Diverted Congress Probably Won’t Get to Postal Reform Soon

Once again, the U.S. Postal Service is trying out the lame unimaginative technique of seeking an “exigent” postage rate increase to cover its crushing deficits. So far, this strategy has failed every time.

A little background. When the last postal reform law took effect in 2007, the legislation mandated small annual postage rate increases all classes of mail. But the Postal Reform and Accountability Act also contained a provision allowing the USPS to file for much larger rate hikes if the USPS could prove that economic conditions created “exigent” circumstances justifying such an increase.

Each time the USPS tried filing for exigent increases in the intervening years, regulators consistently shot them down.

But now the USPS Board of Governors wants to try using this approach again. Predictably, these moves are igniting opposition from mailing industry trade groups and others that worked for about 11 years to get the PAEA passed into lawihttp://thedma.org/2013/08/22/dma-sends-urgent-letter-to-usps-board-of-governors/ .

On one hand, you might think the postal service is trying to portray itself as a victim that needs rescuing, It’s playing a psychological game with Congress, consistent with transactional game theory developed by Eric Berne. MD in the 1970s enhttp://qpsquiptorum.blogspot.com/2009/05/overview-of-eric-bernes-ta-game-theory.html.

In short, the Postal Service sees itself as helpless victim subject to the whims of the big bad Congress which does not care at all about and wants to hurt it. The USPS must act out to get attention from this grand authority figure,

Certainly this might make sense considering Congress nixed the postal service’s plan earlier this year to save money by cutting out Saturday mail delivery while it continued to allow the USPS to hemorhage money. At the latest count, the postal service lost $3.9 billion for the six months ended June 30

http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2013/pr13_063.htm.

At deadline, as fervor heats up over possible war with Syria, Congress may not even get to such pressing national issues as immigration reform and the so-called national debt crisis, according to Bloomberg News http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-08/syria-vote-may-derail-obama-s-agenda-in-congress.html.

Let alone further needed reform of one of our nation’s oldest trusted and most reliable of institutions.

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