Postal Service Going Broke

From the New York Times:

The United States Postal Service has long lived on the financial edge, but it has never been as close to the precipice as it is today: the agency is so low on cash that it will not be able to make a $5.5 billion payment due this month and may have to shut down entirely this winter unless Congress takes emergency action to stabilize its finances…

In 2010, the US Postal Service had revenues of $67 billion.  Even if we want to assume that revenues have fallen in 2011, there still has to be in the $65 billion-range of revenues…in other words, quite a lot of money.   Any company earning $65 billion a year can’t be worthless…other companies with that level of revenues are Apple, Microsoft, Boeing, Target, Walgreen and Johnson & Johnson. That puts the USPS in some pretty elite company on the revenue end – so, what gives?

Don’t know for certain without doing an audit, but it should be noted that the USPS employs about 574,000 people…far more than, say, McDonad’s, which is also a labor-intensive corporation.  My bet is that the USPS probably employs far more people than it needs to, probably at higher wages than needs be paid, and you can figure they probably get fat pensions and benefits.  The bottom line is that the USPS does not need to go out of business, nor does it need more taxpayer hand outs…but it does need to massively cut costs.

It is time for the USPS – which does enjoy a monopoly on first class mail delivery – to join the real world.  Sink or swim – either figure out how to make itself profitable off of $65 billion in revenue, or fold and let UPS and FedEx compete for shares of that $65 billion in revenue.  Not one thin dime of taxpayer money!

29 thoughts on “Postal Service Going Broke

  1. neocon1 September 5, 2011 / 1:39 pm


    • bardolf September 5, 2011 / 2:09 pm

      Happy Labor Day!

    • neocon1 September 5, 2011 / 2:03 pm


      Without Help, Postal Service Faces Threat of Going Broke, Official Says

      WASHINGTON (AP) — The Postal Service will run out of money this year unless it gets help, the postmaster general, John E. Potter told Congress on Wednesday as he sought permission to cut delivery to five days a week.

      “We are facing losses of historic proportion,” Mr. Potter said. “Our situation is critical.”

      The agency lost $2.8 billion last year and is facing the likelihood of much larger losses this year, despite a rate increase scheduled to take effect May 11. Reducing mail delivery to five days a week from six could save $3.5 billion annually, Mr. Potter told the post office subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

      He also urged changes in how the post office prepays for retiree health care to cut its annual costs by $2 billion.

      Even if the agency reaches its planned cuts of $5.9 billion this year, there could still be a $6 billion deficit in 2010, Mr. Potter said.

      “Without a change, we will exhaust our cash resources,” he said. “We can no longer afford business as usual.”

      • neocon1 September 5, 2011 / 2:05 pm

        By Alexander Schachtel

        June 23 2011

        If you need evidence that the federal government is officially running on empty, look no further than your local post office. The United States Postal Service (-USPS-), which delivery 563 million pieces of mail (40% of global volume) on a weekly basis, is “facing insolvency” according to Bloomberg. The organization announced today that it will need to suspend $115 million bi-weekly payments to employees retirement accounts (85% of post-office workers) as of June 24th, in order to “conserve cash and preserve liquidity.” The stop on payments is expected to save the USPS over $800 million through the rest of this year, but according to people familiar with the agency the move may not be enough to deliver the mail service from financial desperation. One Washington insider says, “The USPS is hanging by a thread.”

        Today’s announcement is the latest in a string of drastic measures the public mail service has been forced to take. Recently, the USPS also announced that it will not be able to make payments on the $5.5 billion it owes to employees in health benefits, a payment that has a due date of Sept. 30th. The Postal Service employs over 571,000 full-time workers, and has said it may have to end Saturday delivery services in an effort to cut back on expenses.

      • Count d'Haricots September 5, 2011 / 2:09 pm

        That’s correct, this portion of the Postal Services’ “so-called trust fund” is off-budget. Just like the Social Security Trust Fund, meaning it’s a mandate liability that the Federal Government has already spent.

        There is no trust Fund in either the postal Service or Social Security, total receipts are exceeded by total liabilities and an IOU from a bankrupt government isn’t going to change that.

      • neocon1 September 5, 2011 / 2:10 pm


        SS is a Ponzi scheme that would make Ponzi proud.

      • neocon1 September 5, 2011 / 2:12 pm


        you wouldn’t expect a “teacher” to know and understand that would you?

      • Count d'Haricots September 5, 2011 / 2:24 pm

        He should, he’s one of the leftists that bemoans off-budget as “not paid for” in spite of my constantly explaining the meaning.

        You know, I’ve been doing this since 2004 and the libs still don’t get it.

        But, why do they only use the “not paid for” meme with regard to the military and not when it also applies to their government run wealth redistribution or union approved programs?

      • neocon1 September 5, 2011 / 3:41 pm


        you taking the wheels out today?

      • Count d'Haricots September 5, 2011 / 4:14 pm

        Its raining here today, sweet summer rain.

        Next weekend, weather permitting, I’ll be taking her up Calfornia 1 to Monterey. Then home through wine country.

      • js September 5, 2011 / 6:04 pm

        we picked grapes today…so far out of the back yard…we got about 20 gallons full….

        grape juice and jelly this week….muscadine grapes are about the same as concord

      • Amazona September 6, 2011 / 4:56 pm

        One of the things I got done on my hiatus was the purchase of my own wheels, same pedigree and vintage as the Count’s but this one IS red. She is supposed to be delivered this week, hopefully in time (and with the right weather) to take the top off and take her to a party Friday night.

        I’m hoping to be able to join the Count and Mrs. Count for one of those coastal cruises next summer. It is possible that he is a bad bad influence on me, but equally possible that this is a great idea.

      • Count d'Haricots September 6, 2011 / 5:33 pm

        From the photos, she’s a keeper! I don’t remember the planning sessions to procure Ruby-Red State / Bonnie-Blue State cousins.

        One of the Professors here spotted mine in the parking lot and started bringing his Ruby-Red 1987 560SL, parking it next to Bonnie. I hope he wasn’t thinking he could coax them into giving us kittens, or whatever the young-ens would be called.

      • Count d'Haricots September 6, 2011 / 5:48 pm

        The wife and I aren’t big wine drinkers per se; she doesn’t drink at all and I’m one to sip and savor. The Central California Valley is my favorite part of this beautiful land; Steinbeck Country from Monterey through Salinas and down to Paso Robles to the coast. From the prettiest valleys down to the alluvial plains its and endless vista of rolling hills, vineyards, fields of crops, patches of trees and plenty of sunshine and wide open skies.

        A stop or two along the way at some of the finest vintners in the world ain’t half bad either.

    • Mark Edward Noonan September 5, 2011 / 8:51 pm


      Main thing – not a dime of taxpayer money. The USPS takes in $65 billion a year…it can sink or swim on that.

  2. js September 5, 2011 / 5:06 pm

    yup..unions again…

    once upon a time…say a hundred years ago…unions did a good thing in america…make rich people pay a fair wage…for fair hours…

    but those days are long gone…without balast every ship will sink.. the unions turning into what they fought against a hundred years ago…this time though…

    its not about fair wages…or fair hours…its about too much pay…they left the rest of the world behind in thier little fantasy of i want…while unions forced corporations to raise thier prices for the goods they sell…they forgot about the rest of america…and the price we are paying for thier paychecks…the tide has turned…unions no longer represent the poor honest hardworking america…the Tea Party has stepped into those shoes…

    the second biggest contributors…that caused jobs to leave america…were unions…now the son of the infamous jimmy hoffa…wants a war…no problem…its past time to fix union greed

  3. bagni September 5, 2011 / 8:53 pm

    unions are bad
    don’t you take that union pension check every month and cash it?

    • neocon1 September 5, 2011 / 10:43 pm

      I receive TWO checks from funds that I paid into for 20 years, I had to fight them in court to get MY money.
      Now they are on the verge of insolvency.
      now go back to the mother ship in the basement dork.

  4. bagni September 6, 2011 / 9:03 am

    on the verge?
    but alas…’re still getting the checks
    and of course you paid in
    out of the above the norm hourly wage you bragged about back then
    all union guys did
    you’re such a hungry hippo’crit
    it’s amusing
    thanks for playing our game
    here’s a parting gift for you….. a pension check from the hand you bite now

    • neocon1 September 6, 2011 / 5:46 pm

      nanu nanu dork from ork

      you obviously do not under stand how my pension works. so you are just flapping your gums and spewing your usual BS nonsense.

      The U-N-I-O-N never made the payments into the pension, I DID, it was a joint operated fund with the contractors and union sitting on the board.
      a separate entity all together from either the union or the contractors.

      through My MANDATORY union membership we negotiated for wages, health and welfare, and pensions as a WAGE package.
      Pension money was paid in $$$ PER HOUR worked for and deducted from MY paycheck.(before taxes) and were based on how many hours you worked per month.

      If you worked less than 1500 hours for a year you got partial credit for what YOU paid in but NO vesting for that entire year.
      If you paid into the fund for 10 years but only had 8 vested years and left the plan…YOUR MONEY was THEIRS as you required TEN CONTINUOUS years of vesting.

      I never missed a vesting year, but still had to fight them for MY DEDUCTED wages.

      you are such a dummy do try to educate your self Moron.

      Do the math
      $3.00 per hr deducted FROM MY CHECK.
      X 3000 hours a year, X 20 years

      • neocon1 September 6, 2011 / 5:54 pm

        PS dork
        at the $$rate I get, it will take me 30 years to get back on what I paid in.
        not counting interest.
        now the fund is endangered??
        yeah biting the hand ya de yah

        the UNION NEVER PAID me a dime…they were a collective bargaining AGENCY only…THE EMPLOYER paid me and still does.

  5. bozo September 6, 2011 / 5:00 pm

    Oh, why do you hate the Constitution so much?

    • Amazona September 6, 2011 / 5:03 pm

      Oh, why are you so convinced you need to keep reminding us of the utter mindlessness and pettiness of your “political” position, such as it is?

      • neocon1 September 6, 2011 / 5:48 pm


  6. Amazona September 6, 2011 / 5:02 pm

    Many areas of the country do not have mail service six days a week. Where I live, we don’t have home delivery at all, and I have heard many people talk about getting mail twice a week in rural mailboxes. There is no reason we have to have hissy fits about cutting back on mail service. Remember, one of the reasons is the falling-off in volume, due to electronic communications, which are certainly not going to diminish in the future but will, in fact, become more prevalent.

    But even if the PO cuts back on service, it wants to cut back on staff through attrition, which will only account for a little more than half of the positions that need to be eliminated in the next five years or so.

  7. bagni September 7, 2011 / 11:28 am

    nice numbers
    i know how it works
    wondering how you worked 3000 hrs a yr
    lot’s of overtime for you
    and only had to pay $3/hr to get it
    you are a whiney goofball with checks in your hand
    and yes….your employer paid you
    and would have gladly paid you less than you/your union demanded
    technically… were an overpaid steamjockey for all those years
    yet you won’t recognize it……
    eat me neo…..

    • neocon September 7, 2011 / 9:28 pm

      nanu nanu

      LOTS of over time,
      the term was shut downs as in refineries, power plants, steel mills, etc hard dirty manly work little puzzy alien wannabees could never hack.
      all trades worked 12/7 for 30-45 days.
      sometimes we worked our regular shifts then worked at a second facility for the second shift.
      The $3.00 was straight time pension, more for overtime.
      Union participation was MANDATORY you worthless little weasel.

      I made much more in my later years as a NON UNION Technician than I did being unionized, NO dues, NO copay of pension, 5 weeks vacation, 13 paid holidays, 5 sick days a year, full medical, a 100% 401K match up to 8% of my GROSS and a nice THIRD pension.

      Eat your heart out little boy, you are jealous of we GOP’ers who are and were successful.

      “eat me”…… it for your boyfriend bwany.

      • neocon September 7, 2011 / 9:31 pm


        SS, medicare, 3 pensions, 401K, AAAND I own a business.
        Ahhhhhhhh life is good in the burbs.
        Barkeep…another brewski please……..LOL

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