For years we have wondered about the future of the U.S. Postal Service. Can this independent agency of our government survive? Does it have a future if it continues to raise prices and curtail service?

Because the USPS is subject to congressional control on major aspects of its operations, Congress has before it proposals from Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe for a five-year cost-cutting plan. Saturday mail delivery would be dropped, stamp prices would be raised and up to 252 mail-processing centers and 3,700 local post offices would be closed under the plan. Also before Congress is a request from USPS to make service cuts and reduce annual payments of about $5.5 billion that goes to prefund retiree health benefits.