Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Congress kills Saturday mail delivery

I guess Congress thinks their 5% approval rating is too high.

Starting in August, the Postal Service will be ending Saturday mail delivery. This will be the first time since 1863 that America has had no Saturday mail. This is necessitated by Congress's ongoing refusal to properly fund Postal Service operations - no matter how much the Postal Service has begged for help.

Saturday mail survived the Civil War, 2 world wars, the Great Depression, and natural disasters - but it can't survive Congress. It's not as if the Postal Service is completely blameless. After all, they have chosen to let senders of junk mail use their service almost for free. I spotted a fin back in the '90s when postal officials threatened to discontinue Saturday mail while failing to make junk mailers pay up. Still, Congress could have stepped in then. But they didn't. The Solomon Amendment and the Communications Decency Act were more important to them, I guess.

Congress can step in now if it chose. But it won't, because the Tea Party says so. Next time you see an idiot teagagger, thank them for the loss of a service that's flourished for 150 years.

Home pickup of mail apparently ended a long time ago - and not just on Saturdays. The last time I had home pickup was in 1993 when I was a college freshman who still lived at home. Home pickup went away with mullets and 45 RPM singles. If I want to mail something, I have to trek to the nearest public mailbox, at the other end of Bellevue. I'm waiting for the day Congress gets sued because somebody slips on ice on the way to mail something because they don't have home pickup anymore. I'm also waiting for the day that junk mailers get sued because their endless reams of advertising clutter somebody's apartment and create a fire hazard.

As for receiving mail, we're damn lucky they waited until now to end Saturday delivery. At least now I don't have any subscriptions by mail that have to arrive on time.