Could your mailman soon be obsolete?

Mandi Gosling

The U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday more than $2.5 billion in losses for the first three months of this year. The financial woes of the agency are adding up despite cutting 130,000 jobs over the past three years. USPS officials said the agency soon would be forced to default on loan payments due the federal government unless Congress approves proposed changes to mail service and retirement benefits for postal workers.

The culprit, of course, is email. Just from January to March, clicking send helped eliminate more than one billion pieces of first class mail. Authorities also attribute the losses to the lack of direct mail marketing because of the slow economy. High gas prices are also taking their toll on our struggling national mail service.

To bring it back to financial solvency, USPS officials want to eliminate Saturday delivery service, which they say could save more than $3 billion a year. They also want permission to not pay the more than $5 billion in health care benefits it owes annually to a fund for future retirees.

If we relied on private delivery companies like FedEx and UPS to pick up difference, could we do away with the national postal service altogether at some point in the future?