Reporting Joe Mathieu
BOSTON (CBS) — They still haven’t figured out what to do at the Post Office.
Surely you know by now the U.S. Postal Service has been bleeding money for years. And they’ve been trying to do something about it on Capitol Hill for almost as long.
Most recently lawmakers and postal officials tried to kill Saturday home delivery. And now there’s an effort to stop the mail carrier from coming to your home all together.
This is not a pipe dream proposal from an unknown politician trying to make news.
Rather it’s from Rep. Darrell Issa of California – a Republican best known for investigating the Obama white house.
And here’s what he wants to do. Phase-out door-to-door delivery and replace it with curbside service and neighborhood drop boxes where we could all go pick up our mail.
A House committee will vote on the bill today.
Of course you can blame all of this on the Internet. We just don’t mail stuff like we used to. And there are big bucks on the line here. The Postal Service lost about $16 billion last year alone.
But don’t kiss your mail carrier goodbye yet.
Keep in mind Washington is very good about raising important issues but it’s not very good about solving them. As I mentioned, they’ve already tried to kill Saturday delivery several times, only to be turned back.
So here’s a wild thought. Do what the competition does and charge people.
Whether it’s FedEx, UPS or an internet service provider, they charge you based on what you get. They bill you based on the level of service you receive.
And that may be the only way for the post office to survive. Because once my 6-year-old kid is grown-up, the idea of buying a stamp may be about as relevant as using a pay phone.
You can follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz