Neither Snow, Nor Rain, Nor Heat, but Debt Could End the U.S. Postal Service

Monday, September 5, 2011

Like so many other time-honored institutions in America, the United States Postal Service is facing a massive debt which will reach $9.2 billion, and the agency could shut down later this year if congress fails to act.

As any computer user can tell you, internet usage with online bill pay has led to people and businesses sending far less traditional mail.

At the same time, contractual obligations to unionized workers, including a no-layoff clauses, have increased the USPS’s costs. Labor represents 80 percent of the agency’s expenses, compared with 53 percent at United Parcel Service and 32 percent at FedEx, its two biggest private competitors. Postal workers also receive more generous health and retirement benefits than other federal employees.

Missing the $5.5 billion payment is due on Sept. 30 to finance retirees’ future health care, won’t cause immediate disaster but sometime early next year, the agency will run out of money to pay its employees and gas up its trucks, officials warn, forcing it to stop delivering the roughly three billion pieces of mail it handles each week.

In some countries, post offices double as banks or sell insurance or cellphones. In the United States, the postal service is barred by law from offering such services. Such old school restrictions must be removed from the USPS or the institution may not survive until the next presidential inauguration.

This entry was posted in America Fails, News, U.S. Postal Service and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Neither Snow, Nor Rain, Nor Heat, but Debt Could End the U.S. Postal Service

  1. Joe in Colorado says:

    Customers are the Post Office should be able to drink Starbucks coffee, but music CDs, renew your car registration, renew your drivers license, pay property taxes, and enjoy WiFi. As with so many things, the United States lags behind the rest of the world. It’s a shame if the USPS goes away because the morons on Capitol Hill don’t get out of its way.

  2. feminazi says:

    Think about it, .44 cents to send a letter anywhere in the U.S.? This is a tremendous bargain. I use the postal service exclusively and never pay bills online. I enjoys the neighborhood feeling I receive when I go to the local post office for stamps or to mail a package. If the federal government can pay $10 billion a month for that money pit called the Afghanistan war, they can help the Postal Office.

  3. TOM339 says:

    Joe in Colorado hit the nail on the head.

    The Congress refuses to get the hell out of the way and let the USPS modernize and become a vital 21st century institution. They could even offer internet cafe-style service like you see in Germany and France. People would definitely take advantage of these services if they were offered.

    My guess is, Obama won’t fight for the USPS, preferring to hand the institution over to Boehner and McConnell for a slow death. Then Obama can try to run as a fiscal conservative and think Tea Party people will embrace him.

  4. Robyn says:

    I don’t have the same experiences with the post office feminazi has with the post office. Mine is always crowded and I’m shocked when my wait in line is under 30 minutes. Not to mention they use my route as a training route and I once had my rent check returned to me as undeliverable. It was sent on the 24th and to the same address I had sent the previous twelve.

  5. Marcus Ybanez says:

    All the Post Office needs is $5.5 billion by Sept. 30 to finance retirees’ health care?

    That’s half what the Obama administration is spending on Afghanistan for a month! End the God damned war and spend the money on agencies and institutions that actually serve the American people and improve our quality of life.

  6. JollyRoger says:

    The phone company was a natural fit for the Postal Service. We screwed up badly not letting them go that way.

  7. Peace Nick says:

    Didn’t we go through an assault on the US Postal Service when Reagan was in office?

    I guess it makes sense in a sick way that it would happen again when Obama is in office. After all, Reagan is Obama’s hero and Obama looks to Reagan as a historical template for his own tenure as president. So much Hope and Change! 😉

  8. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    It’s a damned disgrace that we have the money to be the world’s police force but the United States Postal Service might close.

    Marcus Ybanez is right. We’re dropping $10 billion a month on Afghanistan even though Osama bin Laden is dead but we need congressional meet ups to fund the post office? Bullshit.

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