Reader comments

On U.S. Postal Service to cut Saturday mail delivery to trim costs


deec 3 years ago

The future retirement costs extend out 75 years. The post office is being required to pre-fund health benefits for employees who are not yet born. This GOP-backed legislation is clearly meant to destroy the unions and render the post office vulnerable to privatization.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years ago

And what is wrong with the Post office at least breaking even? None of us could run our families that way.

Brendon Allen 3 years ago

Think his/her point is not that he/she disagrees with cutting sat delivery but the fact that they have to fund future benefits so far out which no other gov agency that I am aware of (not that the post office is even an agency) that has such a requirement. Hence it appears there are ulterior motives to why they would do this, such as making it look as unprofitable as possible which could allow things like privatization to look like the only thing that could be done. Has nothing to do with breaking even in fact it distorts what breaking even means. Would be nice if the GOP did the same thing for SS and Medicare funding...

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years ago

Please clean your glasses, the GOP does not want the post office to fail any more than the LIbs. It is all about getting value and if the PO is operating at a $25 million a day loss, competent people would do what they have to, to fix it.

chootspa 3 years ago

The used to be making money. They weren't operating at a loss when they weren't mandated to pre-pay their pensions for 75 years. Why is it exactly that they need to pay for pensions for employees that haven't even been born yet? That happened in 2006, thanks to Republican-sponsored legislation. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/109/hr6407

Remind me, who was president in 2006?

average 3 years ago

A) They'd be roughly breaking even under the accounting rules of every other company in the country.

B) They aren't allowed, by Congressional mandate, to do the other obvious option. And that is to raise rates substantially (which would reduce volumes, but they wouldn't be losing money on every letter). 46 US cents won't buy you a first-class domestic stamp in Peru, Mexico, Brazil, or Turkey, let alone most tiny European countries where a letter is roughly a dollar.

notajayhawk 3 years ago

"A) They'd be roughly breaking even under the accounting rules of every other company in the country."

From the article: "Without that and other related labor expenses, the mail agency sustained an operating loss of $2.4 billion..." That's a pretty "rough" definition of "breaking even."

chootspa 3 years ago

If you want the post office to run like a business, stop legislating what they can and cannot do. For instance, they're not allow to offer notary or fax services. They're mandated to be open on Saturdays. They have to pre-fund their pensions for 75 years.

You wouldn't do that to UPS or FedEx, so quit complaining that the post office runs into problems when you do it to them.

orbit 3 years ago

Would you break even if you had a 30 year mortgage that you had to pay off in four years? Didn't think so...see, you really can't have it both ways

Alyosha 3 years ago

Why would you think running a service mandated by the Constitution should be like how you run your family?

That makes zero sense.

gccs14r 3 years ago

I agree that the GOP wants to kill the postal service and hand it over to private companies, but they didn't ask anyone if they actually want it. To my knowledge, no private company wants the headache of daily residential delivery and pickup. Certainly no private company wants that responsibility for the chance to earn a measly 45 cents.

The Postal Service was efficient and profitable until this pre-funded healthcare mandate.

notajayhawk 3 years ago

"The Postal Service was efficient and profitable until this pre-funded healthcare mandate."

The article states they would have lost 2.4 billion dollars without the mandate and other "related labor expenses". In what universe is a 2.4 billion dollar loss "efficient and profitable"?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

Making money is not the purpose of any government.

(This post was responding to a quickly disappeared phantom poster.)

Brendon Allen 3 years ago

No just making money for those in government especially when their "service" ends...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

True enough-- and the revolving door is busiest in the armament/war/security industries and on Wall Street.

jafs 3 years ago

Something I read said that the feds are actually using that money that's supposed to go for future retiree benefits for other spending as well.

The way the federal government has operated re: the post office is shameful.

No tax money is allowed to go towards it, but it's under government control? Requiring ridiculous amounts of pre-funded retiree benefits that are then spent on other things?

Requiring them to continue to operate in such a way so that they can't possibly break even?

One might think they're trying to kill it off, huh?

thebigspoon 3 years ago

My Dad was a rural carrier here and passed away in 1971. There was talk of this when he was a carrier so this isn't something the Post Office just came up with. One of the reasons it hasn't happened sooner is the Letter Carriers Union...

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years ago

Getting mail is nice, but once or twice a week would be plenty. The companies that bill you for your services would just need to adjust their mailings or lengthen the time that they bill you and payment is accepted.

deec 3 years ago

A lot of people in rural areas rely on the post office for daily newspapers and prescription medicine. Older folks in small towns still use the mail to send greeting cards and pay bills.

Lisa Medsker 3 years ago

Exactly. My parents REFUSE to use the internet or phone for any financial transactions. Checks only.

deec 3 years ago

The post office has been planning to privatize since at least 2002. The health benefits law is designed to bankrupt the post office to facilitate its privatization. The overpaid benefit funds are held in government bonds to camouflage part of the deficit, just as social security funds are being used. Of course the GOP wants to bankrupt the post office so they can turn it over to their corporate masters at fire sale prices.

"At the other end of the spectrum of options is the possibility of complete transformation of the Postal Service into a shareholder-owned, value-maximizing company. In addition to giving Postal Service managers a full range of private sector managerial tools, this model would place Postal Service managers under the supervision of a Board of Directors representing “residual claimants” (private shareholders) who have “real money” at stake."



junkremovalsandiego 3 years ago

This is should have been done years ago. The is a good step for our government to start treating bad programs like businesses instead of money pits. embrace change instead of holding on to old ways.

orbit 3 years ago

Yes, those bad, bad people with pensions and benefits! No one should have those! Why do you hate Unions so much? Don't you realize that Unions are the single most important reason why an American middle class exists?

Alyosha 3 years ago

FedEX wholly disagrees with you. They use the USPS for 30% of their ground shipments.

FedEX couldn't be as profitable as they are without the USPS.

Laurie L Folsom 3 years ago

Fed Ex, UPS and DHL could care less about privatizing the USPS.

Currently all three private companies drop off packages that are not profitable for them to delivery at...wait for it...the closest Post Office. It is USPS carriers that deliver the private companies' packages to some of the most remote (not profitable) locations. Remote can be defined by these companies as further than 20 miles of their next stop.

I hear complaints about the price of stamps increasing, but what will happen to prices if private companies are the only ones to offer flat mail delivery? For pennies I can guarantee a letter will arrive 100s of miles from me within days. This is only possible because of the scale of an organization like the US Postal Service.

CRAH50 3 years ago

For those same pennies, letters and packages follow people who move for a year, if they file COA forms — at no extra cost. The private delivery companies don't do that. The PO also doesn't leave packages on your porch when you're on vacation (if you've asked for a hold, and yes they sometimes mess up).

notajayhawk 3 years ago

"It is USPS carriers that deliver the private companies' packages to some of the most remote (not profitable) locations."

And the fact that the Post Office partners with those companies, assuming the unprofitable end of the process, only goes to demonstrate why they're a losing proposition.

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