The United States Postal Service has posted a whopping $15.9 billion loss for 2012, according to CNN. This number is nearly triple the size of the figures posted last year.
Postal officials stated that $11 billion of this figure is from the prepayment the service must pay to fund future retirees. These payments are required by Congress despite multiple complaints from officials.
Art Sackler, coordinator of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, explained the country’s mail delivery service is in serious trouble.
“The Postal Service is facing a fiscal cliff of its own, and any unanticipated drop in mail volumes could send the agency over the edge,” Sackler explained to The New York Times. “If Congress fails to act, there could be postal slowdowns or shutdowns that would have catastrophic consequences for the eight million private-sector workers whose jobs depend on the mail.”
Although the service has taken a hit from the popularity of email, texting, and paperless statements, Fredric Rolando — president of the National Association of Letter Carriers — feels that the required prepayments are what contributed to a large portion of the $15.9 billion loss.
“The mandate has depleted Postal Service funds, forcing the [agency] to give up any quarterly or annual profits, empty its bank accounts and exhaust its borrowing authority … to satisfy an unfair political mandate,” Rolando explained.
The US Postal Service has asked Congress repeatedly to cut the number of mail delivery days to five times per week in an effort to save money. Additionally, officials want to reduce retiree funding and partake in other business ventures. In order to bring in more business, the service is considering the delivery of beer and wine through the mail.
“It’s critical that Congress do its part and pass comprehensive legislation before they adjourn this year to move the Postal Service further down the path toward financial health,” explained Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe.
What do you think about the US Postal Service’s $15.9 billion loss?