370 Commerce & Housing Credit:Let the Postal Service Eliminate Saturday Mail Delivery

Savings in Millions of Dollars
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2023
  • 2024
  • 2025
  • 2016-2020
  • 2016-2025


Based on CBO Cost Estimate, “H.R. 2748, Postal Reform Act of 2013“, June 23, 2014. This savings estimate based on scores for the reduction in the frequency of mail delivery, other changes in mail delivery, and Alaska mail delivery. The CBO estimates are provided through 2024. We assume the same trend in savings as indicated by the CBO’s estimates for the 2025 value. This results in estimated savings of $850 million, $2.1 billion, and $20 million in 2025 for the three components listed above.


Technical Notes on Scoring

CBO Baseline

Unless otherwise noted, calculations for savings for each recommendation relies on the most recent Congressional Budget Office baseline, as found in “An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024,” published August 27, 2014, has been used.

Savings “Totals”

While totals for the five and 10 year savings are provided by section and for the complete set of recommendations, there are two reasons they should not be viewed as representing total savings for The Budget Book.

First, as noted in the introduction, The Heritage Foundation would recommend that the savings realized in the Function 050 Defense section would stay within the Department of Defense to strengthen the nation’s defense capabilities.

Second, the numbers cannot be deemed to represent the realized savings if every single recommendation were adopted because policy changes made in one program can impact spending levels in other programs.  Thus, the numbers in the table do not reflect any potential interactions between the various policy changes affecting spending or savings.


Heritage Recommendation:

In addition to other efficiency-creating steps, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) should be granted authority to eliminate Saturday delivery of letter mail. This proposal would save $1.3 billion in 2016, and $21 billion over 10 years.
Although the USPS relies almost exclusively on its own revenue for operations, as part of the federal government, its spending is included in the Unified Budget. The reduction of USPS spending will benefit taxpayers by reducing the chances of a financial failure that will lead to a taxpayer-funded bailout.


Bring the postal service into the 21st century & save $1.3 billion in 2016.

The USPS is in trouble. As the Internet has grown, the amount of mail sent by Americans is inexorably shrinking, leading to losses in the billions. Unless the organization is comprehensively reformed, it will fail, leaving the U.S. taxpayer to pick up the pieces.
Congress, however, is impeding the Postal Service’s ability to reform its operations for the smaller role it will play in the new digital world. Most prominently, and expensively, the USPS has been prohibited from reducing its mail service to five days a week from the current six, eliminating Saturday mail service (parcel delivery would continue). Such a step would save approximately $2 billion per year for the USPS.

Bring the postal service into the 21st century & save $1.3 billion in 2016.

Contributing Expert

James L. Gattuso handles regulatory and telecommunications issues for The Heritage Foundation as a Senior Research Fellow in its Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies.

See publications by James L. Gattuso

James L. GattusoSenior Research Fellow in Regulatory Policy

Heritage Expert

Diane Katz, who has analyzed and written on public policy issues for more than two decades, is a research fellow in regulatory policy at The Heritage Foundation.

See publications by Diane Katz

Diane KatzResearch Fellow in Regulatory Policy

Additional Reading