Post office cuts: There are better ways to lower postal costs

What sacrifice is Congress making in order to improve the U.S. Postal Service efficiency and reduce costs ("'Snail mail' could get slower under Post Service plan," Nov. 6)? All I see are sacrifices made to the consumer.

Why not start by cutting out Congressional mailings? In 2007, the Congressional Research Service prepared a report for Congress advising representatives that the "franking" privilege had cost taxpayers $113.4 million in current dollars from 1988 to 2007. House members spent more than $45 million in 2009 on taxpayer-funded mass mailings. Senate mailings were far fewer but still cost about $4 million per year. So much of these congressional mass mailings — then and now — are to brag to their recipients on what a wonderful service their representative is providing and please elect me again.

Also, why not increase the cost of bulk (junk) mail? We certainly receive more junk mail then we do first class mail. This would not only serve to eliminate a large amount the junk mail we receive, and throw out, but also eliminate the fat cat lobbyists who prey on our susceptible members of Congress by providing, gifts, junkets and money.

Why should Congress benefit when we must have our services cut?

Samuel R. Dutton, Baltimore

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