The U.S. Postal Service

It seems that 2011 has been a year spent on the brink. Since January, Americans have faced the looming threat of a government shutdown, a national default, and now, the possibility of a collapse of the U.S. Postal Service. Last Tuesday, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe warned Congress that the longtime service was on the verge of default. September 30 is the deadline for the agency to make a $5.5 billion payment into a fund to cover health care for future retirees. Without immediate assistance from Congress, Donahoe said, the USPS could default on its payment and be out of money by next year, forcing it to shut down all operations.

A bill currently in Congress would extend the payment deadline by three months, but the USPS is in need of rapid and drastic restructuring to remain financially viable in the future. While Congress and the Obama administration continue to hash out those plans, here are five things you need to know:

1. The USPS is not technically “broke” — yet.

Operationally speaking, the USPS nets profits every year. The financial problem it faces now comes from a 2006 Congressional mandate that requires the agency to “pre-pay” into a fund that covers health care costs for future retired employees. Under the mandate, the USPS is required to make an annual $5.5 billion payment over ten years, through 2016. These “prepayments” are largely responsible for the USPS’s financial losses over the past four years and the threat of shutdown that looms ahead – take the retirement fund out of the equation, and the postal service would have actually netted $1 billion in profits over this period.

This doesn’t mean, however, that the USPS’s financial situation is good. Revenue has been declining for years, and even if the agency  manages to get past this year’s $5.5 billion payment, it would again face insolvency next year.

2. The postal service doesn’t rely on taxpayer funds.

Until 1971, mail delivery was handled by the Post Office Department, a Cabinet department in the federal government. Postal worker strikes prompted President Nixon to pass the Postal Reorganization Act in 1971, transforming it into the semi-independent agency we now know as the United States Postal Service. The USPS in its current form runs like a business, relies on postage for revenue and, for the most part, has not used taxpayer money since 1982, when postage stamps became “products” instead of forms of taxation. Taxpayer money is only used in some cases to pay for mailing voter materials to disabled and overseas Americans.

USPS spokespersons have been adamant in emphasizing that they are not requesting taxpayer funds from the federal government to make this year’s payment. Rather, they say, the USPS is asking Congress to authorize access to an estimated $7 billion that they overpaid into the future retiree pension fund in previous years.

3. Junk mail sustains the system.

Although the USPS does manage to turn a profit based on operations alone, it’s a widely known fact that mail volume has dipped over the past decade. As Americans by and large correspond and pay bills online, first-class mail and, as a result, postal revenue have gone into a decline. From 2006 to 2010, mail volume decreased by a hefty 20 percent.

But although the days of custom stationery, handwritten letters and scented envelopes may be long gone, the USPS has been increasingly reliant on junk mail — advertisements, catalogs and other unsolicited mailbox “gifts” — to keep the service afloat. BusinessWeek notes that revenue from junk mail increased by 7.1 percent in the last quarter of 2010 – although volume has not increased since. Donahoe has also expressed optimism that junk mail volume and revenue will increase as the economy improves. But the lower cost of direct mailings means that more junk mail is needed to circulate in the system to make up for the accelerating loss of first-class mail.

4. The proposed cuts are big.

In his testimony last week, Donahoe presented a number of measures that he argues would halt the USPS’s rapid financial decline, including the elimination of the annual pre-fund payment requirement, stopping Saturday mail delivery and terminating a “no-layoff” clause in a contract with unionized postal workers. According to Donahoe, cutting service down to five days a week instead of six, a proposal that has been kicked around for years, would save about $3 billion a year. Donahoe has also urged Congress to allow him to shut down standalone post offices, moving them into convenience stores and supermarkets instead.

Of course, these proposals have been met with resistance, not least by postal workers who stand to lose their jobs, as well as direct mailers, the creators of the junk mail that sustains the system, who argue that Saturday deliveries are crucial times for sending advertisements while recipients have their minds on weekend shopping. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) has also argued that ending Saturday delivery could drive mail-order pharmacies and other businesses away from the USPS, further accelerating its losses.

Other critics say that simply cutting services isn’t enough, and that the real solution is figuring out a way to reinvent the postal service to meet the needs of our wired world. But how?

5. Europe could be the model for USPS 2.0.

To see just how the USPS can transform itself, some analysts have turned to European countries to observe what can be done differently. In a May cover story for BusinessWeek, journalist Devin Leonard reported on the kinds of models that have emerged in Sweden, Germany and Finland. The Swedish service, Posten, and Germany’s Deutsche Post have minimized their participation in the national postal market, allowing them to work as smaller and more streamlined organizations. Posten runs only 12 percent of Sweden’s post offices, while Deutsche Post runs 2 percent of those in Germany – the rest are handled by other businesses. The U.S., in contrast, runs all of the post offices in the country.

It also seems that European postal systems have been experimenting with services for its Internet customers, as well. From BusinessWeek:

Many used their extra cash to create digital mail products that allow customers to send and receive letters from their computers. Itella, the Finnish postal service, keeps a digital archive of its users’ mail for seven years and helps them pay bills online securely. Swiss Post lets customers choose if they want their mail delivered at home in hard copy or scanned and sent to their preferred Internet-connected device. Customers can also tell Swiss Post if they would rather not receive items such as junk mail.

Sweden’s Posten has an app that lets customers turn digital photos on their mobile phones into postcards. It is unveiling a service that will allow cell-phone users to send letters without stamps. Posten will text them a numerical code that they can jot down on envelopes in place of a stamp for a yet-to-be-determined charge.

These European postal services, however, have the financial leeway to experiment with digital services that our USPS currently does not — and the jury is still out on whether those services are profitable. But if Congress is able to figure out a way soon to get the USPS back on its feet, it will open the doors for the postal service to catch up to the 21st-century society it serves.

 

Comments

  • Just Curious

    A few years ago I saw a special on how much property the USPS owns – much of it dilapidated and just waiting for heaven only knows what.  It would be interesting to have an update on this….there were hundreds of properties.  Most were bought years ago and it was speculated the then government agency was used to buy properties from supporters of congressmen and senators….how bout some investigative reporting on that….thanks.

  • Konstrukt

    One of the things that irks me most about the criticism of the postal service is the fact that it is expected to both operate and be profitable as a business, yet is also expected to maintain the kinds of services, like mail to rural areas, where there is no chance of maintaining a profit at the current rates.

    For me to mail a letter across to any small rural area in the country through the USPS will cost 44 cents.

    To mail the same letter with UPS or Fedex will cost at the very minimum $8.65.

  • Keygirlus

    This article mentions a few points I am constantly trying to correct people on (I am a recently former Rural carrier), that the USPS would be solvent except for the 100% retirement healthcare funding requirement, and that the USPS has NEVER been funded by taxpayer dollars. This article does miss the increase in pkg. delivery due to online shopping, and while everyone knows the USPS runs 100% of their own offices, few realize that we deliver both UPS and FedEx…to places they won’t go, AKA rural  & other non-profitable areas. The USPS has always been and will continue to be a VITAL connection for those who live in rural areas.

  • ImahSillyGirl

    Hmmmm…I just saw a Kickstarter  with a goal of $20K that is STILL collecting backers at $107K, with 17 days left for their Kickstart. 

    I wonder if the USPS could benefit by making a Kickstarter project?

  • http://www.facebook.com/At.The.Dust.In Dustin R. Stewart

    FUCK THIS SHIT!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=585395046 Roberta Gregory

    It sounds like one of the biggest immediate problems is that 2006 Congressional mandate. What’s the story behind this? Why do we never hear this even mentioned in all the news stories I have been seeing about the PO ‘going broke’?

  • Brianna – Need to Know

    Yes, I’ve run across a few reports about this too! It would definitely be something interesting to look into further — thanks for the tip!

  • Cary

    Eliminate the Postmaster position already!  Why is this position allowed in the 21st century? They serve no purpose at all. A master of the post???  Yet their salary starts at $70.000.00.  They require no formal education, not even high school.  Why are they allowed to get that kind of salary?  Ridiculous. If they eliminated that position nationwide they would save a ton of money.  Postmasters serve no purpose.  They have supervisors already.  Postmasters are not a needed position. It’s from Norman Rockwell times.

  • Keygirlus

    Got one here, a mail processing plant, laid everyone off 2 years ago & merged with a bigger city 45 min. north, service has sucked ever since & is still used for the semi docking bays to transfer local mail while an acre or so of internal space is still heated, cooled, and lit 24/7.

  • Dancing-cows

    My college educated husband postmaster makes a lot less than $70,000. and has been postmaster for over 13 years. He is the only employee in his small post office so he fulfills every job from cleaning the bathroom to sorting the mail to carrying heavy packages for customers. In rural settings the post office is vital to everyday life. Perhaps, the country would be wise to emulate Norman Rockwell times.

