We opened our millionth new post office in 2005, but mailing volume declined. And USPS' business model continues to be based on the economic conditions of the 1970s, before email, Fed-Ex or 28-seconds-per-page fax machines existed. Our choice now is continued rate increases as far as the eye can see – which David Walker, head of the Government Accountability Office, rightfully calls a "death spiral," – or reform that moves the postal service toward a new way of doing business.
To be sure, hangups remain. Most concern rules for postal rate increases and workers compensation policies. But the momentum is there. I support getting something done this year, and so does Henry Waxman, ranking member of the Government Reform Committee that I chair and our colleagues in the Senate. Don't write us off just yet.