U.S. Postal Service
Will Saturday U.S. mail delivery become a thing of the past in the decade ahead? REUTERS

It's a cut in government spending by the Obama administration, but will Congressional Republicans like it? 'It' being the end of Saturday mail delivery by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

President Barack Obama's deficit reduction plan backs the end of Saturday mail delivery and also supports paying back the USPS $6.9 billion it paid in to a federal retirement program, Bloomberg News reported Monday.

The administration's deficit reduction planl also also allows the Postal Service to raise the first-class rate by 2 cents -- to 46 cents -- without the approval of its regulatory commission.

Further, the White House also strongly opposed any USPS effort to void union contracts to lay-off 120,00 employees. As an alternative, the Obama administration wants the Postal Service to use some of that aforementioned $6.9 billion in retirement money to buy-out employees nearing retirement.

The moves are designed to find about $20 billion in cash over the next few years.The Postal Service lost $8.5 billion last year and recently said it may not be able to make required payments due at the end of September.

Public Policy Analysis: Like the local post office, Saturday mail delivery is approaching third-rail status in the U.S. electorate. As in: You touch this electric third rail, and you're dead, politically. Hence, the measure will likely face resistance from both sides of the aisle in Congress. American consumers and businesses have grown accustomed to 6-day delivery, and the perk is beginning to approach the personal habit denied category that voters are likely to remember at election time. The Postal Service's financially reality, however, requires that it find substantial cost cuts and Saturday delivery is a major cost area.