  • Anonymous

    Another alternative would be a two pronged approach. Eliminate the  bulk mail rate, and charge full price for junk mail. This will reduce our refuse considerably, it would encourage retailers to maintain a mailing list so that they aren’t wasting money, trees, and fuel sending junk mail to households that do not want it.  Follow that with scaling back service to fit demand. This will involve cutting Saturdays, and maybe more. It has happened before as there were multiple deliveries per day in the early 20th century. Why does a service with a monopoly on mail delivery need to advertise? If there aren’t enough packages, run fewer trucks. It is illogical to support a service with dwindling use in a modern world.

  • van68

    An excellent summary of the actual situation facing the USPS. The only point worth challenging is in the last graf, where it’s suggested that Congress “figure out a way” to save the Postal Service; in fact, the USPS and its constituent industries already have come up with the solutions necessary to help the USPS survive and adapt, while Congress — afraid of doing anything that might anger their own constituents — refuses to approve requests for relief.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002220555426 David Reid

    I see you don’t know anything about the subject. Thanks for ranting.

  • Bluewind1

    I know how the USPS could make more money–provide betters carriers who don’t swear at & flip off customers, tell customers they are crazy, and menace customers, deliver the mail safely (like leaving pkgs in a secure location when requested), stop delivering mail to the wrong homes (esp. when the person whose name is on the mail hasn’t lived in the home for a year or more), start delivering pkgs to the right address instead of returning the pkg because they don’t want to bother with it, and pick up pkgs without complaint. Then those of us who have cut back on mail by 90% and deliver pkgs thru ups might return to doing all service with USPS.

  • Ppr3199192

    The cuts if any should be at the top of management . Then the next level, then the next level. There are to many chiefs and not enough indains! Cut away the dead wood and they would be making money hand over fist!! One thing I also see is the contast raise in stamp prices, people can’t afford them anymore, I know I have cut my Christmas card list in half .

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1015767517 Jeff Nach

    It needs to go…it’s archaic, the payroll costs are WAY TOO HIGH…..and frankly everyone that works in the Post Office is a LAZY piece of shit! GET RID OF EM!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marian-Hennings/100000826252983 Marian Hennings

    The pot is calling the kettle black, buddy.  Most postal employees work their butts off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marian-Hennings/100000826252983 Marian Hennings

    Service is better with USPS – at least they don’t leave parcels where they can be stolen by passers-by or dishonest neighbors.

  • Emcarr55

    Recently had a bad experience with a small-town post office in AZ where I had lived for six years.  Put in a forwarding request to my new location and they would not forward my mail.  Called them several times – they hemmed and hawed but did not send my mail.  Finally, I went to see the postmaster in the new town where I now live in NM – big tough guy .  He got on the phone and within days my mail arrived.   I won’t be crying about their demise.  I

  • Pkendallrr3

    Bull@&$$. I’ve worked as a lineman, a carpenter, a commercial painter, a coax/fiber spliced, an administrator. Now I work for USPS. People there work just as hard as anyone works at any job. Your myth of laziness reflects your ignorance of what the job entails.

  • Pkendallrr3

    Oh, and the huge payroll: this is my 10th year of postal employment and the first year to equal the pay in the job I left.

  • Elizabethmoisan

    The USPS can save lots of money by getting out of the retail business. Mailing material can be purchased in many different locations—including the grocery store. They can also stop making so many different kinds of stamps. One generic design to use regardless of the denomination needed, then (maybe) 3 different kinds of holiday stamps come December, at a slightly higher cost to help offset the production expenses. Pictures of flowers, Elvis, teddy bears, or locomotives on an envelope do not make the mail move faster or more accurately.

  • Sally-larson1

    The Union prevents them from running the service as a viable business, wages are way too high and no one is able to be fired.  Get rid of the Union and start behaving like a real business and make good decisions. Keep good workers and get rid of the dead wood.  Saturday delivery isn’t the issue.

  • CS

    I’m in full agreement with a previous commenter about reducing the amount of junk mail. If that’s what’s keeping the Postal Service alive, they/we need to rethink our priorities. Here’s a link from the Federal Trade Commission on how to easily opt out of receiving junk mail:

    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt063.shtm

  • Yogirox

    I concur with Pkendallrr3. Anyone who thinks we’re lazy needs to try the job for a day. They’d be singing a different tune, especially the week before Christmas in a blizzard.

  • Dedgard

    That is untrue.  Sure, some workers are lazy, but my husband is a letter carrier and he goes the extra mile – takes the time to make sure every piece of mail goes where it should.  He carries mailed medicine upstairs to the old lady in the second floor apartment.  Stops little kids from running into the street while their parent checks their boxes.  Gets bit now and then but keeps on working.  Many of his coworkers do the same.

  • Ksandwick

    Commerative stamps are a source of profit to the USPS. Many are purchased and never used but saved and collected. The cost savings would be minimal.
    Labor costs and reduced use of the service are key to shortfalls.

  • mememe

    van68 you make a good point. First on the minds of Congress is reelection.

  • Spike

    I love the post office! I have a box at my local post office and the workers there all know me. It’s a friendly place staffed by excellent professionals who care about their customers. I wouldn’t go to any other business unless I absolutely had to.

  • Donbi33

    The stamps for your Christmas cards, and other 1 ounce mail didn’t increase in price.  And “forever” stamps will still work even if the price goes up. 

  • Donbi33

    You are right!  I took USPS calls for a contract operator.  About half the calls were about problems with postal employees. Mail consistantly in the wrong boxes, left on a shelf, logged as delivered but never received. Tracked mail that simply disappeared. First-class mail that had been opened and the contents stolen.  Rude and hostile employees. Apparently, a postal employee would have to physically assault a customer to get fired.  Each of these calls is documented in a database. USPS needs to find a way to terminate these people, and let the many competent and hard-working employees serve the public. 

  • Arnie

    Did You say “everyone the works in the Post Office is a Lazy piece of shit”?  You f**king moron, I worked 27 years with only a small pension and busted my ass everyday, so don’t make a blanket statement like that. Archaic, yes, mismanagement yes and there are some lazy workers but all in all, most Postal Workers are amount the hardest working people in the U.S.

  • Thomas

    The USPS keeps saying they are going to stop Saturday delivery in order to save money. OK, stop talking & start doing! I don;t know of anyone who would falter from not having there mail delivered on Saturday. Better yet, why not go a step further…Delivery every other day – MON, WED & FRI.

  • Caroleannette

    Your comments are offensive and disgusting, showing a real lack of intelligence.

  • Caroleannette

     My husband was recruited to work for the USPS in 1971 as a management associate when he was coming out of the Navy during the Viet Nam War.  He has an MBA and they hired 50 people, one from each state, with MBA’s, to be trained for management. What prompted this was that Congress eliminated the Post Office Department and created a quasi-corporation which allowed the USPS to participate in collective bargaining.  During the first two years of his training program he and the 49 other MBAs worked jobs at every level of Postal operations before they were given career positions in middle management.  He retired in 1999 after 28yrs service.  During that time he had 24 different jobs and we moved 7 times.  He was very dedicated and worked very had to make the Postal Service service serve the American people and he worked with thousands of others at all levels who also worked just as hard or harder.  You Mr. Nach should have to do the job of a mail handler, a letter carrier or LSM operator to understand that your accusation of laziness is totally ignorant and insulting to millions of people who have worked for the USPS over the past 200 years. Anyone who can understand microeconomics would realize that eliminations of the Postal Service in today’s world would transform America from an 1st world country to a 3rd world country.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.borough David J. Borough

    It does seem like a simple solution to reduce mail days. Personally, I would hardly notice the difference so if it saves a lot of money the value/cost ratio will be great. The article points out some useful facts about the USPS. But one statement is ridiculous, that they make a profit if only operations are considered. Retirement plans are part of compensation to employees. They make a profit if they do not compensate their employees as promised. That is not profit! 

  • Lori D

    This is a very good question.  Here’s an excerpt from
    http://www.postalreporternews.net/2011/07/01/nalc-rep-dennis-ross-misfires-on-the-myths-and-the-facts/

    What we are saying is that, without this unfair burden, we would
    have been profitable over the past four years (2007-2010) since
    pre-funding costs of $21 billion explain 100% of the $20 billion losses
    recorded over this period.
    No other agency pre-funds retiree health benefits – over any length
    of time.  Nor do the legislative and judicial branches. Nor do most
    private companies.

