Say what you will about the U.S. Postal Service. It's determined. Determined to end mail delivery on Saturday, that is.
The end to Saturday home deliveries is one of a number of cost-cutting measures the post office announced today as it tries to find a way to end deficits that hit nearly $16 billion in its most recent fiscal year.
The Saturday mail blackout, starting Aug. 5, won't be total -- post office boxholders will still get mail in their box and packages will still be delivered. Not letters though.
Of course, just because the Postal Service says something doesn't mean it will happen. Like Amtrak, USPS is a government corporation, an odd creation that many critics say combines the worst aspects of both business and government.
Both are constantly derided for big losses, service problems and, in Amtrak's case, stale sandwiches. But both are also hamstrung by being stepchildren of Congress. The USPS has floated one idea after another that would -- maybe -- improve service, increase revenue and save money but many if not most wind up being sidetracked when they get to Capitol Hill.
Whether Congress let Saturdays get stricken from the USPS calendar remains to be seen. Sen. Tom Carper (D., Del.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, which oversees postal operations, isn't happy about the announcement.
"For nearly three decades, it has been the clear intent of Congress that the Postal Service provide most communities with six days of mail delivery," Carper said.
Magazine publishers aren't happy either. Lots of magazines time their schedules to hit mailboxes on Friday and Saturday, in time for weekend reading. Yes, it sounds a little like 1950 but magazines are still big business.
One of the few remaining big weeklies -- Time -- said it wasn't surprised by the USPS decision.
"Time has been anticipating this possibility for awhile and we are preparing plans to continue timely delivery of the magazine to our subscribers," a spokeswoman said, according to Advertising Age. She noted that subscribers can read the magazine online if it's not delivered when they want it.
Who do you trust?
Meanwhile, although it does nothing but make the Postal Service feel better, a new survey has named the USPS the "Most Trusted Government Agency" for the seventh year in a row.
There was no mention of Congress, which apparently didn't make the list.
The Ponemon Institute also ranked the Postal Service as the fourth most-trusted company of 704 entries from 25 industry sectors. The results show that customers regard the Postal Service as one of the best in keeping their information safe and secure.
The Postal Service ranks as the fourth most trusted company — a two-point increase from 2011 and its highest company ranking since the survey’s inception by the premier privacy trust study in America.