The post office faces fiscal doom, though it's the most popular federal agency

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

The unofficial motto of the U.S. Postal Service does not say anything about persevering through a profound agency financial crisis. But according to recent congressional testimony by Postmaster General Megan Brennan, the agency will run out of money within five years.


Don’t hold your breath on even Band-aid fixes from Congress, at least until that deadline looms much closer.

Despite pervasive electronic communications and all the now competing forms of delivery services, that would be a national economic calamity.

Nothing could replace a service that delivers in excess of 150 billion pieces of mail a year — 47 percent of the entire world’s mail —  at various rates that allow many businesses to ship and sell.

The effects on commerce would be huge, not to mention the sudden unemployment of in excess of 615,000 workers, the country’s third largest labor force after the federal government and Walmart.

Benjamin Franklin didn’t invent everything, although with the Franklin stove, lightning rod, street lamps, bifocals, swim fins and other devices, it sometimes seems that way. He was appointed postmaster general in Philadelphia way back in 1737 well before the Revolution.

Since he was in office on July 4th, 1776, Franklin became the new nation’s first postmaster general, surveying postal roads, setting postal rates, assigning riders to carry the mail day and night. He had an idea that for an extra penny people could have letters delivered from their postal boxes.

The Founding Fathers deemed a post office so important to the commerce and identity of a developing nation that it delivered mail seven days a week until 1912, when Sunday delivery ultimately ran afoul of Protestant ministers, who felt it was a Sabbath sacrilege.


Thanks to a new deal with Amazon, Sunday package deliveries resumed six years ago which turned out to be a profitable sideline that helps cover losses from first-class mail.

Despite the Postal Service’s chronically recurring financial crises, the Gallup folks just discovered the Postal Service remains easily the most popular agency, albeit a quasi-federal one.

Three-quarters of Americans (74 percent) say the Postal Service does an excellent or good job, ahead of the Secret Service (69 percent), the Centers for Disease Control (64 percent) and the CIA and NASA, both at 60 percent.

Democrats rank the post office as their top agency, while Republicans put it at No. 3 behind the Secret Service and CDC.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos