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Opinion: Postal service should be supplemented by government funding
The U.S. Post Office on Green Street in Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers

The Republican argument that the postal system should make a profit or break even is a false narrative.  The postal system has to serve every individual person and institution in this nation, even if that service is not profitable. 

State and national parks do not cover their costs, and they depend upon state budgets or federal funding. Seldom is there a cry to make them more efficient or to cut their funding.  

Why point this out?   The U.S. Postal Service removed mail drop boxes and has dismantled over 600 mail sorting machines and cut over-time. This has resulted in delays of service.  

Medications must arrive on time or there will be life or death situations. Those in need of medications cannot have interruptions in service. There are businesses who depend on the Postal Service to deliver their perishable merchandise. Cheeses, chocolates or meats demand prompt deliver because delays can ruin their products 

Mail couriers have been instructed to leave on their routes at appointed times, meaning that medications, perishables or even Social Security or veteran’s checks that are not loaded will be delayed.  

I believe these actions to improve the efficiencies of the postal system will undermine confidence in the system and weaken it. Government agencies almost never turn a profit. Libraries, animal control, fire departments and the public health departments never cover their costs. The CDC and FDA, interstate highways and state and local roads that are paid for through taxes  

Why pick on the postal service? It probably funds a greater portion of its expenses through internally raised revenue than any other government service. Having a postal service is a Constitutional right. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7 empowers Congress to establish post offices and post roads. No where in the Constitution does it claim the postal service has to earn a profit or even break even.  

Rather than gut the Postal Service to reduce costs, the government needs to supplement the system. 

Jimmy O’Neill 


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