    Supporters of H.R. 1351 are not trying to stop pre-funding.  We want
    to transfer the $55 billion surplus in the CSRS postal account (using
    fair methods endorsed by the Postal Regulatory Commission) into the
    Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund, which already has $42.7
    billion in it. That would be enough to totally prefund the Postal
    Service’s future retiree health obligations.

  • http://twitter.com/modchen dr. angelface

    i have an idea. why don’t you shut your mouth, since you clearly have no clue what you’re talking about? that’d be great.

    knuckledragging moron.

  • Gotcowtle7

    i stick every subscription card that falls out of a magazine back into my mailbox blank.
    why not? the postage is already paid and it helps the postal service

  • Darwin DeBois

    Wow! Credit Card companies and other businesses will make a hugh income with all of the late charges and fees for late payments thru the mail  because of stagered mail delivery days…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HAJTWZQ2GBZCYT5HHMHPLUCO2A Chelle

    The USPS can’t do anything without congress’ approval. This is why they keep ‘talking’ about it. The postmaster has testified to congress on several occasions, and has put that on the table….they have so far rejected the idea. They also haven’t approved the idea that the USPS could stop the pre-funding of future retiree health benefits. No other government entity has to do this. My question is why does the USPS have to answer to the government when it doesn’t receive government money, and it is run just like a business…. I am a postal worker, and as scary as this is for thousands of us, I can understand suspending the pre-funding payment for the future retiree health benefits. After all, if they are made to pay this money- I won’t have a job to retire from anyway- so what’s the sense in it??!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HAJTWZQ2GBZCYT5HHMHPLUCO2A Chelle

    *sorry that was supposed to be in reply to Thomas…I hit the wrong button*

  • http://www.medicareforall.org SinglePayerActivist

    Excellent comparison of rates ($8.65 for a Fedex letter; $0.44 for a USPS letter) and excellent comments that we need to support whatever the mission/purpose is … and decide what that purpose is, such as whether or not we give a – - – - about certain locations and/or groups of people. *** AND *** Let’s add one more thing >>>>> our society is keeping with its VERY VERY SLOW internet compared to other countries. Let’s include all factors.

  • Michael Larkey

    You are a mis informed, the problem is not the union but managements lame running of the post office. for example they have the ability to hire tempary help at 80% of what I make but do not and instead pay me overtime and sometimes double time. Mostly so thier numbers will look good and they can get a bigger bonus.  

  • Dselan

    I know I’m late to the discussion but, it occured to me that with this discussion on a PBS site we are sort of preaching to the choir, people already interested in the facts of the situation. How do we get this conversation into the “real” world, where the reader has been inundated with anti-postal service “facts” and commentary?  Also, was the prefunding requirement a sly method used by politicians to privatize the USPS? It is the only government agency that I know of that added money to our treasury (prior to the prefunding mandate).  Privatizing would be a boon to big business at a higher cost to the public as prices would no longer be controlled by the USPS Board of Governors.

  • Anonymous

    Giving the only government agency that actually has a fully funded pension system permission to piss it away like the rest of our government has sounds like a bad idea. Especially on an near obsolete entity like the USPS. It simply cannot sustain itself at it’s current size and configuration and pouring money into it will not change a thing, merely prolong it’s death throes. 

  • John Roane

    If the USPS operates as a business and hasn’t covered its cost for years on end, please explain why it hasn’t gone out of business, explain how it isn’t using tax monies, explain why it, like a real private business, why hasn’t it used GPS technology to track effectiveness in delivery, and or has not down side to meet demand?  To correct it all that is needed is to limit delivery of first class mail and small PP (30#) on a four day week, sell off unneeded post office buildings, then down size employees and capital equipment to meet that demand.  While the USPS is a Constitutional responsibility, its not required to run at staging loses.

  • Anonymous

    Pretty sad when a Fox News affiliate has the relevant  FACTS on an issue:

    (FOX19) -
    A lot of comments on last
    night’s Reality Check and among those comments, suggestions on how to
    fix the immediate financial problems the U.S.P.S. is facing.

    But will those ideas work? 

    Let’s take a look.

    Point number 1:   the United States Postal
    Service is the only federal agency or private company required to
    pre-fund retiree health benefits for 75 years.

    That is true.

    I told you last night that according to the
    funding act signed by President Bush in 2006, the Postal Service must
    set aside some $5.5 billion dollars every year for retiree health
    benefits.   It is correct that no other federal agency is required to
    fund health pensions 75 years out.

    According to MSN Money, if that requirement
    were not in place, the U.S.P.S. would have earned a surplus of over $600
    million during the last four years.

    But there is more, the Postal Service and the
    Postal Service Inspector General estimate that the U.S.P.S. has
    over-funded the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal
    Employees Retirement System (FERS) by $75 billion dollars. 

    The Postal Regulatory Commission has independently estimated the overfunding of CSRS at $50 billion or more.

  • Miscsteelestimator

    This is because these funds is whay pays for Congress “Golden Ticket” of benefits.  It all comes directly from USPS

  • Kate

    What you are forgetting is the fact that the retiree health benefits MUST be funded and the same for their pensions!  If they do not ‘pre-pay’ as required by law – would they pay at all??  What was the reason for the law?  Were they not properly funding retiree programs???

  • Bill

    If you go to a 5 day week, you would eliminate the T-6 position. The T-6 position is the replacement carrier. I have been a T-6 for about 30 years. I get paid a little bit more because I have to know how to carry 5 routes as well as the regular does. I have to know the names of the current occupants plus who has moved out. This is approximately 5,000 names….This is not easy… I’m almost 60 years old and I continue because I think I still do my job well. Very few complaints. If you eliminate this job, you will throw 1/6 of the carriers into the unemployment line. 50-70,000 people. Believe it or not, many people wait on their Saturday mail for their Amazon.com mail or parcels in general…. and to many of the older folks, they just wait for their mailman to come by, so that someone will come by and say hello…. Bill in Houston Texas.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t blame the Union for whats happening now.  Letter Carriers and Clerks are not Dead Wood.If your suggestion were implemented the Conservatives would immediately PRIVATIVE the POSTAL SERVICE and that would end free delivery through out the U.S.

  • Anonymous

    You have a POINT!  When I started in the U.S.Post Office Department in1956, I remained a “Temp” for a year. That was the Probationary Period, and 2 or 3 INFRACTIONS would get you FIRED. Also, you were evaluated by your Supervisor each Quarter. All Temp hours were at the regular hourly rate, except for 10% Night Differential and 25% Sunday Differential. There is one CAVEAT…regular Career Employees yearly Salaries were $4500 to $7500 per year. It took 15-years to reach Top Salary in your pay grade.  THANK GOD FOR UNIONIZATION!

  • Anonymous

    IGNORANCE is supposedly BLISS, but not in your case. Are you jobless?  If you are working, I can imagine what your co-workers think of you.

  • Anonymous

    As a Retired Postmaster, I congratulate you for telling it as it is.  I remember the beginning of that program and went thru it in 1979 with a Bachelors Degree.

  • Anonymous

    Are you STUPID or just uninformed.  Do you feel the same about CEO’s of private Companies?

  • Hyjanks

    Where’s number 6?  You know, the FACT that the Feds are draining funds from the postal service to support their pet projects?

  • Hyjanks

    Please explain why you are not aware that funds acquired from the Postal Service are going to support pet projects of the very same government entities that complain about their service?

  • Roane4

    NO explanation necessary, private business is free to spend its money as it sees fit.  However, if they can’t cover cost and profit from it they go out of business.  That is free enterprise.
     
     The Post Office always runs in the Red, they need to make a profit or at least cover cost while providing a competitive service.  Which currently they don’t and haven’t in the past.  A four day work week, ten hour day, first class and small PP only, no overnight, or 2 or 3 day delivery, place GPS in all vehicles and manage by computer analysis, and they might be able to break even and that is where they should be.
    The Post Office always runs in the Red, they need to make a profit or at least cover cost while providing a competitive service.  Which currently they don’t and haven’t in the past.  A four day work week, ten hour day, first class and small PP only, no overnight, or 2 or 3 day delivery, place GPS in all vehicles and manage by computer analysis, and they might be able to break even and that is where they should be.

  • Kristen A.

    Payroll is the biggest expense the USPS has.  And, much like government agencies which operate in a similar fashion, the USPS is employee-laden.  Forget mail carriers who do the best they can to deliver the mail in a timely fashion under pretty dire circumstances (I have been told the USPS is “like the mafia”).  There far more “middle management” positions in this agency than are even close to being necessary and an outrageous redundancy in responsibility.  Again, just like with government agencies, if the fat were to be cut, there would be a tremendous positive impact on operations – think less red tape and more profitability.

  • Conjure_115

    The Post Office is in a situation where it CANNOT make a profit. It can only ‘break even’. Any profit must be turned over to the Federal Gov’t.Therefore, when the P.O. gets it a bind, it has no reserve money to tap into….that’s one of the problems. And, Yes, there a way too many people in middle and upper management who do absolutely nothing, but the people in management all look out for each other. Many of those in management couldn’t hack it as a carrier, cause it was ‘too hard’!

  • Michael S

    Have you even bothered to read the above article? Your response is utter nonsense on every level, I am flabergasted by your uninformed drivel!

  • P90321p

    Would love to see the bills for these numbers?
    Who sets the price except Congress expecting to pay with other people’s money?

  • Anonymous

    The USPS is prepaying health care so that they don’t become a liability of the Treasury.  If they are given the 5.5 billion back, that helps in the short run, but in the long run, the business model is still broken, and the liability issue rears it’s ugly head again.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CB5Y5CVY2UAZ7LX3XH5DY4XTKQ Destinee Gallagher

    this was gay. why dont you read some more facts and learn about this you guys are dumbasses

  • Jakejakers94

    Does anyone know if the usps does go out of business or down size what they would do with there postal vans

  • Tom

    How come nobody has brought up the fact that USPS delivers to places not accessible to Fedex and UPS?  Up to 25% of Fedex’s packages and envelopes  are delivered to the final destination by the USPS.  Do the private enterprises do anything to  support that facet of mail deliveries?  My guess is that they just take advantage of USPS’s capabilities and pay peanuts for the service!  What happens to ancillary services that are now provided by USPS if it goes out of business……and what will be the increased cost?

  • Itrod

    a friend got  fired from the P.O. after 25 yrs work, How can he get his pensione  he paid all of those years into?

  • Arby134

    what a lame excuse to be late on bills. You can make payments for free online and on the phone with all credit card companies. 

  • Arby134

    what a lame excuse to be late on bills. You can make payments for free online and on the phone with all credit card companies. 

  • Chris

    Let’s see, they’ve been paying in 5.5 billion per year for future retiree benefits, but the article stated if they “take the retirement fund out of the equation, and the postal service would have actually netted $1 billion in profits over this period”. So they STILL havent made any MONEY. What’s the 5.5 billion spent today equal for ex-postal worker retiree benefits in the future? Once again, the USPS while technically is a GSA and not the fed, they’d still require taxpayer funding to “bail-out” (can you spell GM) in the future. Leave it to taxpayer funded PBS to make the problem lie with anyone other than the bureaucratic, inefffeicient govenrnment entity that is causing the problem. If Saturday delivery went away, I’m sure we’d all adjust to our junk mail arriving on Monday…….

    It’s a broken model that need’s repair. I remember how greta Blockbuster used to be, but Netflix has made it obsolete….

  • Swartzel

    Since the Congress had a Democratic super majority in 2006 when the pre-payment law was passed. Maybe the Bush basher should re-direct his discontent towards the face that sunk a Thousand ship’s Mzzzz. Pelosi who was at the ships’ helm during this laws’ travel up Capital Hill.

  • Barxalot

    I am a disabled American citizen.
    … (a mental disorder preventing me from driving)
    I live about 7 blocks from the post office and they will not deliver mail.
    They won’t even hold it for general delivery.
    As a poor person, they provide no function in my life.
    If they don’t help the poor and they aren’t needed by the rich …
    … middle income Americans will have to decide their value to society.

  • Tpp52748

    Does anyone know how many actual dollars are in the pension fund?? Or is it like SS all IOUs,Thanks

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TIUFLMS3J3ODLSBVBJSHRZYD6U tired of it

    The problem is that the USPS has already OVERPAID that system by 75 billion dollars.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TIUFLMS3J3ODLSBVBJSHRZYD6U tired of it

    Chris you have some of this wrong due to the article.The USPS has overpaid that mandated retirement and healthcar deal by 75billion..So if they got last years cash back,they would be 1 bil ahead.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TIUFLMS3J3ODLSBVBJSHRZYD6U tired of it

    Very true!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TIUFLMS3J3ODLSBVBJSHRZYD6U tired of it

    Very true!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TIUFLMS3J3ODLSBVBJSHRZYD6U tired of it

    I wish more people knew this.The media could have said this too.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TIUFLMS3J3ODLSBVBJSHRZYD6U tired of it

    I wish more people knew this.The media could have said this too.

  • Anonymous

    The 2006 Postal Accountability Act was supported by the postal unions, including the NALC, and cosponsored by two democrats still in the House, Danny Davis, and Henry Waxman, and pushed throught the Senate by Tom Carper. (the same guy pushing S1789)
    They got what they wanted.
    How would you prevent postal pensions and future health care benefits from becoming a liability of the Treasury, which was what the Actbwas designed by democrats and the unions to accomplish?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ray-Douglas/100002704480820 Ray Douglas

    Swartzel.. learn something before you speak the Republicans had both the house, and the Senate in 2006, the democrats took over in January 2007, the elections that gave them the Senate were November3. 2006

  • Reginaflowers

    You live in a city or rural area? There has to more to your
    story.  

  • Reginaflowers

    The Post Office sells its old postal vehicles at auction. I believe
    they have online auctions these days as well.

  • Lori D

    Right, the USPS is “obsolete.” Sure it is. And you are a paid shill for the UPS and/or FEDEX lobby machine. As a small business owner who ships overseas every day, I would have to close my doors if I had to pay Fedex and UPS rates to ship internationally. The rates are double that of USPS, and there are FAR fewer options than with the USPS. On top of the outrageous shipping rates, there is a $25 fee that FEDEX and UPS charge just for “handling” a package through customs, and often other fees that come up on the bill. The only winners in the UPS/FEDEX duopoly scheme are UPS and FEDEX. 

  • Anonymous

    So, you enjoy stealing from private enterprise to hand to Govt parasites?
    Do you work for the IRS?

  • Guest

    I once felt that way, but then I moved to the DC area.  What a nightmare.  Some postal workers are great, but far too many couldn’t care less about customers.  As with all other situations, it’s a case of the bad apples spoiling the entire barrel.  The good postal employees will be welcome in private sector jobs where performance is rewarded.

  • Guest

    I once felt that way, but then I moved to the DC area.  What a nightmare.  Some postal workers are great, but far too many couldn’t care less about customers.  As with all other situations, it’s a case of the bad apples spoiling the entire barrel.  The good postal employees will be welcome in private sector jobs where performance is rewarded.

  • Cosmodiva7

    f**king bush signed that accountability act into law. I don’t know how the co*k suc*er and his upper cronies f!!king sleep at night.

  • Anonymous

    I was working at the POD before it became USPS.They tried to standardize routes and bribe older carriers to retire.Took 40yrs to figure out it didn’t work? I survived Kokomo! Got a real job in 1980.Would give up that “real” job for 15k bribe now. LOL

  • Anonymous

    I was working at the POD before it became USPS.They tried to standardize routes and bribe older carriers to retire.Took 40yrs to figure out it didn’t work? I survived Kokomo! Got a real job in 1980.Would give up that “real” job for 15k bribe now. LOL

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WLLAPXYFI3KFC4WOKOVJIYEN6M Amit M

    Sign this petition if you want to end Saturday Delivery and raise postage rates!

    http://www.change.org/petitions/postmaster-general-raise-postal-rates-and-stop-saturday-delivery 

  • Rwmattson43

    They make the post office pay the goverment for the furture retirement but you can count on the goverment spending the prepayments and then later saying we do not have the funds to pay for the retiring postal workers…….

  • Savethevenicepostoffice

    Can you say “Postal bank?”  How about “Digital bill payment?”  How about “Every single American?”

    If Congress had allowed the Post Office, now morphed into the Postal Service, to continue with its longtime initiatives, instead of forcing the agency to close its banks, to give electronic bill payment to Checkfree and plan to end door-to-door delivery, our most trusted public service would still be properly recognized as the purveyor of some of the most valuable public services that – that Congress no longer allows it to provide.

    The most crucial piece, though, is that, as our country’s only provider of equal information access to everyone (that’s right – everyone), the Postal Service must survive in order to fulfill its obligation.  The fact that no one has yet challenged the constitutionality of a law that separated postal stamps and services from taxation does not mean that the Postal Service should _not_ use tax dollars.  Yet it doesn’t.  Kudos to USPS.

    The last four decades have proved that the word’s most efficient mail system does quite well on its own, even in the face of anti-competitive forces preventing USPS from deploying its innovations the same way every other business may.  

    USPS has been given a bum steer.  Union leadership hasn’t always been perfect, but but Congressional actions have been almost always deeply flawed in recent decades.  

