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Slow death for snail mail

The U.S. Postal Service's new plan to keep rural post offices like those at Fishers Hill and Star Tannery open fewer hours a day rather than closing them completely is expected to save about $500 million a year once it's implemented by 2014, but it won't be enough to save the nearly bankrupt system.

The Associated Press reports that the Postal Service will realize a record $14.1 billion loss this year, and if something is not done to stop the bleeding, it will grow to $21 billion by 2016. That's billions of dollars we're talking about.

The service has a plan before Congress that would include more cost-saving measures, including ending Saturday delivery, but will that be aggressive enough to save the system?

Congress needs to look at the problem realistically. A complete overhaul is obviously needed, or if that won't save the Postal Service, shut it down and let a private company handle the nation's snail mail. People are paying their bills and sending their correspondence online now, and email and the Internet are not going to go away.

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