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View Diary: Is the US Post Service doomed? (51 comments)

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  •  USPS was screwed by the GOP well before the (22+ / 0-)

    recession, when they mandated in 2006 that the USPS funnel profits into funding 75 years worth of employee pensions within 10 years (that is, by 2016).

    I'll say that again, so it sinks in -- in 2006, the GOP mandated had 10 years to save up enough profits within 10 years to pre-fund pensions for employees that haven't been born yet.

    Without that mandate, and despite the recession, the USPS would be doing peachy and would be comfortably in the black.

    This, however, might be the "long-term" situation that was referred to.

    It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

    by Murphoney on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 11:38:17 PM PST

    •  **"...GOP mandated USPS had 10 years..." (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus, jlms qkw, GreyHawk, Gooserock

      It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

      by Murphoney on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 11:39:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is the only explanation that matters (6+ / 0-)

      Such a giant joke upon the USPS, and upon all of us

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 12:06:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm pretty sure that if given control over setting (6+ / 0-)

      The price of their product they would have been able to fulfill all of their obligations remember, the Postal Service has a mandate to be Revenue neutral.

      They've never made a profit because they aren't allowed to.

      A fact that politicians never explain to the public when they point to their debt.  If Congress allowed the postal service a means to store revenue surplus they would never have gotten into trouble.

      By the way, the only reason I can think of for Congress' insane rules to prefund 75 years worth of retirement is so when they DO succeed in privatizing the PO, someone will be getting filthy rich.

      •  The GOP's screw-job had nothing to do with pricing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreyHawk, Gooserock

        and no one suggested that the USPS should or would have control of its pricing, so I don't know what you're on about.

        The fact remains that current pricing (and likely even 2006-pricing) would be sufficient to keep USPS deficit (and debt)-free if not for the GOP's poison pill.

        It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

        by Murphoney on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 12:22:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You may be right but no one really knows. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GreyHawk

          The Internet hit the PO hard and the recession made it worse.

          •  there are financial records and analyses that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            renzo capetti, Gooserock

            spell out the health of the USPS through the periods prior to and post-mandate. To suggest "no one knows" is not credible. Zero credibility in that statement.

            Moreover, the affect of the internet is entirely separate from both the recession and the GOP mandate.  It changed the nature of the USPS business -- there are trends that spell out the impact -- but that business changed in response and the balance sheets reflect it.

            It's not majik and it's not a mystery -- it's a fact that the GOP fucked the Post Office's bottom line in the ass.

            It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

            by Murphoney on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 01:32:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know, I agree with you, but I don't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Chi

              Agree that the post office could remain debt free at 2006 stamp prices.

              The Internet has been a huge disaster for the post office.

              Hen is the last time you wrote a letter and sent it by mail?

              Perhaps the PO could have managed with the Internet only but when Facebook appeared and without the ability to raise it's prices accordingly, the was doomed anyway.

              Congress just tried to speed the process up and if they won 4 more years, it would probably have been over.

              But that's just speculation.

          •  it's all in the numbers... (0+ / 0-)

            It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

            by Murphoney on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 01:51:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  So although its the job of the PRC to set (0+ / 0-)

          The price of a stamp to ensure the post office remains revenue neutral, Congress' mandating a $5 billion/year additional cost to a revenue neutral business, is the only reason why the US postal service is in debt?

          The Postal Service is looking at a $9 billion debt this year which is $4 billion more than the $5 billion it needs for the ret. fund.

          Despite all of the lay offs and the cost cutting it' done, it is still running a debt.

          No one can ship a letter across country for $0.45 anymore.

          It's just not possible.

          •  you're certainly slinging numbers, but are you (0+ / 0-)

            talking debt, or deficit?  Are you mixing and mismatching?

            Do you know?

            It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

            by Murphoney on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 01:57:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Great question. What do you think. (0+ / 0-)

              If the post office defaults on its payment to the retirement fund that Congress has mandated so it can pay other debts like workers compensation insurance.  And the total amount that it owes is 15 billion dollars, which is debt and which is deficit?

              Debt and deficit amount to much the same thing i suppose for an entity like the US postal service which cannot do much about either.  

              Technically speaking, the PRC should be ensuring the PO doesn't run a deficit to the point that the deficit turns into unpaid debt.

              Technically that is.

              Really, I don't know anything more than what can glean from sources.

              Truthfully, the $9 billion dollars was in fact an educated guess.  There are numbers ranging from $5 to $15 billion and after everything I've read I felt that $9 billion was probably the closest to the truth I could get.

              Now, that would be confirmed debt and not deficit.  The number depends on when the next $5 billion is due.

              I think congress has delayed the due date.

    •  Why do you think they did this and now are (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DerAmi, UnionMade, Chi

      Trying to privatize it?

      Someone's going to be making a lot of money.

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