    The way to save the Postal Service in the short term is to let it do its work with its own money.  Reimburse it for overpayments.  Properly recalculate the 2006 pre-funding.  Recall S1789 and pass S1853.  Kill HR2309 and pass HR3591.

    Once the false crisis is resolved, then we can begin discussing how much true value USPS can provide to the nation by directing our representatives to let it do so.  This may take a change and/or a restructuring of USPS leadership, plus a change for the better in Congress.  Who can argue with that?

  • Ironleg42

    I know the PO sponsored the Olympic bicycle team, what else have they sponsored,here and abroad ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/bodybygigi Gigi Jacobs

    Tom, I did an experiment in overnight service. The US Post Office charges $18.50 for the service. FedEx charges $34 to $37 for the same service..and an extra $15 for Saturday delivery. Post Office charges 0 extra for Saturday delivery. Out of 50 overnights each, the efficiency rate was identical. Each service was a day late on two packages. The Post Office refunded me for both. FedEx refunded me for one and had some in company excuse for not refunding the other. Thank you for giving a more correct version of what is going on with the Post Office. They have over paid for a retirement fund that is for 75 years in the future. No company is required to make that payment. This not a “bail out”, but rather a squeeze put on them by the privatized delivery services who would like ALL the business and they did so unfairly by lobbying for the bill for the Post Office to, as of now, pay ahead of time, over 31 billion dollars since 2006 when Bush signed the law into effect. Gee, if we give them back their 31 billion, they would not be in debt. They would be ahead by 21 billion and yes, then they’d profit by 1 billion dollars a year. 

    To those of you who are all over it about “private sector”, let’s see how much you like it when you have to send a letter cross country and instead of 44 cents, you pay $34. LOL. And Tom is correct: the US Post Office finishes the delivery of FedEx shipments 25% of the time. 

    For those like Tom, that used your brain before making a remark, I would like to thank you. The rest of you-how do you function without “thinking” before you speak? 

  • Ziggy

    The post office also used fedex planes to move mail, it works both ways.

  • Dwillmore

    So USPS is the one company being forced to face their retirement obligations in full and have found that they can’t do it.    The obligations must be reduced or eliminated to survive.

    As it is most retirement packages in the US are simply fairy tails made of dust.    I say make every entity that employs and promises retirement to fully fund that liability today, and if they can’t then better to know now that it is simply unsustainable.

  • Anonymous

    HR2309 and S1789 attack on Postal Emploees

    I understand that
    HR2309  will be on the House Floor in SEPTEMBER

    .Issa’s proposals promoted as saving the Post Office, if enacted, would do the
    exact opposite.These  expenses can be deleted
    without disrupting the service.
    #1. The Postal Accountable and Enhancement Act needs to be rescinded. In 2006
    the PAEA ,signed by Bush, mandated that the USPS fund 75 years of retiree
    health benefits in 10. As the USPS was solvent before the PAEA (HR6407) was
    passed it stands to reason that the USPS would once again become solvent if
    this law was rescinded.
    #2. Overpayments the USPS has made to the Civil Service Retirement Service
    should be returned.
    #3. Overpayments the USPS made to FERS need to be retrieved.
    #4. Charge more for delivering UPS parcels that UPS has the Post Office deliver
    to places they don’t.
    #5. Adjust the ratio of managers to workers .
    But Issa, in HR2309 hasn’t proposed that any of these things .
    Issa’s solution is to cut the workforce by at least 100,000. Issa’s solution is
    to weaken the unions, so that Postal Workers’ wages and benefits would depend
    on a separate board when a contract wasn’t agreed upon by the USPS and a union. Issa’s cure would cause the death of the USPS as a public
    service and have it revived as a business with lower paid workers, higher rates
    and less service.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09ybkkiH2Ho

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am4wez1ShPY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsPIY9bFFZY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-chx0j3_8IU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mF_P0c1eNo 

  • rbolles

    Does all the money the Post Office brings in stay in the USPS or does the Federal Gov take some to pay for other Federal Programs? Or is it The Union retirement payments that has made it insustainable? Or both?

  • rbolles

    Q: How does Charity become Slavery?
    A: Let the Democrats run it.
    Q: How do you make it worse?
    A: Let the Republicans fix it.
    Q: How do you bankrupt a profitable business?
    A: Unionize it.
    The same philosophy applies here.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think you can compare what these two kinds of delivery, any more than you can compare having dinner delivered with getting a ton of metric ton of wheat delivered.

    People who choose to live in remote areas should understand that its hard to get to people who live there, just as those in the city should be up for noise and congestion. There are always tradeoffs. We shouldn’t be subsidizing either choice.

    And, yes, there are lots of subsidies for both. We should eliminate them, so we can all make better decisions.

    I’m also pretty sure most people in rural areas would be quite happy if mailing a piece of junk to them cost $8.65.

  • Anonymous

    The average worker isn’t going to retire 75 years from now.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QHJS3O4HVWXYUKBJFFAOP26CJE Bored

    The congressional actions have been done to get the gov’t and USPS out of banking and services they don’t belong in. If USPS was run completely separate, as it’s own profitable business, that would not be a problem, but as the gov’t guarantees certain things, they should not be in the banking business. And prepaying their retirement obligations is simply what every other business does. They cannot make promises on future benefits where money does not yet exist. And who gets paid healthcare in retirement anyway?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QHJS3O4HVWXYUKBJFFAOP26CJE Bored

    I say they just privatize the whole business. Let them figure it all out on their own. If retirement benefits dry up because of mismanagement, then so be it. It’s the same for every other person in the country who works at a regular job.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QHJS3O4HVWXYUKBJFFAOP26CJE Bored

    Because they won’t hand you the money from the gov’t coffers? Such a sad situation when you find you have to stand on your own.

  • Smootsye

    interesting…I wonder what is going to happen. I buy forever stamps to stave off the increase due next year. But I have to admit I only mail (first class) about 2-3 envelopes a month.

  • Fam2012

    The USPS uses their plans because they pay so much in revenue & future retirement. But the difference is when UPS or FedEx charge customers all that money to ship, they simply pocket the extra & pay USPS the cheap cost to ship their customer package. So UPS & FedEx just get over on their customers

  • Fam2012

    USPS is not who are saying they are goin to stop delivering on Saturday. Congress is telling them to do so to save money, which USPS is telling them that’s not the solution & will put others out of work. Congress wants to dictate USPS m, which is why no other business are force to pay a future retirement fee for those whom are not retiring any time soon. The problem is if USPS did not have to pay this ahead of time money they could use their own funds for other things such as getting their own planes & staying afloat with the competition

  • hornyguy25

    you have nice tits

  • bondagebabe69

    your glasses really turn me on

  • mike

    thats because they dont get delivered, the usps has LOST 8 pkg over the last 2 years
    tracking said they delivered them, but where?

  • bags1

    The police department has told us to write “picture I D only” yet the USPS will not accep credit card unless it is signed. Why is this?

  • Anonymous

    Please Help Stop Governmental Privatization of the USPS to Eliminate Crony Capitalism and Higher Taxes.

    Please sign and share this petition!

    http://www.change.org/petitions/president-obama-please-stop-privatization-to-eliminate-crony-capitalism-and-higher-taxes

  • http://www.facebook.com/SjL4spidey Stephen Labert

    Part of the trade off for the USPS to use FedEx planes is the FedEx collection box located in front of almost every branch of the USPS

  • http://www.facebook.com/SjL4spidey Stephen Labert

    Postal Reorganization Act of ’06 was designed for USPS to fail. Why else would a business put money away for retirement benefits for employees who HAVEN’T BEEN BORN?!

  • xman

    What is a penny or two pennies? The cost of a stamp need to go up to at least 1.00 As mentioned by another commenter, UPS and Fed EX charges far more for far less service. The price of services needs to go up just like any other business.

  • laylah

    It is NOT a government agency and receives no Federal funds.

  • Dana

    It seems that the Post Master General wants to dismantel the Post Office. The cuts they are making to the service personal and closing of mail processing plants and Post Offices is sending what business they have to other companies. They did that once with the package deliveries and UPS got the business. Please call your elected official and tell them not to elimate the 6 day delivery. Be aware that also means there will be no collection of mail on Sat. so any mail you post will not get handeled until Mon. which will delay 1st class mail.

  • Teri Cooper-Brown

    I am sure that no one gets a bonus for paying overtime/double time. Management is rewarded for SAVING money, not SPENDING it!! How would spending more money make their “numbers look good?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/lparault Lori Parault

    USPS is the only service allowed to deliver to APO addresses, unless I am mistaken.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lparault Lori Parault

    The story behind it is it was a lame duck congress AND those pushing the legislation were HUGELY funded by UPS and FedEx.

