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  • Postal Service Finances: Yes, It Can Get Worse

    It is becoming hard to keep the billions of dollars in missed payments and recorded losses by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) straight. Today, tack another multibillion-dollar chunk of change onto the list: The USPS reported a third-quarter net loss of $5.2 billion, bringing year-to-date losses to $11.6 billion.

    But increasingly, the focus of concern is when the USPS will run out of cash. With less than $500 million on hand, that day may come as early as October.

    In a conference call today, postal management downplayed the cash-flow problem—pointing out that they may be able to delay a payment due to the Labor Department for worker’s compensation costs—and held out hope that election-year mailings will give them a boost. At any rate, they said that priority will be given to payroll obligations and suppliers in the event the tiller is emptied.

    Most likely, the postal officials are right: Some way to fudge the shortfall will be found, pushing the day of reckoning into next year—assuming that Americans send Christmas cards liberally. But it’s never a good sign when a firm has to talk about making deals with creditors and prioritizing debts. It’s just more evidence that the USPS needs to change; if it doesn’t, it will die.

    Postal officials, to their credit, recognize this. “This is no way to run a business,” said USPS CFO Joe Corbett, pointing out the need for swift action to address the problem.

    Exactly. And that action needs to come from Congress, which has hamstrung USPS’s ability to make the restructuring and cutbacks that will be needed to give it a fighting chance at survival. But so far, Congress seems more interested in adopting “reforms” that simply give the USPS temporary infusions of cash while continuing or tightening statutory restrictions on real change. Real reform—such as that being pushed by Representative Darrel Issa (R–CA) and others—is a castor oil that Members don’t want to swallow.

    No way to run a business, indeed.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Postal Service Finances: Yes, It Can Get Worse

    1. sharon harris says:

      If the government would pay for postage like we do, the USPS would be seeing better numbers. Seems as if they think they are gods and should get everything for free. That is worse than welfare, oh, it is welfare.

    2. LLT says:

      The post office's number 1 issue is a union that totally ties the hands of management. I have a relative that started as a letter carrier and was a steward for the union…he later moved into management and has served as post master for a station with more than 100 employees. He has employees who are still on the payroll but haven't carried a piece of mail in more than 10 years…alleged worker's comp issues…another that was found with undelivered mail in their personal vehicle…efforts to terminate the employee were unsuccessful, thanks to the union. The post office has a lot of issues…but the union is chief among their problems!

    3. Dan LaCamp says:

      Our government can't even run the postal system properly and some people want them in charge of our healthcare system? Unbelievable!

    4. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      A normal business would be out of business if they operated like the USPS, and which of you business owners thinks you could get away with fudging the books like this? The USPS is like Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac…self-reliant when times are good and on the public dole when times are bad.

    5. Stirling says:

      Our founders realized a government that is not constrained by the constitution would eventually colaspe (they had many examples as reference when the constructed ours.) So it's not surprizing to see all the financial signs appearing today in the government departments and Entitlement programs. The postal service is just a "low hanging fruit" which is more obvious. Government because of it's slow ability to change, to keep up with the private sector advances, will continue to fail until we privatize those government functions which are in-efficent.

    6. Bobbie says:

      what does every reckless, incompetent, irresponsible poorly governed debt driven state running FOR BANKRUPTCY or higher taxes from the self governed private sector have in common? UNION!…and democrats!

      In campaign brochures democrats are falsely advertising to their base "tell republicans to pay back our schools?!!!" That's outrageous!!! School spending is always in their control along with the pay, benefits, vacations, training programs? pensions and all because they exist and don't have to show accountability or meet the standards expected in society for all the favors they help themselves to. All the democrat base knows is limited to grasp only what democrats tell them. Some minds will open to nothing more as we read their comments often! Tax payers sacrifice more and more of their earnings while we don't even know what the government is DOING beyond our reach besides crowding out the private sector with more financial dilemmas increasing government dependency as if that's their goal! This is AMERICA, PEOPLE! The government is paid our money, the government is spending against US, AMERICA!

    7. Carol, AZ says:

      We owe trillions, but no one wants to talk about who we become.
      America is a debtor nation.
      The postal service broke, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the border, Amtrak, severe cut to our military and cities across America are collapsing fiscally with steadfast speed.
      Adding to this pig pile is a national health care program no one wants that will be regulated by our Govt.
      We are becoming refugees in our own country.

    8. gayle says:

      Funny, the postal service seems to be able to get my neighbors mail to me.

    9. Tom, FL says:

      The P.O. should charge ten times more for advertisers to flood our mailboxes with bulk mail — Why would that not bring solvency to P.O.operations??

    10. skip smith says:

      In 2006, a lame duck Republican Congress and George Bush passed The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act which, among other things, forced the USPS to pre-fund future retirees health benefits to the tune of $75 billion within 10 years. Or, 5.5 billion per year. According to Postal Unions, no other agency has to do this. The Republicans want to destroy the USPS as we know it due to their hatred of powerful unions. This mandate by the GOP was like stabbing the USPS in the back.

    11. Lola says:

      Excuse ME! READ THIS!!! All you who "know" what ails the USPS are not well informed. The US government, in 2006, required the USPS to pre-fund retirement benefits for the next 75 years, to the tune of $5.5 million per year. First off, no other business is required to do that. Get the government out of our retirement funds! And the money the USPS is getting from the gov. is not from the taxpayers, it is the payments that were made in excess to a retirement fund. The USPS is funded solely through postage, never by the taxes from US citizens.
      That is where the major problem is. Not to mention all the postal positions above the rank of postmaster, who don't ever touch a piece of mail. I think there are too many of them! And all you kind folks who pay your bills online, THANKS!! Letter carriers do much more than just deliver your mail. They keep watch out in your communities, and have helped countless people in need.

    12. mailman says:

      all this whining and crying is not going to help. im a mailcarrier and our office is like a timebomb! woops….wrong word….how about hopeless and in disarray! we have new mgmt. who don't trust carriers in anything they do on the job! even our immediate sup. can't believe some of the tactics they have to employ to bust us so they can fire us! our routes were adjusted to 8 hrs. and there are a handful of routes who can do this! guaranteed if things dont change you will be getting your mail at 8 or 9 oclock pm come the winter!! dont blame the carrier please! Congress must free up the usps to be competitive and that will fix the problem! in the meantime we all will continue to suffer! see ya in Nov and Dec at nightime and Merry Xmas!!!

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