The nation's Postmaster General told Congress Thursday that the Postal Service is in the midst of a financial disaster and may need an emergency increase in postage rates to keep operating.
It's a strange relationship: The Postal Service is a federal agency, but is required to raise its own financing rather than being appropriated federal money. But Congress controls most of the Postal Service's major decisions, and has been unable to decide what to allow the service to do to sustain itself.
Is it any wonder there is a financial crisis?
The methods Congress uses to manage its own affairs usually involve public posturing, drawing political party lines in the sand, timing any action around elections, then never actually doing any thing to fix the problem.
All these methods have been used during the past few years during the most serious of postal challenges. Press releases have been issued saying how important the Postal Service is, then saying reform needs to happen. Democrats propose one solution, Republicans another. When another national crisis comes along, talks of postal reform slide to the background.
Reforms could include changes to service levels, retirement funding and postal rates.
If only members of Congress could take a break from these methods for a time, and set the postal service on a positive path. Delaying action doesn't help taxpayers, consumers or business.