Mail Service, Costs, and Postage Rates

March 2, 1955

Report Outline
Renewal of Atiack on Postal Problems
Post Office as Business or Public Service
Causes of Poor Service and Large Deficits
Steps to Improve Service and Cut Deficits
Special Focus

Renewal of Atiack on Postal Problems

Renewed efforts to make the Post Office more nearly self-supporting and to improve its service to the public are now being exerted by the Eisenhower administration. For the second straight year the President has asked Congress to increase the wages of postal employees, at the same time making more than compensatory increases in postage rates, so that the perennial postage deficit will not be enlarged but on the contrary somewhat reduced. Congress last summer voted a 5 per cent pay boost but refused to approve increases in mail rates, and President Eisenhower vetoed the bill when sent to him toward the close of the 1954 session.

Current signs are that the 84th Congress is no more willing than was the 83rd to accept the administration's counsel on postal affairs. Speaker of the House Rayburn (D-Tex.) indicated in January that he would throw his influence against any increase in the first-class mail rate, and no hearings have yet been scheduled on the administration bill to revise the rate structure. The Senate Post Office Committee, meanwhile, has agreed to report, not a bill to carry out the administration's wage recommendations, but a different bill sponsored by the committee's chairman, Sen. Johnston (D-S. C.), and 20 other senators. The pending bill would give postal workers a pay increase of more than 10 per cent instead of the average increase of 6.5 per cent proposed by the President. It makes no provision for the reclassification of postal jobs, which was an integral part of the administration plan to increase Post Office efficiency.

In a special message to Congress on Jan. 11, outlining a program of wage and rate increases, President Eisenhower said an “increase in the average wage of postal employees” was an “essential step in bringing the wage scale into line with non-governmental standards.” But inasmuch as “sound fiscal management requires consideration of revenues as well as costs,” he asked Congress at the same time “to adjust postal rates to provide needed revenue.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Postal Service
Oct. 09, 1987  Mail Service Changes
Dec. 07, 1984  Postal Service Problems
Dec. 05, 1975  Postal Reevaluation
Feb. 01, 1967  Postal Problems
Mar. 02, 1955  Mail Service, Costs, and Postage Rates
Jun. 01, 1950  Postal Deficit
Oct. 16, 1941  Free Mail
Aug. 02, 1929  The United States Postal Deficit
Postal Service