit Post Offices less and less these days. Customer visits are down 14% in just the last three years as we increasingly choose email over paper mail. Yet the Postal Service still maintains 32,000 Post Offices across the country: more than the number of McDonalds, Starbucks and 7-11s combined.
Savings Opportunity #1:
The amount of mail handled by the Postal Service is dropping like a rock - down more than 20% since 2006 - as Americans choose email and eCommerce instead. Yet the Postal Service is still built to handle mail at record levels.
Savings Opportunity #2:
The Postal Service is forced - by law - to deliver every day but Sunday, even if customers don't need it.
Savings Opportunity #3:
The Postal Service gives certain customers special deals and subsidies, charging them far less than the actual cost of delivery. Who pays the rest? Everyone else.
Savings Opportunity #4:
Did you know the Postal Service spends 80% of its money on labor costs? Competitors like FedEx and UPS spend 20-40% less on labor. A big reason is Postal workers only pay 21% of their health care costs and 0% of life insurance costs. Even federal government workers pay more: 28% of healthcare costs and 100% of life insurance costs.
Savings Opportunity #5:
Even if customers don't want or need it, the Postal Service still delivers all the way to the doorstep at more than 35 million addresses. Each door delivery address costs $353 per year. For each address, moving the mailbox to the curb saves $129 a year and delivering to a neighborhood mailbox cluster - like an apartment building - saves $193 a year. Americans who can't get to the curb or cluster on their own still would receive door delivery.
Savings Opportunity #6:
Some postal special interests, and even Members of Congress, don't want to choose any of these sensible savings solutions. They favor shifting financial responsibility to a taxpayer-funded bailout instead. One suggestion calls for taxpayers to pay $75 billion. That's far more than even the $52 billion General Motors received. Another calls for more incremental taxpayer subsidies of the Postal Service.
Savings Opportunity #7: