Small Step

The U.S. Postal Service has to be done away with. Daily mail delivery is no longer a vital service. The mail goes through instantly now, with no paper involved. For that matter, there are no horses, trucks, unions or overblown retirement deals needed for humans to communicate anymore.

The Postal Service has awarded more than 2,700 contracts to former employees since 1991 and awarded 17 no-bid deals to former executives between 2006 and 2009, according to one of the audits. Most of those executives earned six-figure sums, the report said. One unnamed executive received a $260,000 no-bid deal in July 2009 to train his successor just two months after retiring.

Three new watchdog reports highlight some of the problems with the post office.

The reports said the cash-strapped Postal Service is doing a poor job tracking its use of no-bid contracts, contributes more to worker health and life insurance benefits than other federal agencies, and should consider closing more of its regional offices to help address an expected $230 billion, 10-year budget gap.

No surprises there.

The Postal Service recently reported billions of dollars in losses because of declining mail volume. But last week, the Postal Regulatory Commission rejected its request for a 2 cent increase in the price of a first-class stamp, from the current 44 cents to 46 cents. It is locked in negotiations with two of its largest unions.

Rejected its price increase request? One small step for mankind.