US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy spoke to the American Enterprise Institute yesterday on Reinvigorating and Transforming the United States Postal Service, but his plans have received a lot of pushback from government and consumer watchdog groups - especially when it comes to continued postage price increases.
DeJoy said USPS has received a ”great deal of pushback” on higher mail prices, as well as a new service standard that slowed the delivery of nearly 40% of first-class mail.
However, he said it will take several years for USPS to ease up on higher rates, given the rate of inflation and a “defective pricing model” that didn’t fully cover USPS costs for nearly 15 years.
“I think we’re going to be just fine with the speed. I don’t believe in dying slow deaths. The people that are going to leave the Postal Service because of electronic and digital communication will eventually leave the Postal Service,” DeJoy said. “I needed to get ready for a Postal Service 10 years from now. And I tell the mailers this, ‘You guys have short-term goals. I don’t.’”
The Taxpayers Protection Alliance has been critical of DeJoy's price high strategy, noting the timing is particularly problematic given the current economic climate.
TPA President David Williams slammed the USPS’ price hike strategy, stating, “Households across the country are feeling the pain of out-of-control inflation. Prices on everything from groceries to gasoline are far too high thanks to skewed spending priorities in Washington, D.C. Now, Americans will have yet another expense to worry about thanks to irresponsible postal leadership.
A two cent increase here and a three-cent increase there may not seem like much, but these costs add up fast when millions of Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck. Postal leadership needs to think twice before bilking struggling households to pay for a bloated logistics network and overstaffed bureaucracy.”
Williams continued: “Postal leadership claims that these price hikes are reasonable because they are lower than reported inflation rates. This assessment conveniently leaves out the USPS’ plan to reduce service and lengthen delivery times across the country. The agency has been busy slowing down roughly 40 percent of first-class mail, making it more difficult for Americans to rely on two and three-to-five-day delivery turnarounds.
The plan has moved forward despite concerns raised by consumers and the Postal Regulatory Commission. It is beyond absurd to ask families to pay more for reduced services, while doing next to nothing to keep staff and procurement costs under control.”
Keep US Posted is calling on postal regulators to take action to curb the postage price increases and review rate caps for Market Dominant mail.
The Postal Regulatory Commission is accepting comments in response to concerns from Congress about the multiple postage hikes planned in Louis DeJoy’s “Delivering for America” plan.” In its comments, Keep US Posted urged the Postal Regulatory Commission to fulfill its role as a watchdog for the public, rather than allow unnecessary postage rate increases to keep happening. The organization points out that several factors, including the new postal reform law (The Postal Service Reform Act), have changed the financial outlook for USPS and demand that the Postal Regulatory Commission review DeJoy’s proposed rate increases again...
...“We believe the House report which prompted the current comment period identifies many significant issues that are before the Commission. As noted in the House report, Congress enacted the Postal Service Reform Act (PSRA; Public Law No: 117-108), which profoundly improves the USPS’s financial condition. These changes should prompt a new on-the-record review of rate caps for Market Dominant mail.”
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