The . postal savings system had a later start than most, as well as an earlier end. Advocates, from the 1870s on, had cited the success of postal banks in most of the leading countries of the world in arguing for such a system to encourage household saving in the United States. 5 But commercial bankers successfully opposed this as an unnecessary incursion into the province of private business, until the banking panic of 1907-1908 brought the issue of safe banking facilities for ordinary people to national prominence. It became an issue that was debated throughout the 1908 Presidential election campaign, in which Republican William Howard Taft defeated.