Drowning in red ink, the U.S. Postal Service will default today on a $5.5 billion payment for retiree health benefits.

The service attempted to close 3,700 post offices under a plan announced last year, but after public outcry decided to cut operating hours to between two and six hours per day at 13,000 locations. USPS claims that move will save $500 million per year.

If we aren’t even able to make basic decisions about costs, thanks to “public outcry”, what will it take to tackle $16 trillion in debt incurred by a populous in which nearly half of the citizenry pays no federal income tax? The election of fiscal conservatives who have the intestinal fortitude to reform the tax code, that’s what.