I read with dismay the March 20 editorial “Closed on Saturday,” which caricatured my views on U.S. Postal Service reform and, in effect, rendered the judgment that neither the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) nor the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is a “serious analyst” — since each conducted thorough reviews of the proposal to eliminate Saturday mail delivery but did not recommend “curtailing Saturday delivery.”
In fact, both have produced useful analyses that examine the potential cost savings and risks associated with such a drastic service change. Both Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and I believe it is prudent to ask the Postal Service — which the PRC found to have overstated annual net savings from eliminating Saturday delivery by $1.4 billion and understated net revenue losses by $0.4 billion — to explain how it arrived at a $2 billion cost-saving figure. In addition, while The Post dismisses the controversy surrounding the Postal Service’s attempt to circumvent the law, a legal opinion I requested from the GAO found that the service does not have the authority to eliminate Saturday delivery without congressional approval.
I would also note that the letter we sent to the postmaster general on Jan. 31 — prior to the Postal Service’s announcement of its intention to eliminate Saturday delivery — simply requested that the Postal Service and the PRC update analyses performed in 2010. I will leave it to readers to judge whether such a straightforward request deserves The Post’s pejorative characterization as having a “certain desperate quality.” Approximately six weeks have passed since we submitted this request, and the postmaster general continues to drag his feet in providing analysis and information to evaluate major policy proposals.
Gerald E. Connolly, Washington
The writer, a Democrat, represents Virginia’s 11th District in the House.
The editorial “Closed on Saturday” reported that “in the digital age, fewer and fewer people actually depend on mail,” a figure that will only grow, “given that Americans younger than 30 are the least likely to say they need the postal service.”
This is not surprising since, from the daily evidence I see on the Internet, few of them know how to write.
Lawrence J. De Meo Jr., North Potomac