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Postal Service posts $8.5 billion loss

By Ed O'Keefe

Updated 2:22 p.m. ET
The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service delivered more bad news Friday, announcing it lost $8.5 billion in the fiscal year that ended in September. Without congressional action to change its obligations, officials said, the Postal Service likely will go broke at the end of fiscal 2011.

Letter carriers delivered 170.6 billion pieces of mail in fiscal 2010, a drop of 6 billion pieces from the previous year, with a significant drop in first-class mail deliveries, officials said. Financial losses also came from about $5.4 billion in obligations to pre-fund future retiree health benefits and about $2.5 billion paid to the federal government's workers' compensation insurance fund.

Outgoing Postmaster General John E. Potter said last month that he anticipated at least $6 billion in annual losses, but cautioned the number would likely go higher once the mail service tallied its workers' compensation contributions. All federal agencies and the Postal Service, a quasi-federal outfit, have workers' compensation obligations to help fund four major disability compensation programs.

The Postal Service also announced Friday that it plans to deplete its $15 billion line of credit with the U.S. Treasury by borrowing the remaining $3.5 billion available. Though the Postal Service does not use taxpayer funding, it has tapped the credit line since the early 1990s. Depleting it means the Postal Service likely will go broke at the end of fiscal 2011 unless Congress takes action, officials said Friday.

The historic losses occurred despite more than $9 billion in cost cuts in the last two years, including the elimination of about 105,000 full-time jobs, "more than any other organization, anywhere," said USPS Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett.

"We will continue our relentless efforts to innovate and improve efficiency. However, the need for changes to legislation, regulations and labor contracts has never been more obvious," Corbett said.

Potter in March proposed a series of reforms that would allow USPS leadership to set delivery schedules and routes and close post offices without Congressional approval. He also wants lawmakers to rewrite a 2006 postal reform law that requires USPS each year to pay about $5 billion to pre-fund future retiree health benefits. Potter's successor, Deputy Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, also supports the proposals.

Frederic V. Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, said Congress can remedy the Postal Service's financial situation by transferring money it has overpaid to the Civil Service Retirement Fund since 1971. The overpayment ranges from $55 billion to $75 billion, according to two separate government estimates.

"This internal transfer would not involve a dime of taxpayer money, nor -- unlike other proposals -- would it entail cuts in service to American customers or layoffs of American workers during a recession," Rolando said in a statement.

But Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who is set to lead the House committee overseeing postal affairs, said USPS should urgently consider further cost cuts to help match its revenues. "Congress has an obligation to ensure that effective solutions are implemented and taxpayers don't get stuck paying for a bailout," Issa said.

Friday's meeting of the Postal Service Board of Governors was Potter's last as postmaster general. He plans to step down on Dec. 3, after 9 1/2 years, to make way for Donahoe.

"I will always bleed postal blue," Potter joked in his remarks to the board.

"Believe me, there is no one better-versed or accomplished in postal operations than Pat," Potter said of his successor, adding later, "It's not going to be an easy road, but we have the right man."

Donahoe did not speak at Friday's meeting, but plans to introduce himself to the general public in a series of media interviews in early December, officials said.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 12, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Postal Service  
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Comments

Slow minded and hard to train individuals will always be with us, but they pose no problem for third world nations where assembly line work is available. Fifty million of these unfortunates in the US should not be stigmatized because there is not enough easy to learn jobs available, but they should be given a generous government check to help them survive.

Posted by: morristhewise | November 12, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Privatize. With all the junk mail and catalogues I get everyday, the only reason the USPS is losing money is because it hasn't been able to adjust. Since most of the mail coming in is not private correspondence, raise the rate on the cost of sending coupons, fliers, and catalogues.

Posted by: hebe1 | November 12, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Let teh market decide.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | November 12, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I paid thousands to my congressman to keep our post office off the closing list.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 12, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Why has our do nothing Congress failed to act on eliminating Saturday delivery?

Posted by: edismae | November 12, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Congress should just fund the shortfall. We need the US Postal service. It never was a private sector business, like FedEx. America needs it so what's the problem. We can spend $700 billion each year on defense spending. Surely we can find a few billion from that budget to give to the Postal Service.

Posted by: AnnsThought | November 12, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

edismae wrote>>>Why has our do nothing Congress failed to act on eliminating Saturday delivery?

You mean - you expected overnight delivery of no Saturday delivery from Congress.
Well, it's being worked out - but not as fast as FedEx.

Posted by: angie12106 | November 12, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"The Postal Service does not use taxpayer funding, it has tapped the [government] credit line since the early 1990s."

The two clauses of that sentence are mutually contradictory. Where does the reporter think that "credit line" money is coming from? And does he think that USPS is paying that credit line back with interest? Not when it's are running annual deficits, it isn't.

Stop the hypocrisy and either fully privatize or fully nationalize.

Posted by: nadie1 | November 12, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Let them go Chapter 11 and put this union contracts and other anachronistic contracting mechanisms out of business.

The reason why mail delivery is down is because they have raised the rates to the point where people send e-cards and electronic correspondence over US Mail.

The US Postal Service has priced themselves out of the market.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | November 12, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Two options: just let the USPS quietly die and all their employees can enjoy their retirement plans; or, begin charging for what it costs to do business. The USPS has been tiptoeing around rate increases. Just do it. If it is too difficult to raise rates, maybe it is time to reconsider USPS benefits.

Posted by: schreibermg1 | November 12, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Everyone says USPS should privatize, let the market decide, etc. What they don't consider is that the USPS is mandated to provide delivery everywhere in the US - even when it is not cost effective. Many small areas might lose delivery if cost was the only factor considered.

You can't fairly place those types of demands on USPS and then complain that it struggles under them.

Posted by: Jeff_47 | November 12, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

The postal service got into trouble when the federal government started "looking the other way," rather than enforcing the law that required ALL first-class mail to be carried by the postal service.

More privatizing is NOT the answer. Maintaining the postal service is crucial to many Americans -- and would certainly be even more crucial if Internet service were interrupted in a national emergency.

I have no problem with privatizing government services as long as (1) private companies can deliver the service without a taxpayer subsidy, AND (2) private companies can GUARANTEE that the level of service provided by the government will not be reduced.

But we all know that private companies don't operate that way. That's why we have government!

Posted by: Kathy8 | November 12, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

The Post Office is supposed to be a service of the United States government, they should pay whatever it is that's needed to keep it going. It was never meant to be a corporation making profits.

Posted by: mtravali | November 12, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

If the Republicans want to do something useful, they should scrap (along with the postal monopoly) the universal service obligation that forces the USPS to deliver to every door and maintain a post office in every backwater.

There's no federal mandate for every person living in the sticks to have a Safeway, a Starbucks, and an Olive Garden located within a five-minute drive. If you choose to live in a rural area, you should pay the true cost of services rather than being subsidized by the rest of America.

Posted by: wpost16 | November 12, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

And again Union entitlements take an organization to the brink... while representation is needed in some parts of the organization to prevent abuse of employees, wage and benefit costs far exceed the value of the services being performed in many cases. With electronic media providing more and more of the worlds corespondence from e-mail to "bill pay". It is time to scale back the Postal Service.

Posted by: WAM45 | November 12, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Hooray. Kill off the U.S. Postal Service. In the days of more efficient service by FedEx and UPS, and electronic banking, we don't need snailmail.
I am sick of digging junk mail out of my mailbox, and paying hefty prices for such lousy service. Yes, I know that the price of mailing would go up if the Postal Service were fully privatized, but I am willing to pay that if it stops the delivery of junk mail, newspapers and flyers.
Privatization would also rid the system of some of the most obnoxious and lazy federally-subsidized workers that I have ever encountered. So put the Postal Service out of its misery.

Posted by: edwardallen54 | November 12, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Look at the benefits package & limits on tech the post office has. They can't compete with UPS or FedEx for example (in terms of tech like package tracking)!

When a 20 year person retires they get 100% of their pay, 100% full medical all for LIFE!
It's the old baby boomer legacy contracts that doomed the auto industry. Doomed most State, county & City governments alike. They all have the save contracts where the tax payer picks up the tab!

The USPS has the same tech that UPS has for tracking packages yet by law they can't or don't update as often. There not allowed to compete with FedEx or UPS on service...thus the costs are passed on to who else...the tax payer.

We need to realign the post office and let them compete in the open. That will force UPS & FedEx to increase their service and offer better deals to the consumer to stay competitive.

NO MORE LEGACY CONTRACTS!

Posted by: imZandor | November 12, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

The Post wrote: 'All federal agencies and the Postal Service, a quasi-federal outfit, have workers' compensation obligations to help fund four major disability compensation programs.'

The four Workers' Comp. funds include two funds supporting non-government employees. Check out the OWC's mission statement ...

The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs administers four major disability compensation programs which provide wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits to certain workers or their dependents who experience work-related injury or occupational disease.

These programs, the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation program, the Federal Employees' Compensation Program, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Program , and the Coal Mine Workers’ Compensation Program, serve the specific employee groups who are covered under the relevant statutes and regulations by mitigating the financial burden resulting from workplace injury.

In administering the programs, OWCP seeks to protect the interests of eligible workers, employers and the Federal Government by ensuring timely and accurate claims adjudication and provision of benefits, by responsibly administering the funds authorized for this purpose, and by restoring injured workers to gainful work when permitted by the effects of the injury.

Posted by: JHG_sec405 | November 12, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I thought Obama said they were doing great and should serve as a model for Obamacare.

Posted by: hunter340 | November 12, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Yeah. Privatize. So we can pay $7.99 to FedEx or UPS to mail a letter instead of .48. Brilliant!

Posted by: blarsen1 | November 12, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Just another reason why you do not want the government running anything. USPS cannot adjust to change, downsize, layoff, do anything without sitting around waiting for congress to make a decision. And congress will always make a mess of it. I ship all packages USPS and FEDEX, they are cheaper, faster, and deliver them to my door instead of pickup at post office. USPS is needed, that there is no doubt, and covering all addresses is needed. But it does not mean you need to have a post office in every single little town. I never go to the Post Office, I can get stamps just about anywhere, and do not use them for shipping packages.

Posted by: skins50 | November 12, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Does the "privatize it!" crowd understand that significant portions of USPS operations have already been contracted out? And that the volume of bulk business mail is a function of a rate structure that's, ahem, business friendly?

Posted by: mattintx | November 12, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

What do you expect, with the internet, bulk mail, and those morons that follow many mail carriers around. Seems that the postal service hasn't adapted. Why send a follower to walk around with a carrier all day, give them a truck and some mail. Charge the going rate for bulk and junk mail, and stop Saturday delivery. This system needs complete overhaul, from top to bottom.

Posted by: citigreg | November 12, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

The main reason mail volume is down is the internet, and that's not anybody's fault, it's just technological and economic progress.
By the way, postal rates massively subsidize postal service to rural, politically red communities at the expense of more densely populated politically bluer areas. But of course free market fundamentalists don't have any problem with that subsidy.

Posted by: newageblues | November 12, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

In the mid-1800's when there was a need for mail delivery to the west...the Pony Express was created to expedite this mail delivery. However, within two years the telegraph was invented thereby negating the need for the Pony Express. The subsidy and the Pony Express ceased to exist.

We have subsidised home mail delivery for two hundred years. The Internet has been invented negating the need for continued subsidisy to this unneed goverment agency.

Follow the precedent of the Pony Express....cut our losses and move on.......

Posted by: poor_retiree | November 12, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

if only there were some way to correspond electronically, like a typewriter with a tv screen. and maybe Al Gore could come up with a way for them to all communicate

Posted by: TheTranslator | November 12, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Post Office fiancial problems can be easily cured. Mandate that the UPS and FEDEX can only handle packsages of 50 pounds or more. All the rest goes to the USPO. Problem solved.

Repubzi's would like the PO to go broke and out of business so we can all pay $19.99 to mail a letter and boost corproate profits.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 12, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Everybody is right and everybody is wrong. What is the worst of three evils? On one hand the USPS is not allowed by congress to price their services at a level which would make them profitable. On the other hand, if they price their services at a rate which would make them profitable it is a fact that the economy would take a big hit. On the third hand, if the government continues to pay billions of taxpayer dollars each year to keep the USPS in operation, the taxpayers pay anyway. It's lose, lose, lose! The old addage that the USPS loses a little bit on each sale, but makes it up in volume is not a joke anymore!

Posted by: jobbuster | November 12, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Post Office fiancial problems can be easily cured. Mandate that the UPS and FEDEX can only handle packsages of 50 pounds or more. All the rest goes to the USPO. Problem solved.

Repubzi's would like the PO to go broke and out of business so we can all pay $19.99 to mail a letter and boost corproate profits.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 12, 2010 10:42 AM
============================

Typical left-wing fix......... just mandate it........

Posted by: allenridge | November 12, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Another failed legacy of allowing a Government entity to allow unionization. Lavish pensions and cadillac healthcare for retirees, essentially paying people not to work, is the problem. Now how does the government get out of these contracts with union thugs? Going bankrupt should be the answer and starting over. There is plenty of unemployed to fill the slots and they will work without a contract..you betcha

Posted by: rickshawjim | November 12, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Another failed legacy of allowing a Government entity to unize. Lavish pensions and cadillac healthcare for retirees, essentially paying people not to work, is the problem. How how does the government get out of these contracts with union thugs? Going bankrupt should be the answer and starting over. There is plenty of unemployed to fill the slots and they will work without a contract..you betcha

Posted by: rickshawjim | November 12, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Post Office fiancial problems can be easily cured. Mandate that the UPS and FEDEX can only handle packsages of 50 pounds or more. All the rest goes to the USPO. Problem solved.

============================
That is the lefties dream...force force force private business to knuckle under to their dingbat agenda.

Posted by: rickshawjim | November 12, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

xxxx Does the "privatize it!" crowd understand that significant portions of USPS operations have already been contracted out? xxx
Hardly enough has been contracted out. We now have 9.6 percent unemployment, including many people who don't have the skills required in this increasingly technological society.
So why doesn't the Postal Service get rid of these high-paid workers and replace them with contract workers. This is what newspapers do today in place of their own workforce of carriers as in the olden days.
Putting the unskilled back to work as Postal contract workers would solve a lot of the unemployment problem, and fix the Postal Service's costs.

Posted by: edwardallen54 | November 12, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand. We don't say that the US Navy is going broke or that the Interstate Highway system is going broke. The USPS is a government organ despite its governmentally imposed trappings as a for profit entity, and should be treated as such. But, if we are really serious about having the PO run at a profit however here are some suggestions (which will never happen because they require Congress to stand up against entrenched and well financed special interests)over and above the idea of treating postal workers as minimum wage serfs : enforce the Government monopoly on letter carriage and audit FedEx and UPS packages for violations of same; raise the absurdly low and Congressionally imposed rate on junk mail: transfer some of the fees the Government receives for licensing of radio bandwidth to the USPS-after all if the Internet is eating the USPS' lunch, it seems only fair that fees received for such bandwidth much of which is used to carry Internet traffic, should be credited to the PO. But no it's far more comforting for conservatives to view the PO as a sort of welfare agency that can't pay its own way. But you can't (or shouldn't) have it both ways: either the PO is a business in which case it should enjoy the monopolistic powers purportedly granted to it by Congress (if FedEx had a government monopoly on delivering the mail you can bet they would have an army of lawyers and investigators enforcing same) and should be allowed to raise its rates on junk mail or it is an important and necessary government service not to be judged by profit ans loss standards applied to private businesses.

Posted by: johnseven | November 12, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"What they don't consider is that the USPS is mandated to provide delivery everywhere in the US - even when it is not cost effective."

In principle, I have no problem with my tax dollars supporting that mandate, just I have no objection in principle to taxes for national parks. In practice, I think such money should fund only personal correspondence. I've long suspected that all the advertising mailed under Presorted Standard is not paying its own way, but is instead being partly subsidized by sales of first-class postage. If so, I would flip that around - raise the Presorted Standard rates and lower the first-class rate.

Posted by: Carstonio | November 12, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately until the postal workers union benefits are renegotiated, the postal service will never operate in the black.
The first question to be asked is whether the federal provision of mail is necessary for the safety of the nation. If it is, then the employees compensation must be brought into line with reality and with some government coverage of the shortfall, or let it fail and have the private sector pick up the business.

Posted by: JohnRice | November 12, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

this is another entitlement that needs to go away sending mail at 40 cents a package. let the market decide if you want to send a letter use DHL, UPS, FEDEX even if it costs $4 a letter that is the true market cost.

Posted by: dctax4u | November 12, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

just one word comment: BAILOUT

Posted by: docwhocuts | November 12, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse


I have posted this already here before You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price check http://bit.ly/bandYw If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy about it and believe me you are not going to loose anything!

Posted by: kevinmarlo07 | November 12, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Eliminate the USPS the same way the Tea Partyists want to eliminate the Department of Education, Social Security and Medicare. But give each USPS employee a shotgun as a parting gift. Then stand back and watch the fun!

Posted by: glazer68 | November 12, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Our Founders set up the Post Office to be a service provided for the people by the Federal government. They never expected it to be a business that turned any kind of profit. Some of its costs were to be defrayed by collecting the price of postage, but this was never expected or intended to cover the total cost of the service.

When I first learned the price of first class postage, it was the same as it had been since the Civil War, 3 cents. Now, we had seen significant inflation since then, but the mail was a SERVICE, like police, fire, national defense, etc., and the price of a stamp was not intended to bear any relationship to the cost of delivering a letter.

It was a mistake to go to the semi-private "Postal Service" idea, and it is time we go back to the old, right way of doing things.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | November 12, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

So the Post Office's solution will be to start Sunday delivery instead of stopping Saturday deliveries.

Posted by: SanchosR | November 12, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Privatize it? Well, I'd hate to have to pay $1 for a first class letter a year from now so no, that's a stupid solution.

Better solution: raise the rate on all the junk mail that's clogging the system and drop Saturday deliveries. Of course, don't just cut out the delivery, cut out the % of staff that taking one more day off per week would enable.

Posted by: AHappyWarrior | November 12, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The USPS is competitive with UPS and FedEx on everything but the last mile.

There are some things screwy about shipping costs. I sent a UPS overnight to DC and it cost the same amount as if I were to ship it to San Diego.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 12, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather have a rate increase than have postal service cut back. The postal service is one of the great infrastructures of the United States, and dare I say, one of the things that helped make it great.

Disclaimer: I am not a postal employee, purely a customer. I also hate that 95% of my mail is junk. But the postal service is one of those things like police, fire, and defense that I do not want privatized.

Posted by: steve1231 | November 12, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Once again we see the Postal Service being held to different standards. First Congress will not let it function as a normal company. Having a post office, staffed in almost every town with a population above 1000 is just down right goofy. But the members of Congress feel that they will loose votes if they allow USPS to close hundreds of those unneeded locatons. Next, USPS cannot adjust rates because Congress will not let them. The USPS, so the Tea Party people understand was allowable under the Constitution. I for one believe that Congress should allow the management to run it like a business. If not, then close it down and let the people beware. I could us a few less flyers in my mail box each week.

Posted by: deminfl | November 12, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Time to run the PO like a business and start shutting down offices, reducing days of delivery, laying off staff. They can deliver junk mail once a week that way I only have to put it in my trash can once a week. A real win win...

Posted by: FedUp8 | November 12, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

It's easy to throw blame to the USPS--and indeed they some--but Congress and its unwillingness to allow the USPS to make the type of changes necessary shoulders most the responsibility.

Posted by: logan303 | November 12, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

actually, all the comments on the bulk and presorted mail are wrong. it's the money the USPS makes on that that subsidizes the losses on first class mail, not the other way around. and the USPS sets that rate wherever it wants to maximize revenue, just like a private business would. so raising the rate would decrease the volume and lower revenue.

Posted by: JoeT1 | November 12, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

maybe the USPS should go bankrupt...
get out of the current contracts and reorganize...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 12, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

It's long past time to charge commercial mail senders full freight for their wasteful mailings - and add an environmental surtax to curb or compensate the nation for their waste products.

Posted by: bloggersvilleusa | November 12, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately the USPS has been functioning like the other GSE's Fannie & Freddie (EXPECTED TO BE THE NUMBER ONE FINANCIAL LOSSES TO THE TREASURY TO THE TUNE OF $259 BILLION.) With the full faith and protection of Congress; the only difference is the scale of losses to the Treasury. So long as Congress continues this behavior, the Treasury and the taxpayers will suffer. That line of credit is merely a no-pay-back DEBIT CARD rapidly approaching the fiscal limit.

There is much that could be accomplished that could reduce the losses. The 5 day week works for UPS. That'd be a start. Half day service at the myriad of Post Offices in the boonies, merely a few miles from each other is another fix--pay mileage for employees to commute 4 miles 5 times a week. One PO open in the a.m., the other in the p.m. Too simple, too sensible, not POLITICALLY CORRECT.

Now,as inviting as filing Bankruptcy might appear, do NOT think that under the current regime in the Executive Branch that the unions wouldn't still make out like bandits. We've seen the GOVERNMENT MOTORS (and Chrysler) examples wherein the UAW members did well and the non-union white collar workers got NOTHING!

Posted by: dana843 | November 12, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

How about charging businesses the true cost of sending mailers, brochures, and ads through the mail? Much of the cost to the post office and, therefore, to the taxpayers comes in the form this business 'subsidy'. It made sense 50 years ago to subsidize businesses for advertising. But, in this day of electronic communication, it no longer makes any sense. Charging businesses the true cost of the mailing will get them to prioritize their advertising instead of just blanketing a community. We also need to do that with Internet advertising but that's a topic for another day.

Posted by: NL_from_Houston | November 12, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"Postal Service posts $8.5 billion loss"

Let's see ... 15 days in Iraq.

Posted by: knjincvc | November 12, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Let's see

Function delivers 6 billion less and needs more money to do it!

I don't get it. Do you taxpayers?

Posted by: kidvid | November 12, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

When I get emails from around the world in a minute or two, who needs the USPS? Electrons win; they are faster and cheaper.

BTW, why doesn't anyone ever question the "carbon footprint" of the USPS? Is it off limits?

Posted by: NEWSOUTH1 | November 12, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

What we have here is the worst of two worlds -- a supposed corporate business entity run by Congress. No wonder it's a mess. As long as Congress is calling the shots, it may never be fixed.

We see that first class mail is declining, and an increasing amount of the mail carried by USPS is advertising (at extremely low rates). So this puts the USPS more and more in the advertising business. Interestingly, Google has the same basic service, and makes billions doing it.

If Congress were to let the USPS set actual market prices for advertising delivery, rather than subsidized rates lobbied by corporations, it might actually be able to make money. But the likelihood that Congress will say no to corporate lobbyists is slim to none.

Posted by: mwashington2 | November 12, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Why do you (the other posters) even spend time writing your comment? You obviously have no idea how the postal service works.

JUNK MAIL SUBSIDIZES FIRST CLASS MAIL

Junk mail is cheap to deliver because it does not have to be sorted, and it does not get sent across the country 1 piece at a time.

NO JUNK MAIL == HIGHER FIRST CLASS MAIL PRICES

Posted by: rgb_ | November 12, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Here is a detailed report showing why the USPS has been forced by the OPM to overpay its pension obligations by 75 billion; recovery of this amount from the US Treasury would eliminate this discussion. Instead the Government has kept payments by the USPS artificially high to subsidize federal pensions in other branches of the government, and has raised mailing costs to cover the difference. So USPS is not in the red. Rather the Congress is sucking about 7 billion per year too much out of the USPS to pay for other government pensions. Why? Unlike most federal agencies the USPS actually charges for its services. Congress has tapped into this revenue stream and in effect has imposed a hidden tax of about 7 billion per year on the public. This occurred under both Republican and Democratic congresses and administrations. To cover its tracks the Government then makes a big deal out of the USPS running a deficit and jacks up postal rates. What's really happening is a hidden tax of 7 billion a year which the USPS a supposedly semi private for profit agency is forced to collect on behalf of the Government from USPS customers. Eliminate this hidden tax and the USPS runs at a profit or breakeven.

www.uspsoig.gov/foia_files/CI-MA-10-001.pdf

Posted by: johnseven | November 12, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

And these are the people that some in Govt want to run our health care. Fantastic.

Posted by: dbeins | November 12, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Here is a detailed report showing why the USPS has been forced by the OPM to overpay its pension obligations by 75 billion; recovery of this amount from the US Treasury would eliminate this discussion. Instead the Government has kept payments by the USPS artificially high to subsidize federal pensions in other branches of the government, and has raised mailing costs to cover the difference. So USPS is not in the red. Rather the Congress is sucking about 7 billion per year too much out of the USPS to pay for other government pensions. Why? Unlike most federal agencies the USPS actually charges for its services. Congress has tapped into this revenue stream and in effect has imposed a hidden tax of about 7 billion per year on the public. This occurred under both Republican and Democratic congresses and administrations. To cover its tracks the Government then makes a big deal out of the USPS running a deficit and jacks up postal rates. What's really happening is a hidden tax of 7 billion a year which the USPS a supposedly semi private for profit agency is forced to collect on behalf of the Government from USPS customers. Eliminate this hidden tax and the USPS runs at a profit or breakeven.

www.uspsoig.gov/foia_files/CI-MA-10-001.pdf

Posted by: johnseven | November 12, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

""Here is a detailed report showing why the USPS has been forced by the OPM to overpay its pension obligations by $75 billion; recovery of this amount from the US Treasury would eliminate this discussion.""

That's really outrageous!

So, the $15 billion in loans from the Treasury should have come directly from these overpaid pension obligations as well!

Man, our gov't is wetoddit. Whose forcing the USPS to overpay then forcing them to draw loans for services? Congress?

Seems like an easy fix. Give the USPS back their overpayments, allowing them to pay off their debt AND meet their obligations!


Am I mistaken?

Posted by: delantero | November 12, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

What a lot of folks do not realize is the postal services heavily subsidize health insurance premiums in accordance with their union contracts. This probably contributes greatly to their deficit. Also, the fact that the law requires the post office deliver to all locations increases their cost. If the post office operated like FEDEX/UPS/etc, their revenues would greatly exceed their expenses. Always think about their requirements when making your comments.

Posted by: smithcha1001 | November 12, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Juast like any business these days, let it fall bankrupt!

Posted by: Poor_man | November 12, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute folks. There is a mandate for the postal service in the U.S. Constitution if I am not mistaken. Might have to amend the constitution to get rid of the USPS.

Posted by: Loeff | November 12, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse


105,000 full-time jobs cut and 9 Billion in costs cut in the last 2 years and yet the service has not changed appreciably at all.

That just PROVES how much WASTE there was and still is at the Post Office.

Put the P.O. into a Bankruptcy Court. If it fits, it ships for a low flat rate.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by: notinca | November 12, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Home delivery once or twice a week in rural areas, maybe more often in higher-density areas. I could easily live with home delivery once or twice a week. Either that or go to source-destination sensative pricing scheme where mail to/from rural areas costs more if the cost of providing that service is more.

Posted by: michael49 | November 12, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

It is not entitlement costs that are dragging down the US economy, but the huge overpaid middle class. Many semi-skilled government and labor union workers are earning over 75 thousand dollars annually. Increasing the deficit by going into into debt or raising taxes to support them will only end in disaster. The solution is a 25% cut in federal spending which will reduce bloated salaries and make them possible to maintain.

Posted by: morristhewise | November 12, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Home delivery once or twice a week in rural areas, maybe more often in higher-density areas. I could easily live with home delivery once or twice a week. Either that or go to source-destination sensative pricing scheme where mail to/from rural areas costs more if the cost of providing that service is more.

Posted by: michael49 | November 12, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

50 cent stamps for first class mail already!

Posted by: MarilynManson | November 12, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

And these are the people that some in Govt want to run our health care. Fantastic.

Posted by: dbeins | November 12, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

It is not entitlement costs that are dragging down the US economy, but the huge overpaid middle class. Many semi-skilled government and labor union workers are earning over 75 thousand dollars annually. Increasing the deficit by going into into debt or raising taxes to support them will only end in disaster. The solution is a 25% cut in federal spending which will reduce bloated salaries and make them possible to maintain.

Posted by: morristhewise | November 12, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

imZandor
When a 20 year person retires they get 100% of their pay, 100% full medical all for LIFE!
--------------------------------------
Why do you make stuff up?
from http://www.postalmag.com/images/fers.pdf page 11:
"Generally, your benefit is calculated according to this formula:
1% of your high-3 average pay
times
years of creditable service
If you retire at age 62 or later with at least 20 years of service, a factor of 1.1% is used rather than 1%."
That means that someone who topped out at $50K per year and worked 20 years would get $10K per year in retirement. Not what I would call outrageous.

Posted by: RichieRichA | November 12, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The USPS decided to eliminate the mail collection box that had been conveniently located nearby since the 1930s. That makes it somewhat inconvenient to send letters out and more convenient to use electronic means to keep in touch with friends and to send bill payments. Maybe America should simply privatize the USPS. If there is no market for it then it will go away. Of course, the I.R.S. will still demand that I use the post office to register "return receipt requested" my annual report of income to them.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | November 12, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Yes, that's it!

The USPS can stop delivering mail and begin delivering health care.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 12, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

1984 was a hard year in politics.

Just jokin'

1984 was a book by george orwell"'

the then author wrote it in the 50ees.

Television had 'prime time' at that time.
Today television is in HD.

Hip hop' or rap in 1984 was a phenomen that had no comparison. Today it is an entertainment like Rock n' roll or Jazz.

An anonymous vandal wrote a term' thesis called sperms theory gizmos and transistors in 1998.
It received negative results as hip hop was eating itself into scandals at the time.

Today hip hop, or rap, is a political bureau from the callous and overweight budgets of the LEFTOVER 80ees.

Stem cell research replaced the "survivalist", 'live and let live motto of the 80ees.

Hip hop and gangsta rap transformed into acoustic guitars and female r&b. Sperms Theory was mentioned in the 2000 era but never captalized, except maybe overseas where hip hop is as out of place as a' gigantic fish out of water.

Sperms theory ,
Gizmos and Transistors
by
Anonymous Vandal along with anonymous company and anonymous originators, can be seen as the coming age of white caucasian middle class speakers, today, as it was meant to be intended for originally.

George Orwell 1984 is a classic stamp "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING".
The USPS reminds me of this.
How can one undo the all pervasive powers of the post?

Hip hop is a phenom because it is one of the first classy American products not unlike the motor or the wright' plane and The Orwell-like TELEVISION.

Hip hop has been and is under-evaluated as it has constitutional advantages -something Ford never included in his all wheel drive vehicles- and cannot be competed against.


The entertainment industry is wrong in show boating Hip Hop as music and entertainment. Hip hop is no different than samba?

Sperms theory, gizmos and Transistors includes and preserves hip hop as an environmental green quality based in american home life and comparable to 'the 'Jungle Book' along genetic engineering terminology. The United States does have natural resources and Hip Hop is one of them.

Hip Hop maybe the second PEZ.

Posted by: kadija1 | November 12, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness posted:

"Let them go Chapter 11 and put this union contracts and other anachronistic contracting mechanisms out of business.

The reason why mail delivery is down is because they have raised the rates to the point where people send e-cards and electronic correspondence over US Mail.

The US Postal Service has priced themselves out of the market."

==============================================

You have your causes and effects confused. Postal rates increased as a response to the explosion of electronic payment transfers which severely reduced the number of first-class mail pieces.

I'm surprised that a person who claims expertise in electronic data recovery would overlook an issue that has contributed to the explosion of that field but people make all kinds of claims on blogs.

Posted by: Ken_Davis1 | November 12, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I own a small business that owes it's success to the US Post Office. I export about half of my sales with Priority Mail. Service is outstanding, and rates are low. Because of this service, the world is my market. This is a great example of how government supported infrastructure boosts business activity. We should get rid of Sat. delivery, and provide tax support for the Post Office. Tax dollars for infrastructure is a good thing.

Posted by: brozenblit | November 12, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Amazing coincidences that huge companies and enterprises in serious financial difficulty are all UNION operated.

I know the three --- count 'em --- postal UNIONS have nothing whatsoever to do with the USPS financial difficulties. It's just bad karma, or something.

Let Brown and Fed Ex compete for first class mail delivery and let them charge actual market rates for junk mail. Let's have NO MORE Bailouts of government --- or quasi government --- enterprises.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | November 12, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Sell off the routes to the highest bidders. Don't force them to take on USPS employees as part of their purchases.

Why in the world do we still have the USPS? It would be too bad if someone in the Middle of Nowhere USA did not get daily service. But so what. Does anyone really need the government (or quasi-government) to deliver the mail?

What century is this?

Posted by: GuyThompto1 | November 12, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

lol, "privatize"

Sure, let's just spend $10 sending mail, sounds like a plan.

Posted by: Stoprunning | November 12, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"Privatization would also rid the system of some of the most obnoxious and lazy federally-subsidized workers that I have ever encountered. So put the Postal Service out of its misery. "

Have you ever spoken with a Fedex representative on the phone? Not the best service either. Privatized monopolies are just as bad as government run.

Ever have to pick up a package at the FedEx distribution center 30 miles from your house because they try to deliver the package during the work day? That sucks too. I much prefer going to my local post office to pick up packages. That is a service I would miss and don't mind paying a little extra for.

Posted by: limnetic792 | November 12, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"I own a small business that owes it's success to the US Post Office. I export about half of my sales with Priority Mail. Service is outstanding, and rates are low. Because of this service, the world is my market. This is a great example of how government supported infrastructure boosts business activity. We should get rid of Sat. delivery, and provide tax support for the Post Office. Tax dollars for infrastructure is a good thing."

You get low rates from an organization going broke. Why does this arrangement make sense for US taxpayers?

Posted by: GuyThompto1 | November 12, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

The Post Office should be slashed job wise and reformed COMPLETELY

We can't keep doing the same old, same old and lose BILLIONS

Posted by: Bious | November 12, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

For politicians, USPS being $8 billion in the hole is not a big deal. The problem is - just find it a bigger pot of money to swim in.

Make USPS part of Obamacare. Post office and community health center. All run by the SEIU and a Czar appointed by Obama. Oh, and you can let Democrats vote there too....

Posted by: pgr88 | November 12, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Easy solution: raise rates. The USPS serves one of the largest countries in the world, spread out from Hawaii to Maine to Florida, for one of the world's lowest rates. Comparatively tiny European countries charge much more. For example, small Belgium charges 69 euro cents for a first class domestic letter, which is over 90 U.S. cents. Yet, the USPS still charges only 44 cents. The rate should be raised to at least 60 cents. That would solve the problem without any cutbacks.

Posted by: AnonymousBE1 | November 12, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Give it a fraction of the $100,000,000 / day going into Iraq and Afghanistan and it will be fine.

Posted by: hairguy01 | November 12, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

The only solution is to merge fannie, freddie and USPS. All are adept at losing money, if all are in one place it would be easier for the accountants.

Posted by: stanbarkley | November 12, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world do we still have the fire department? It would be too bad if someone in the Middle of Nowhere USA did not get fire service. But so what. Does anyone really need the government (or quasi-government) to put out fires?

What century is this?

Posted by: steve1231 | November 12, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

The USPS still sends mail under 4 oz for under $1.00. There are many cities where a letter can be sent overnight for 44 cents. UPS, FedEx, and other delivery services cannot compete with this cost.

The problem is that committees keep the cost of postage under 50 cents. It makes total sense to either raise postage to the 70 cents range, and/or to allow companies to advertise through postage stamps and/or envelopes.

Posted by: seanfergusson | November 12, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Privatize the post office? When the airlines were deregulated, towns of smaller populations lost flights that were required by the regulators.

Postage rates will change for smaller, less populated regions and their coverage will suffer.

Posted by: seanfergusson | November 12, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

It's the PENSIONS people.
Just like it was with Detroit and many other arenas. The Feds are not broke though ALL of them will enjoy a 3 MILLION dollar retirement package on the backs of the American taxpayers.
Maybe it is time to just take away that 3 MILLION dollar parachute and GIVE them something more affordable.

Posted by: melee401 | November 12, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

People, privatizing mail would not make the cost of mailing a letter $10!!
It'll go up a little but not dollars. Keeping it a gov't agency will make the cost of having the USPS go up as it will be subsidized by taxes, so that those friendly postal workers can get the same outrageous benefits that our privileged class of government workers get.
Sorry if you're among the privileged; I would like to be too.

Posted by: hebe1 | November 12, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Can you send a first class mail for $.45 using ups or fed ex? And you still want to privatize it?

Posted by: rappahanock | November 12, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

USPS has indeed priced itself out of the market. I would prefer not to use it at all if possible. Why aren't the deficit hawks soaring around this carcass? Why haven't Republicans targeted the Postal Service before targeting Social Security?

Posted by: stevenallenmay | November 12, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

YO! Are you guys wetoddit? The Doofusses (sp?) asking for privatization:

"The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent agency of the United States government, organized as an "independent establishment of the executive branch", responsible for providing postal service in the United States. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution.""

""Though the Postal Service does not use taxpayer funding, it has tapped the credit line since the early 1990s""

""Since its reorganization into an independent organization, the USPS has become self-sufficient and has not directly received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s with the minor exception of subsidies for costs associated with the disabled and overseas voters. However, it is currently borrowing money from the U.S. Treasury to pay its deficits.""

Posted by: delantero | November 12, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

1. What happened to going to a 5 day delivery? Do we really need Saturday mail?

2. Get out of the package business. Leave it to private carriers like UPS and Fed-X. The post office has been subsidizing the actual cost of parcel delivery with it's 1st class. Concentrate on what they do best.

Posted by: b14us | November 12, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Two things:

First, USPS rate increases (or increases from using private carriers) will increase the Federal/State tax burden. Many government agencies and subsidized contractors use USPS solely.

Increased mailing costs = increased Federal/State funding to cover it = increased taxes.

Second, someone mentioned that the constitution mandates National mail service. Not quite - It gives congress the power to establish it... it doesn't say they have to.

Posted by: trident420 | November 12, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The USPS is notoriously inefficient. Walk into to any USPS office and you will 1 or 2 persons serving customers about 8 to 10 in the back chatting and giggling. Meanwhile the customer line snakes around the block outside the building. It is a wasteful organization that full of overpaid and under worked individuals. It has been that way ever since I was a child and possibly even longer. While the rest of us have to save out of our own pocket into a 401k these jokers have tax payer money given to them for retirement. Meanwhile there unions only serve to protect the lazy non-producing workers. There is no need to abolish the USPS. Simply take away those extravagant benefits that the rest of society no longer enjoys and the thing will become solvent again. Also, any postal worker that is not productive should be instantly fired like the rest of us in society are.

Posted by: housejj | November 12, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

diddo on housejj comment and I like to repeat what said as it is also my expereince with USPS.

"The USPS is notoriously inefficient. Walk into to any USPS office and you will 1 or 2 persons serving customers about 8 to 10 in the back chatting and giggling. Meanwhile the customer line snakes around the block outside the building. It is a wasteful organization that full of overpaid and under worked individuals. It has been that way ever since I was a child and possibly even longer. While the rest of us have to save out of our own pocket into a 401k these jokers have tax payer money given to them for retirement. Meanwhile there unions only serve to protect the lazy non-producing workers. There is no need to abolish the USPS. Simply take away those extravagant benefits that the rest of society no longer enjoys and the thing will become solvent again. Also, any postal worker that is not productive should be instantly fired like the rest of us in society are".

Posted by: firaydun | November 12, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

WastingtonDC:
We get, review, and pay for pickup and landfill delivery of hundreds pounds of unwanted commercial, religious, political, or beggars junk mail, yearly. Old Americans tremble as they try to sort the immoral and illegal near duplicates of official IRS, or other government agnecy mail items, since we must answer those missives, on pain of death. It is torture, for our elderly, and annoying for the boomers too. Halve our problems, with $1.00 per ounce, a single rate, for any mail delivered 3 days each week to every household. Cut a third of the USPO employees, and put all small post offices out for bid, to local stores willing to meet the hours scheduled, with their own English speaking personnel. Designate Mon, Wed, Fri mail routes versus Tues, Thurs, Sat route addresses uniformly, permanently and randomly, to maximize ease of delivery with two thirds of existing personnel.

Put a free computer kiosk in every post office, to encourage customers sending emails to addressees home computer, or to use, arranging for physical delivery of a printed copy, from the addressee's post office, at one half the postal rate, instead of long haul physical deliveries.

Review those private enterprise delivery services that route their deliveries to save fuel, wages, and mistakes, and copy any useful ideas, like limiting left turns, etc. Do this during the new route determinations, if no left turns could make a telling difference in accidents, fuel use, etc.

Charge the same rate for every ounce of mail, no classes, no campaign contributor's hundred tons a week of spam mail, at the expense of first class mailers, and no savaging private carriers profits, by flat rate boxes that free ride, on First Class Mail customer's trucks, fuel, employees, and our dime.

Prevent USPO subsidizing flat rate mailers, with free packages, flat rates for up to 70 pounds, to savage the private companies who move any package needed at appropriate rates, but cannot compete when the USPO steals first class mailers fees, to transport the packages they raid from private enterprises, at non competitive rates, that private enterprise cannot raid taxpayers to match.

Eliminate spam mailings by setting up a Do Not Mail List, and requiring all mass mailers to avoid mailings to any address so listed. No exemptions for beggars, political criminals, et al, stop the spam mail.

Problem solved! While you're at it, create a USPO customer ombudsman office, to accept user complaints about long lines, surly postal clerks, and empty service lines, when the available employees outnumber the service lines, but never seem able to fill all those service desks, during any hours humans need postal service.

Posted by: WastingtonDC | November 12, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Congress will just route all email & text messages through the USPS, and then tax each piece..... welcome to the new world!

Posted by: WildBill1 | November 12, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me but $7.9 Bn of the $8.5 Bn is accounting "losses". Less than 10% of the Post Office's loss is from operations. Can we fix the accounting losses by raising postage? cutting operations? getting rid of junk mail? or by implementing any of the other suggestions? Nope. Implementing any or all of them will just make things worse.

My observation, for what it is worth, is that one root of the post office's problem is that it has tried to operate as a business rather than as a government service. I could cite numerous examples of this -- and trace the direct impacts on volumes and costs for each of them. The other root of the post office's problem is truly toxic labor-management relations. This is totally destructive of customer service, and real efficiency. And again, I could cite numerous examples of this, and their impacts on customers and the post office's bottom line.

But what is the point of trying to use fact and reason to hold back the Tide? You won't realize what harm chatter and natter can wreak until the Post Office is gone.

Posted by: lericgoodman | November 12, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

To the poster who thinks that USPS employees get 100% pay and 100% benefits after 20 years: you are absolutely butt-wrong. My dad (who died 3 weeks ago) was a long-time USPS employee and got about $1000 per month (nowhere near 100% pay). He paid for his Postal Workers' medicare suppliment. Stop stirring up hysteria.

Posted by: evildoerplatypus | November 12, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Simply put----CHARGE THE BULK MAILERS THE ACTUAL RATES. Make the rates the same for all. There is still alot of junk mail but those companies do not pay the going rate. This is a reason why the USPS is losing so much money. You can't keep raising the rates for private individuals---you have to equalize the rates. I still use the post office but it is getting ridiculous that every year they raise the rates and still have financial problems. Obviously they are not raising them in the right business areas. Get rid of all the "good ol boys--mentality" get rid of those employees who just pretend to work. Unions are ok but only to a certain point. The USPS is not "pay for performance" and IT SHOULD BE. This is another way to save money.

Posted by: gonzofam | November 12, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Simply put----CHARGE THE BULK MAILERS THE ACTUAL RATES. Make the rates the same for all. There is still alot of junk mail but those companies do not pay the going rate. This is a reason why the USPS is losing so much money. You can't keep raising the rates for private individuals---you have to equalize the rates. I still use the post office but it is getting ridiculous that every year they raise the rates and still have financial problems. Obviously they are not raising them in the right business areas. Get rid of all the "good ol boys--mentality" get rid of those employees who just pretend to work. Unions are ok but only to a certain point. The USPS is not "pay for performance" and IT SHOULD BE. This is another way to save money.

Posted by: gonzofam | November 12, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Start charging more for JUNK MAIL - god knows we get enough of it - and quit trying to dig more money out of MY pocket.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | November 12, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I love the Post Office, best deal on earth. Just cut a bit more from the bloated military budget.

Posted by: Trout1 | November 12, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

This should be repeated until you all GET IT -

Our Founders set up the Post Office to be a service provided for the people by the Federal government. They never expected it to be a business that turned any kind of profit. Some of its costs were to be defrayed by collecting the price of postage, but this was never expected or intended to cover the total cost of the service.

When I first learned the price of first class postage, it was the same as it had been since the Civil War, 3 cents. Now, we had seen significant inflation since then, but the mail was a SERVICE, like police, fire, national defense, etc., and the price of a stamp was not intended to bear any relationship to the cost of delivering a letter.

It was a mistake to go to the semi-private "Postal Service" idea, and it is time we go back to the old, right way of doing things.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | November 12, 2010 11:13 AM

Posted by: Ginger19069 | November 12, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I'VE GOT AN IDEA: HOW ABOUT THEY CHARGE MORE TO DELIVER CATALOGS AND OTHER JUNK MAIL? WE'D GET LESS OF THEM AND THE USPS BOOSTS REVENUE.

It'd probably need an exemption for charities, churches and other non-profits, but so what?

Just a thought.

Posted by: woodwakr | November 12, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

There is not a private company in the world that can duplicate what the USPS does.

Posted by: JRM2 | November 12, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

junk mail is what subsidizes first class, not the other way around. the USPS prices it to maximize revenue. charge more, and the junk mail folks won't use the mail. we wouldn't miss it, but the cost of first class would have to go up, not down. there is no subsidy of junk mail. it's the only thing priced the way a typical buisness would price it - to maximize profit.

Posted by: JoeT1 | November 12, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

The Post Office doesn't use taxpayer funds?

Where in the hell did the $15 Billion dollar line of credit from the US TReasury come from? Either from tax dollars or the Fed just printed the money from whole-cloth.