  • Keeblertex

    Why are they delivering 6 days a week? Really, I check my mail twice a month for bills. They could easily reduce deliveries to twice or three times a week. Special postage could be created for off cycle deliveries. It’s outdated and needs to change to survive.

  • Anonymous

    It IS a government agency. Is it a federal offense to interfere with UPS? What other private company has laws specific to that company, that no other organization must follow? What other non government company has federal law enforcement on staff? It’s independent in name only.

  • Rebecca Shepard

    Hi guys- I am a research assistant for a professor writing a novel set in the 1980s and I am trying to figure out what kind of pay a postal worker would get then, what kind of benefits sick days, etc. If any of you guys know anything that would be great.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000097518648 Mark Burwinkel

    It seems a big part of this ‘problem’ is over paying into their retirement program, reverse that and the rest is minor adjustments. I suggest you read Charley Reece last column, this is a common Washington problem lawmakers created the problem and then blame others and campaign against it. Be cautious, Americans love their post office.

  • realistic

    Thomas, you obviously do not depend on the postal service and wouldn’t miss it. For the rest of us, God help us if it ever stops providing the cheapest mode of communication in the world. Cell phones and internet costs are skyrocketing and with no post office for those who do not want to spend $$ for those services, get prepared for huge price increases on those services. Who would think that we have gone from the telegraph to transmit messages to being able to actually speak to each other and then back to “texting” (telegraphing). Life is strange

  • realistic

    Bill, elimination of jobs doesn’t seem to register with people until it is their job! Sad but true. We love our letter carriers. Their presence in our neighborhoods and providing the only human contact some older folks have. Keep up the good work!

  • realistic

    You’ve got that right! The letter carriers are completely capable of doing their jobs without those bozos at the top. Their function is to harass the workers into going faster! What a waste of $$.

  • realistic

    Sally, businesses today are running like “sweat shops”! People don’t take lunch and are afraid to take vacations. I believe that the union provides great collective bargaining for its’ employees as demonstrated by their good salaries and benefits. (That’s how many jobs USED TO BE!) I take issue with your statement because labor has been reduced to low wages and no financial security or benefits. I do agree that unions, in general, have to work with management for a “win, win” situation. PS, the problem isn’t with the Post Office at all. It is with the constant transfer of $$ from the Post Office to fund other programs and the congressional mandate to fund their retirement system 75 years ahead. Or, I suppose you don’t believe in retirement benefits either!

  • realistic

    In many rural town post offices are still a daily meeting place for coffee and small talk. The community life still exists in these towns. Younger people who spend most of their time texting and talking on their phones are missing out on the sense of connectedness that once existed.

  • realistic

    Cary, everyone is college educated today. They ride herd on the supervisors!

  • realistic

    “Numbers looking good” is usually at the expense of working unsafely or taking short cuts. The PO is unusual with their thug tactics of threatening newbies to work faster with unrealistic expectations resulting in accidents, etc.

  • realistic

    IT IS NOT THE UNION! Those part-time employees have nothing to loose because of low pay, no benefits: pensions, health care, etc. They are here today, gone tomorrow which means these people may steal valuable items. Human nature! A full-time employee will think twice about actions that would cost them their job. We love you postal worker!

  • realistic

    The public has no idea how hard that job is. Carriers work in tropical storms, hurricanes, snow storms, 100 degree and 30 below zero weather. All this while walking/driving about 15 miles per day at a fast pace. Observers do not realize how fast the carrier is really working because of the skill of the carrier in making it look easy. When everyone else is being sent home from work because of a storm, the carriers are out working in it. Holidays, when everyone else is off, the letter carrier’s are out delivering mail. You guys rock!

  • realistic

    Personally, those inserted cards and unsolicited mail are time consuming nuisances. Good idea to send it back and aggravate them! Amerman, you must be a middle manager lackey!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/angela.rugerio Angela Rugerio

    Unfortunately the postal workers in my area leavedmy packages at different houses and never leave it at the door. Many packages have been stolen from me. I thought they were paid by tax dollars and I now know they aren’t, I feel bad that they have some pretty awrfl representatives in this area or I would generally be content with the services they provide

  • Jef

    Why do we not hear from Fox and other news organizations on the issue of taxes not paying for the USPS? I think most people believe that the PO is part of the US national budget problems.

  • http://twitter.com/tzbauknight Trevor Bauknight

    Monsanto.

  • http://twitter.com/tzbauknight Trevor Bauknight

    STEALING! They send you the card, and you stick it back in the box, and you’re a thief?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Warren-White/100000273494927 Warren White

    Disband the obsolete, unneeded Govt parasite agency USPS, and the greedy Union which steals from hard working consumers/taxpayers.
    Govt is an irresponsible, greedy parasite which impoverishes and bankrupts us, and treats taxpayers as suckers….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Warren-White/100000273494927 Warren White

    Trevor..

    The greedy, obsolete, incompetent USPS then bills the private enterprise for postage for the blank cards, and the $s goes right to the greedy, lazy USPS Union parasites feeding at the public trough…

  • Northan Lamount

    thanks for gave this info its very useful to me thank you

  • IAMROSE

    Instead of closing shop completely, let’s cut Thursdays from the weekly schedule. That gives you three days to take of correspondence. Day of rest, then go all out Friday and Saturday. We depend on our local POs for mail and package services, and for jobs. I would rather give up one day vs all of them

  • Anonymous
  • runitlikeabusiness

    Only the government would think that they can improve their business’s bottom line by cutting back on the services that generate revenue. It’s absurd, only businesses that want to fail will try this. I want to remind everyone that the current congress and the white house are both controlled by the democratic party. Also President Nixon did not pass the postal act of 1971. Presidents do not pass laws, congress can only do that, and that one was democratically controlled as well. Finally I will say that UPS and Fedx both pass my house everyday and are making a great profit. The postal service goes to everyone’s house everyday, yet still can’t maintain a break even much less a profit. You can’t fix stupid by cutting pensions or cutting services or raising prices!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think Congress is run by the Democratic Party.

  • Anonymous

    Why did congress require the USPS to pay the future 70 years of benefits now if they are not due? Can anyone tell me who mandated this requirement or why this was required when it has never ever been required for any other business? This is the reason they are having financial troubles…

  • Joe Wigger

    Congress isn’t run by the Democratic Party. They enjoy a slim majority in the Senate, but it’s not enough to repel the Repugs’ shameless abuses of the filibuster, so it doesn’t really matter. The House is firmly in Repug control and they’ve accomplished little to nothing as a result…oh, excpet for presenting countless bills to outlaw abortion and so-called Obamacare. The U.S. Postal Service could and would be a profitable entity if politicians would stop stacking the deck against them in order to please their corporate paymasters, typically advocates of privitization across all aspects of public service. About the only thing I would agree with you on is that you can’t fix stupid…you’re right about that and you illustrate it all too well!

  • Joe Wigger

    The U.S. Postal service has been, and has been expected to be, a financially autonomous agency. They make their own revenue and they pay their own expenses. As long as that model is left in tact, they are able to stay afloat. It wasn’t until corporate cronies were able to wreak unreasonable and unrealistic financial havoc from the outside, by way of their whores in Congress, that their problems started! Stop with the overused and overhyped talking points already. The unions had nothing to do with their woes and the fact that organized labor continues to be held up as the major bogeyman is nothing more than a corporate ploy. Dig up your own facts, and think about your own arguments, because doing otherwise only makes you a parrot at best!

  • C. Kaufman

    So the felon Darrell Issa has taken time out from his obsession with creating lies about the president to actually champion a new idea.

    Yep! After the GOP led congress forced the USPS to be the only american business to fund their healthcare costs for 10 years in advance, even though they have always been profitable and NEVER taken any tax dollars, now Issa is “championing” this plan to “save” (gag) the postal service.

  • Anonymous

    Well, someone’s got to pay for those rich healthcare benefits. That’s what’s really tanking USPS. Not pre-funding is just hiding your head in the sand.

    Cut the pensions and healthcare benefits, solve the problem.

  • Anonymous

    I see you’ve been spouting your union talking points again. pre-funding 70 years is a fallacy that the CBO has consistently debunked.

  • Anonymous

    “The U.S. Postal Service could and would be a profitable entity if politicians would stop kowtowing to unions and continue to give them pensions and healthcare that no other retirees have,”

    There. Fixed.

  • Anonymous

    I looked on the CBO website didn’t find anything but the Washington Post had this http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/24/AR2010062405902.html
    Are they reporting false information along with PBS? I think not!

  • Patricia Bonekemper

    Please email me a form to temporarily hold mail service.

