Postal Service is losing $25 million a day

The postmaster general warns Congress that the USPS is at risk of becoming a 'significant burden' to taxpayers.

By Aimee Picchi Apr 18, 2013 1:35PM

U.S. Postal Service letter carrier of 12 years, Jamesa Euler, delivers mail in the rain in Atlanta, on Feb. 17, 2013 (© David Goldman/AP)The U.S. Postal Service is known for delivering the mail no matter if hurricanes or blizzards are obstructing the way. But now it's pleading with lawmakers to deliver something for the agency: reforms that will stop the bleeding. 

Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe appeared before Congress on Wednesday and warned that the USPS is "losing $25 million every day, and we are on an unsustainable path." He added that the agency could become "a significant burden" to taxpayers if it's not allowed the flexibility to make changes. 

His appearance was the first since the USPS put off a plan to cut back to five-day delivery. But it doesn't appear that Donahoe has given up on the idea, according to the Washington Post

He believes the Postal Service has merely delayed its plan to end Saturday delivery, which was promoted as a way to save $2 billion annually. After the USPS announced the plan, some customers and postal workers complained and organized protests while Congress adopted a resolution to preserve six-day service

At least one thing is clear: The Postal Service is in a first-class mess, with losses mounting to $15.9 billion last year. 

The Postal Service is stymied by the need for congressional approval of its operations, because Congress oversees its budget and its retiree health benefits fund. So far, it seems like the relationship between the USPS and Congress is only getting worse. 

If Donahoe defies Congress, the postmaster "would catch hell," said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., the Washington Post reported.

The Postal Service needs the ability to cut back to five days a week, Donahoe testified. His other requests include the flexibility to control health care and retirement costs and to switch to a defined-contribution retirement system (such as 401k plans) for new employees. 

Also appearing at the hearing, called "Options to Bring the Postal Service Back from Insolvency," was the National Association of Letter Carriers president Fredric V. Rolando, who said the postmaster "wants to degrade (the USPS's) last-mile delivery network by cutting Saturday delivery."

But with many Americans preferring to send email instead of letters, and with rivals such as FedEx (FDX) and UPS (UPS) eating into its business, Postal Service's financial outlook is also degrading. 

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.

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Apr 18, 2013 2:13PM

"Congress oversees it's budget".


Therein lies the problem.

Do the job you were elected to do for God's sake.

Apr 18, 2013 2:31PM
Stop Sat deliveries. Stop sponsoring sports. (they have already cut back). Close post offices that don't make a profit just like any other business. This is not the post office from the 70's , it has to adapt.
Apr 18, 2013 2:20PM
Government run business,  can't wait for Obama care.  this is just for delivering mail, can you imagine when government is trying to control a 2.6 trillion dollar health care industry
Apr 18, 2013 2:53PM
If the US government can't get mail delivery right, what do you think they are going to do with healthcare?
Apr 18, 2013 2:59PM
Apr 18, 2013 1:58PM
I think a loss of $25 million a day IS A SIGNIFICANT burden. Really? Cut the fat. I am sure there is plenty left. Too much management.
Apr 18, 2013 2:25PM
It could save millions by stopping some ridicules practices here's one. I live in a small town in northern Michigan if I take a letter to the Post office instead of just putting it in my neighbors box they send it 100 miles away to be sorted and returned to put in his box. So it takes 3 days to send a letter 100 yards. Just so you know this is a town of less than 300 people so their not exactly swamped at the post office. And then they wonder why they are loosing money.
Apr 18, 2013 2:40PM

A real business down 30% in volume would have laid off half of its workforce and streamlined operations. Our piece of government increases pay and benefits offers early retirement and big fat pensions. Shut the whole thing down and let someone with a brain do it.

Apr 18, 2013 3:07PM
congress rapes the usps for billions in pre payments, FOR FUTURE EMPLOYEES HEALTH AND INSURANCE BENEFITS,,,,,ill bet that congress has already plundered that money thats sposed to be for peoples futures.
Apr 18, 2013 2:33PM

25 Mil per day huh? Ok...Here is a start...


3 day delivery schedule Mon - Wed - Fri


Immediately your fuel and wage budget are almost sliced in half...The rest of the fat is for you to figure out although I have little faith you will find it.

Apr 18, 2013 2:45PM
Don't bother this admin with facts and dismal numbers on the economy.  They are to busy diddling around with same sex "marriage," gun control/repealing the Second Amendment and giving amnesty to illegal aliens.  ALL against the will of the people.  Unemployment/ new unemploymenbt figures are UP, but it's reported as "improving."  It's from Orwell's 1984.  It's called "Newspeak."   If the truth doesn't fit the leftists pistols they just make it up like the "mainstream media"{ does. 
Apr 18, 2013 3:07PM
Our government is in the midst of collapse because of their meddling in all aspects of our economy....banks.....real estate....the post  When they collapse......the dominos start clicking and we all go down.  They don't seem to care nor do they have the CORRECT answers.  God help us.
Apr 18, 2013 2:58PM
Very Simple...Quit paying jeep droppers $35-$40 per hour to sometimes get mail in the right box

Just because a couple fruit cakes still want Saturday delivery does not mean that it should happen. 

The useless union mentality of these worthless federal employees makes me sick, f-in' leaches.

Apr 18, 2013 2:43PM

This has been going on for years. The Band-Aid was suppose to be stop Saturday mail.

 last week they decided to leave it.

Now what? I know, make stamps $1.00.

Tax the Rich they can afford it (ha ha ) 

Apr 18, 2013 2:28PM
$1 trillion dollars a year in debt and bankburptcy of the country will be  when? America GO HOME and take care of your own!!!
Apr 18, 2013 2:59PM

HA HA....well that puts USPS pretty much in-line with every other Government sponsored service..


The question is...."Why do they even care?"

Apr 18, 2013 2:45PM
15.9 Billion divided by 365 is more like 43 Million a day. Do the math.
Apr 18, 2013 2:57PM
One way to save money is to close at regular time on tax day (Apr 15). This would save a day's wages for the Post Office. Those overtime hours gain no revenue (no stamps sold, no packages mailed, etc.).
Apr 18, 2013 2:41PM
This story is old news and you have been running it for about a year.
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