Cut it to the bone, literally to the bone, privatize it or let it go bankrupt and shift to private carriers.

Posted by: catmman | November 12, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

It's all my fault. I used to buy stamps by the roll of 100. Now I buy about 10 stamps a year....maybe it's only 5.

Posted by: rjma1 | November 12, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

The Postal service needs to increase the cost of mailing catalogs by 25%.

I can hear the screams from the catalog mailers but they are paying much less to mail a catalog than I am to mail a letter.

Increasing the cost would bring in more revnue, or decrease the number of catalogs which would decrease postal costs.

Posted by: Freethotlib | November 12, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I go white hot every time I see a lardassed mail carrier feeding off a tax-funded gravy train to stuff my postbox full of garbage.
86 these deadbeats, stat!

Posted by: htimothyjones1 | November 12, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

The USPS is a perfect example of why government cannot run anything efficiently or well. The USPS cannot pick up a piece of paper from my house and deliver it 50 miles away without messing it up. Just think how messed up something like health care will soon be.

After obamacare goes into effect, I plan to visit a witch doctor before going to an obamacare doctor. At least the witchdoctor has good intentions. The US Government just wants me to die and save them money.

Posted by: Incredulous52 | November 12, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

"I'll handle this, Violet. Why don't you take your 3 hour break?"

-Newman

Posted by: ugottabkiddin | November 12, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

In our new world, the “GREEN WORLD” the USPS is the biggest abuser. Talk about cutting trees to deliver junk mail. Over 95% of the mail in my box is a waste of time and a waste of precious trees. I had to buy a shredder just because of the USPS and the useless papers they bring to my house everyday. Ok now how about all the gasoline wasted to bring this paper to everyone’s home? The wasted fuel and all the pollution from every mail truck, car is staggering! The employees that work at this USPS are told go faster but don’t speed, do more in less time. This causes a mail truck going from box to box like it’s a drag race. I particularly DO NOT want this on my street! I have kids and I warn them “look out for the speeding mailman” they are driving like the trash mail is important enough to risk killing your children. Just watch you mailman tomorrow THEY ARE SPEEDING. I asked my mailman could he slow it down a little. He told me he has to do 600 houses by 5pm or he could be fired. I have pity on the guy but NONE for his bosses. The USPS should deliver mail Monday, Wednesday and Fridays ONLY. The management should insist on only pertinent mail (no trash papers) and only the mail a customer has requested. All USPS delivery vehicles should be GREEN and tested for emissions. Why save a dinosaur? A world without ugly mailboxes littering the roadways is a dream. The USPS should be gone with the Edsel.

Posted by: Joe_Moon_Man | November 12, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Fabulous News!! I just printed Coupons for free. You can print coupons before you shop http://bit.ly/cRwn9f

Posted by: obiepablo13 | November 13, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I don't need the post office. all I get in my mail is junk, and bills. I don't send letters. I don't send checks. I use my debit/credit card to do everything online. going into the post office for the 1 or 2 times a year I need to use it, means I have to stand in a line 20+ people deep, for half an hour. when you get up to the front they talk to you like they are trying to chew their face off. if you can't handle it, go out of business. privatize ? sure why not.

Posted by: devoidx | November 13, 2010 2:12 AM | Report abuse

OH wow, OK that makes a lot of sense dude.

www.online-privacy.edu.tc

Posted by: clermontpc | November 13, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

I have posted this already here before You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price check http://bit.ly/bandYw .If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy about it and believe me you are not going to loose anything!

Posted by: patriciajeff13 | November 13, 2010 3:06 AM | Report abuse

blarsen1 wrote:
"Yeah. Privatize. So we can pay $7.99 to FedEx or UPS to mail a letter instead of .48. Brilliant!"

Perhaps that is why FedEx and UPS make money rather than loose billions. They know what it costs to deliver a letter better than the Post Office does.

Posted by: ahashburn | November 13, 2010 5:22 AM | Report abuse

Overpaid postal workers. Not much education needed to del mail and sell postage and sort mail. Union too strong. too many benefits for mail del and all employees. A 7th grade education needed , pay accordingly .what else is needed?

Posted by: dcg326 | November 13, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Of course the USPS is going broke. UPS and FedEx took over the profitable side of the mail business and left the USPS with whatever dregs (as in money losing) they didn't want.

To compete fairly, we should give the USPS the option of choosing what type of mail and packages they will deliver and to where they are willing to deliver -- just like private carriers have.

We should also have, like in New Zealand, the option to tell the Post Office to not bother delivering junk mail to our boxes.

Posted by: lennyp | November 13, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

How much did the "Forever" stamps cost the USPS in revenue?

Raise the postal rates for stamps, parcels,etc....

I was informed that UPS uses the USPS for some of their materials because it is cheaper for them to let the USPS handle them.

The radical extremist republicans, with their corrupt business cronies hiding behind the curtains, want to privatize our government out of existence and line their pockets with no bid and inflated contracts.

Once they get those contracts, then the next contract will cost even more.

No! We will not allow our government to be privatized out of existence.

Posted by: ghostcommander1 | November 13, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to see the post office privatized. It just means a foreign country will come in and take another part of America. People seem to think ups or fedex will take it over... they won't. As it is, the usps delivers the losing parts of the country for fedex and ups. These companys all have contracts with the usps. That's why you see fedex boxes at the post office. Most of the 8.5 billion the usps says they lost wasn't lost at all. It was put into prefunding the retirees health care fund. USPS is the only agency who has to do this. Problem is all investigating agencies, during the senate hearings, have said it will be overfunded by as much as 75 billion. The post office has asked for a payment adjustment but congress won't do it. After all, why would they? it's another fund congress can steal from. As for those who say postal service is pricing themselves out of business, You can mail a letter anywhere in the country for the price of a gumball. So, for 250 years of existence their core business costs 44 cents... I'd say that's pretty fair. It's funny, gas went up 25 cents yesterday and not a word but if theres talk of stamps going up a penny, people are jumping off of bridges. When gas goes up, UPS/FEDEX slap a fuel surcharge on to their price...USPS can't do this. Let me put this into perspective. Germany is the size of Montana and their postal service is privatized. To send a letter anywhere within germany, it's about 75 cents. To send outside of Germany but still in Europe, It's about a dollar and that's in a very densly populated region. The USA is very spread out that's why no one will be able to take it over and offer the universal service they are required to provide. USPS packages rates are, in almost all cases, cheaper or competitve with anyone with service levels equal to or better. Another thing people don't realize is the usps adds a city the size of Chicago to it's delivery network every year while decreasing employees every year. Bottom line is they need to raise stamp prices or get rid of that ridiculous prefunding. I hate to see the gov't waste time on agencies not funded by the taxpayers when there are so many more pressing issues.

Posted by: ky01jo | November 14, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

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