    Thank you, p.bonekemper@yahoo.com

  • Patricia Bonekemper

    Please email or deliver a form to temporarily hold mail service.

    Thank you.

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  • Jerry Thomas

    70 million other people do the same thing

  • Jerry Thomas

    So because you feel that you are treated unfairly so should everyone else. You are the very reason the word SHEEPLE was created

  • Anonymous

    If not prefunding is just hiding your head in the sand, why is the private sector “best practice” not to prefund?

    Pensions and health care are absolutely not the problem, although the outrageous requirement to prefund health benefits at 100% is strangling USPS. It is the prefunding schedule that is the problem.

  • Anonymous

    The count of years is not the issue. The issue is prefunding 100% of the liability in 10 years – whether the liability stretches out 65 years or 85 years is immaterial.

  • Anonymous

    Because the USPS will eventually become obsolete, and if they don’t pre-fund the benefits for their current employees, there will be no money for those benefits once the retirees need them.

  • iwdebvci

    It’s clearly an attempt to create failure which will lead to cries of privatization and federal employee union busting from your friendly neighborhood GOP. Whoda thunk it?

  • Anonymous

    I’m still not convinced we really need Saturday delivery.

  • Trevor Bauknight

    Fascist corporate interest then realizes junkmail is a losing proposition and stops sending it. Win-win.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not ‘junkmail’… it’s cards in magazine are a convenience for those interested in the products..

    After all, free enterprise, business competes to provide individual value in a free, fair marketplace…. free enterprise provides us 100% of our goods/services, prosperity/strength.

    While Govt is a greedy, corrupt, fascist parasite which TAKES what it wants, bankrupts us, wastes it… steals from the unwilling.. without any need to provide individual value..

  • Al Barnes

    SOP is there is no funds in any account anywhere connected to retirement plan(s) for the USPS. I suspect they are doing exactly what they’ve done with Social Security. Place it in the General Fund and make many thieves rich.

  • Rothbard

    The
    post office may run without tax dollars, but it’s still not free
    market. USPS has a government granted monopoly on delivering letters and
    without competition cost will artificially be kept high.

  • RobWPB

    Monopoly? UPS. DHL. FedEx.

  • George

    Artificially high costs? Do you think U.P.S. or FedEx can deliver anything for 46 cents?

  • Anonymous

    jobs, duh

  • Anonymous

    Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe needs to get FIRED period. The USPS has gone from being a consumer friendly service in the past to being a junk delivery service today, wasting a horrendous amount of resources and impacting our environment in a really bad way. Enormous numbers of trees gets cut and enormous amounts of chemicals are used to produce junk-mail that for the most part goes directly from your mailbox to landfills. This needs to be stopped. Donahoe’s vision is to increase this waste further.

    My every effort to have them stop delivering this junk to my mailbox and directions to the mail delivery person not to put anything without my name on it in my mailbox have been ignored. Phone conversations with the local postmaster have been futile as well.

    They have forced me to abandon my mailbox and rely on online payments and only have mail delivered to my work. Therefore I am now BOYCOTTING USPS until they change their ways and allow consumers to opt-out of receiving all this junk mail. I highly encourage everyone else who are sick of their mailbox becoming a “trashcan” to do the same. If enough people do this they’ll have to start respecting the consumers’ wishes.

  • Lavina

    Corporations don’t prefund; so, why is the postal servicce being asked to do so?????

  • A Ryan

    Because Congress in 2006 said it had too…Darrell Issa’s brain child.

  • A Ryan

    Exactly.

  • A Ryan

    Exactly

  • A Ryan

    Baloney

  • A Ryan

    Baloney…the prefunding is to pay for the health benefits of people not only not currently working for the USPS but are not born yet.

  • A Ryan

    You are one of a few…Others like yours truly need 6 day delivery.

  • A Ryan

    I would suggest PMG is only doing what some in Congress, i.e., Darrell Issa, want him to do–not necessarily what he might want to do. First class mail is being delayed all over the country because we don’t have the staff to properly handle any kind of mail except where the $ cash crops (priority/express/standard) are.

  • A Ryan

    UPS and FedX both charge more and deliver to fewer locations because they are only interested in high $ areas. Neither want to touch any small town if they can avoid it.

  • A Ryan

    Because they are required to have it. Clerks who don’t follow the rules get written up and fired for not following silly rules. Police departments don’t have anything to do with the USPS.

  • A Ryan

    Does all the money the Post Office brings in stay in the USPS or does the Federal Gov take some to pay for other Federal Programs? the USPS can’t make a profit–it’s suppose to break even. Extra goes into the general fund and congress spends it–just like they do social security.

    Or is it the Union retirement payments that has made it insustainable? Are you serious? ?

    Q: How do you bankrupt a profitable business?
    A: Unionize it. Are you shortsighted or just plain stupid.

  • A Ryan

    The USPS has always fully funded their retirement and pension programs. Now the USPS is required by a 2006 Congressional decree to fully fund future (75 years) retiree health benefits within 10 years (the 10 years is 2016). Obviously you need to educate yourself.

  • A Ryan

    Do other business pay future benefits for employees who haven’t been born let alone hired? I don’t think so. If I’m wrong, please enlighten me.

  • alert’n'annoyed

    Snohomish WA we either have lost mail, late mail or the carrier fails to deliver our mail for one to two days then we get late bills and checks are late causing problems

  • rob

    your a fool. The USPS is the middle man. They did not create the junk mail being sent to you. You got on an advertising list somehow and some company bought your information to send ads about their products to you. They pay USPS to deliver the ads to you and they are required to deliver it because they got paid to do so. If you don’t want the junk mail, call the company that is sending you the junk mail and ask to be removed from the list. I understand your frustration, but you are going after the wrong people. Do you blame the cat when the dog pees on the floor? No, because that would be silly, but that’s what your doing here blaming USPS for the junk mail problem.

  • Edwin Latorre

    I make 15 dollars an hour, around 6 days a week and 8+ hours a day. Regular carriers make about 22 dollars an hour. Taxes are steep, including insurance, federal taxes and union dues. Benefits include vacation about 4 weeks in a year for regular carriers, and a uniform stipend. There is no discount in services. Sick days are built up 1 hour for every 20 worked

  • Edwin Latorre

    There are at least two people in every apartment building, the guy who gets triple the mail of anyone else, and the guy who ddo want check his mail until it’s bursting. A bad day is when they’re the same guy

  • Edwin Latorre

    That union is the only reason I don’t work 7 days a week every week and at least get major holidays off. The post office is a “right to work” establishment, which essentially means employees only have the right to work and any request for anything else can potentially get you fired

  • tgrjo

    Unfortunately, you can ask to be removed, but you don’t get removed. I’ve been trying to get Macy’s to stop sending their sales papers for over 6 months now – ugh!

  • tgrjo

    I used to have a narrow trash bin on my front porch, an attractive one, just for junk mail. The mail person agreed to bring it to my door and then toss it for me. He could’ve likely been fired for it, but he was cool. Sometimes, I left him cookies or m&ms…

  • tburl

    contact the postal regulation commission and let them know what’s going on. the issue could simply be understaffed offices which leads to delay of mail.

  • greg

    the postal service cannot on its own stop delivery of junk mail because a patron doesnt want it. U.S.P.S is being paid by the junk mailers to mail all of it into the boxes of each delivery on any given route. They paid for this so the postal service must deliver it even if the patron gets upset with them doing so.

  • greg

    That is because the postal service was created as a service to the American people not a profit making business. Free services such as “vacation hold” and the frowarding of the mail when moving will not be free but paid for if the postal service loses that monopoly

  • greg

    well said it seems some people expect the moon with the price of 1st class postage.

  • greg

    You are right

  • greg

    and you expect people to work for peanuts with your ricdiculous position of these matters.

  • Jason

    The postal service is and should be treated as a public service, along the same lines as fire fighters and police. Its a shame that it has to rely on its own revenues but still has to take orders from congress.

  • mountainmania09

    ..or a customer with alzheimers’.

  • mountainmania09

    Why, you poor thing. You’re just having a terrible life. Shame.

  • mountainmania09

    There is a way to opt out of it, dummy. Check into it, and go take a Xanax, you’re getting out of hand.

  • mountainmania09

    Cancel your Macy’s card.

  • mountainmania09

    Congress did that in the late 1990′s. $660,000,000. of it.

  • mountainmania09

    Are you crashing, or something? Say yes or no.

  • mountainmania09

    …then we can move on to Congress and cut theirs. They aren’t delivering ANYTHING.

  • mountainmania09

    You’re making too much sense. He’s not going to understand. Sorry.

