Now the Congressional silliness regarding Postmaster General Pat Donahoe has gone bipartisan.
Rep. Dennis Ross indicated a few days ago that Donahoe should be fired – apparently for bowing to pressure from 20 senators and agreeing to a mostly meaningless moratorium on the closing of postal facilities. The Republican subcommittee chairman’s attack comes less than two weeks after Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio said the PMG should be canned for trying to save money by lowering the Postal Service’s delivery standards.
All this reminds me of what we tell little children: Every time you point a finger at someone else, four more are pointing back at you. Congress is largely to blame for the fix the Postal Service is in, and any meaningful reform requires Congressional action.
Can Donahoe focus on building new revenue sources or developing long-range plans, the way the CEO of any other multibillion-dollar business would? Nope, what passes for a business model at the Postal Service these days boils down to two strategies:
1) Persuade Congress and the general public that the Postal Service will soon go broke unless Congress makes some significant changes. (I’d say Donahoe is doing pretty well in this department.)
2) Suck up to the Postal Service’s dysfunctional 535-member board of directors -- Congress, that is, not the USPS Board of Governors -- in hopes of getting it to make the tough decisions necessary to save the agency. (A well nigh impossible task, I'd say.)
With the Postal Service’s finances hamstrung by Congressional inaction, Donahoe was forced to propose radical and unpopular cost-cutting measures like reducing service standards. And when 20 senators pushed for the moratorium, Donahoe would have been a fool to brush them off.
Ross’s response, via Twitter to postal blogger Alan Robinson: “PMG is trying to delay an [sic] deflect. First Brac management change may have to start at the top.”
“BRAC” refers to a Ross-proposed commission that would determine which post offices and processing centers are closed. The irony is that, even with the moratorium, Donahoe has the Postal Service on a fast track to close facilities "at least a year earlier than any BRAC could act," Robinson notes.
“In reality, the moratorium has little practical effect,” noted Postalnews Blog, “the USPS is continuing all of the processes it must go through in order to close the facilities, and few would actually have been shuttered by May.”