Sunday, June 17, 2018
Editorials

Mailboxes to have that empty feeling on Saturdays

The U.S. Postal Service creed about punctually completing its appointed rounds regardless of rain, heat or gloom of night is about to have an asterisk. Starting in August, the Postal Service plans to stop Saturday delivery of first-class mail. That would mark the end of an era when that unexpected letter or new magazine falling through the mail slot could be the highlight of an easygoing day off.

In the age of instant messages and tweets, email and online bill payments, post offices would remain open on Saturdays and package delivery will continue six days a week. But the reduced first-class mail delivery schedule is presented as the agency struggles with a staggering $15.9 billion loss last year. The failure of Congress to permit the Postal Service to adjust its obligation to overpay billions of dollars into its pension and retiree health benefit funds has only exacerbated the financial crisis. It is unrealistic to demand that the Postal Service operate like a private sector business while Congress imposes such bureaucratic constraints on its management.

While the Internet and private sector delivery services like FedEx and UPS pose considerable market share challenges, Congress has prevented the Postal Service from being able to compete for business on a level playing field. Unlike any other public sector agency, the Postal Service alone is required to make an annual $5.5 billion prepayment into the retiree pension and health funds. At the moment the prefunding requirement has resulted in an estimated $11 billion in overpayments, money the Postal Service could use to fund its operations and compete for business.

Since 1775, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general, the U.S. Postal Service has remained true to its oath in serving the public in the face of all manner of obstacles. It plans to continue to provide reliable home delivery — except on Saturdays.

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Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

The new grass-roots effort to put a transportation package before Hillsborough County voters in November faces a tough slog. Voters rejected a similar effort in 2010, and another in 2016 by elected officials never made it from the gate. But the lates...
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Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Forty years ago today, Nelson Poynter died. He was the last individual to own this newspaper, and to keep the Times connected to this community, he did something remarkable. He gave it away.In his last years, Mr. Poynter recognized that sooner or lat...
Published: 06/15/18

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Updated: 06/15/18

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Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Editorial: Free rides will serve as a test of whether the streetcar is serious transportation

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Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

AT&T and the case for digital innovation

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Published: 06/14/18
Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

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Published: 06/14/18
Editorial: Educate voters on Amendment 4 and restoring felons’ rights

Editorial: Educate voters on Amendment 4 and restoring felons’ rights

This fall voters will have 13 constitutional amendments to wade through on the ballot, but Amendment 4 should get special focus. It represents a rare opportunity to rectify a grievous provision in the Florida Constitution, which permanently revokes t...
Published: 06/13/18
Updated: 06/14/18
Editorial: How Florida and the Trump administration are tampering with your health care

Editorial: How Florida and the Trump administration are tampering with your health care

The Trump administration just can’t stop sabotaging Americans’ access to health care. Instead of giving up after it failed to persuade Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it continues to quietly undermine the law in ways that would reduce acc...
Published: 06/12/18
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Editorial: Parkland students set example for advocacy

Music is healing. Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Senior High School put that theory on display Sunday night in New York with their stirring performance at the Tony Awards — beautifully.The students, all from the school’s drama department, bro...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/13/18