  • mountainmania09

    As long as there are poor people there will be a Post Office, that is unless the Republicans decide to deport all the poor people.

  • mountainmania09

    Biggerboy is tripping on his tongue. You’re just gonna make him mad.

  • mountainmania09

    UPS and FedEx aren’t going to stop at your house for .46. Sorry to burst your bubble. But, you can ask them if you’d like. It’ll keep you busy until your mom gets home.

  • mountainmania09

    So, the current Congress has a democratic majority. Boy, will they be glad to hear that. Go bake some brownies and make yourself useful.

  • mountainmania09

    Does your mom know you’re on the computer instead of doing your homework?

  • mountainmania09

    Shhhsh. You’ll only make him mad.

  • mountainmania09

    There was a time when a stamp was about the same as the price of a candy bar. I haven’t seen a .49 candy bar in a very long time.

  • mountainmania09

    As I recall the last time I got a credit card the issuing company said I had to sign the back for it to be valid. Is there a USPS question somewhere in your post?

  • mountainmania09

    How do you bore a bunch of people?……

  • mountainmania09

    Now, there you go, explaining something to a bunch of blowhards who have no interest in having their questions answered with facts. A person doesn’t have to have a reasonable IQ to post but it is helpful. Sorry.

  • mountainmania09

    Your sister.

  • mountainmania09

    Incorrectomondo, Boring…er…bored.

  • mountainmania09

    Well, it’s Pete and RePete.

  • mountainmania09

    His story is mental.

  • mountainmania09

    Re: your last question. It happens all the time. It’s called marginal functioning with a handicap.

  • mountainmania09

    They would store them in your backyard.

  • mountainmania09

    For the part of your conglomeration that is right, it’s because they had no choice. For the rest of your output, it’s diahrrea.

  • mountainmania09

    Managers are not going to recommend getting rid of managers. That’s true anywhere. Sorry.

  • mountainmania09

    Congress did it in the late 1990′s when they found out the PO had a fund to build new facilities. $660,000,000. was gone in a heartbeat. They did it once, they can do it again by a simple vote, which would be easy for the current Simple Congress.

  • mountainmania09

    I’m sure you have the answer. Yawn.

  • mountainmania09

    Is that you, Postmaster General?

  • mountainmania09

    That blank mail is handled to the end and then dumped as undeliverable and uncollectable. And, you get to pay more for postage because of it. Smart boy. Woulda figured your mom would keep you off the computer.

  • mountainmania09

    If it doesn’t work they won’t send it. If it works they will continue to send it. Simple math, but obviously it comes in above your little bald head.

  • mountainmania09

    …and gives to the poor which must enrage you.

  • mountainmania09

    I keep waiting for some hacker to jam the World Wide Web for a couple of days. They hacked Target and a few others, they are probably only a few steps away and then you will have to run down to the PO and buy one of those bargain-priced .49 stamps to mail in your internet service dollars.

  • mountainmania09

    Whoa, now. You’re getting too technical for all these know-it-alls. You’re just going to make them mad and they’ll be getting the wifey up in the middle of the night so they can have something to punch on.

  • mountainmania09

    You should try WalMart or any other store in DC.

  • mountainmania09

    If “junk” mail didn’t work these companies wouldn’t send it to homes and businesses. It’s simple economics but obviously not “simple” enough for everyone.

  • mountainmania09

    So, when you gonna get promoted up to “french fry manager”?

  • mountainmania09

    Maybe you’d like to buy a generic car or tv. You would be even more bland than your wife thinks you are now.

  • Anonymous

    It is, I believe, 75 years,and they need to hold GE, Exxon/Mobil, etc to the same standards.

  • mountainmania09

    Durn. Who knew you were having such a terrible life. Please. Continue. Yawn.

  • mountainmania09

    That’s probably what your fellow employees at Burger King says about you.

  • Anonymous

    Actually it costs less to mail something than to send it by UPS or Fed-EX

  • mountainmania09

    Your assuming this person is of at least average IQ. Sorry. But it’s entirely possible your writing fell on someone with a pointy hat sitting in the corner.

  • mountainmania09

    Start at the beginning and read and if you are still uninformed when you’ve got to this spot I’m sure someone will be able to walk you thru it.

  • mountainmania09

    The big difficulty in the PO is the requirement to deliver to every address in the United States. It’s a basic service that cannot eliminate areas that are not profitable unlike private delivery companies who use the PO to deliver their packages the last legs of the journey because those companies find it unprofitable to do so. If this explanation is not simple enough you shouldn’t be using something as complicated as a computer.

  • mountainmania09

    You obviously know a little about a lot.

  • mountainmania09

    Duopoly will only confuse him. You may have had him up until that point and then lost him.

  • mountainmania09

    I dunno. What would you like kickstarted?

  • mountainmania09

    Is that you Boehner?

  • mountainmania09

    It costs less to keep it than to tear it down, unless you are hinting at volunteering. There are many obsolete structures around this country that sit until someone wants to develop the site.
    But, you wouldn’t know that, would you.

  • mountainmania09

    So, you’re looking into renting a few acres of climate-controlled space?

  • mountainmania09

    The private sector, more and more, are looking for ways to get in – make the quick buck – and get out. Employees are not on the list of important assets. Sorry for your loss at your last job.

  • mountainmania09

    Geez. You sound just like my neighbor the idiot but I just looked and his lights are not on.

  • John C. Porter

    The stamp should be at least a dollar with the service the provide. If you have a viable argument, please present, this institution needs to at least have the revenue to survive. Try sending a single letter on UPS or FedEx, Good luck.

  • Angie Schutz

    Yes, because both fed-ex and ups will both send a 1oz letter from one side of the united states to the other for only 49 cents

  • RACHEL

    what if it says it has been put to a post office and you don’t know what post office to go to

  • Anonymous

    Edwin…
    Why not get a real, productive, competitive job in the private economy….. stop feeding at the public trough…
    ‘Taxes are steep and Union dues’?
    Blame liberals…. both govt and unions treat taxpayers/consumers as suckers… sheep to be shorn…

  • Anonymous

    Unions, greedy, irresponsible, have corrupted, bankrupted every enterprise they have infected…
    Our Govt and USPS are just more examples.

  • UPS Supporter

    Most complain about the cost of a stamp but REALLY… it cost 49 cents to send a first class stamp anywhere in the US. For example can you drive to California for that amount?NOOO I hear folks complain about junk mail…but really its not that. Its call savings…plus you get it free. If more of you folks who call it that would rely on coupons, sales ads etc you wouldnt be in the financial bine you are in…my two cents
    Stop compaing the USPS to UPS or Fed EX!!! US Postal SErvice to every address they dont!

  • garbage sorter

    I came across this discussion after a sopping wet magazine (junk mail) was shoved in my mail slot with a few bills in the center. I receive a multitude of garbage mail that I imagine is the same as everyone else on the block, city and so on. I spend so much time sorting through the junk to make sure I can recycle it without throwing away any important documents. I was raised believing that the mail was sacred. That has changed dramatically over the last 30 years, probably less. 4 years ago it was a document sent from eastern Europe that confirmed my divorce from a woman in a country there. Though it was sent with priority and signature confirmation I was told that somehow it was treated as junk mail because it came from outside our borders. I will not recieve that document and some day I will have to get a divorve from a absentee wife. i think that was the last straw for me. But I have no control in how businesses do their business. So when I order 500 dollars in merchandise that is sent with delivery confirmation, I have no idea if I will really see it. In fact I did not, and after 6 months of tracking and research it was determined a sub carrier dropped it off in front of my house (possibly) and it was stolen. I asked about the insurance that was placed on the item. I was told it indeed was covered by the usps. But they said that they could not pay because even though they admit to fault they also say that it was delivered.. “frustrating”? I would not have had the patience to type this during that fiasco. So for me I have no reason to trust or rely on the`service.
    I do my best to avoid the usps. But I am still burdened with the hordes of garbage I must sift through. What a waste.

  • Alex

    Congress probably had to find a way to budget their own salary increase lol. Seems like a perfect way to budget for it.

  • Alex

    Great point. Granted mine was 3 Oz letter via UPS and cost 9.20 to send. The kicker? Since it was a PO box, USPS ended up delivering it anyways. So I basically paid 7 bucks extra for a UPS guy to affix a label.

  • Kim

    This is true.i am always getting my neighbors mail and not getting mine. I have had to pay numberous late fees on things because I never got the bill and when I call the companies about the late fees, they call me a liar when I tell them I never got the bill. So, on the last letter I received that wasn’t mine I wrote a note on the back of it telling the post office to put their damn glasses on. My mail box is CLEARY marked inside and out with my address.