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Postal Service’s 2011 losses narrow (but only because of a gimmick)

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If only on paper, the U.S. Postal Service’s financial condition has just shown some stunning improvement. That’s because Congress pushed back a $5.5 billion retiree health care payment originally due last Friday (i.e., Sept. 30) until Nov. 18, according to short-term spending legislation approved in the last week.

Sept. 30 was the final day of fiscal 2011, for which the Postal Service had been predicting a total loss of about $10 billion, in part because of that legally required retiree health care obligation.  With that payment now delayed until November, the expected 2011 deficit plummets to $4.5 billion.

Of course, the mail carrier has a similar payment due next September, meaning that its 2012 retiree health care obligations just doubled to around $11 billion. Not to worry, though: USPS leaders say they can’t make the installment originally due Sept. 30 and chances are that they won’t be able to make next year’s, either–even though both still count on its books as expenses.

After all, it’s only money.

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Comments

  1. K Kaminsky Says:
    October 4th, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    I have complained about missing mail and the USPS has admitted they are having delivery issues and refuses to do anything about it

    The postmaster general in Washington refuses to get Hi Tuere

    My name is Kimberly Kaminsky, I reside at [address removed by editors].

    I have lived at this address for three years and have had ongoing problems with mail delivery by the USPS

    This latest episode of the USPS not delivering my periodicals and other mail has been ongoing for the last three months.  I contacted the Atlanta office of consumer affairs three months ago where they put a publication watch on my periodicals which were either not coming at all or extremely late.  They refused to take the initiative to research the issue further leaving me voicemail messages to contact the carrier unit.  When I contact the carrier unit I have been told that there is nothing they can do or will do to assist me.  The consumer affairs office did not leave a return phone number nor the last name of the USPS representative

    My letter carrier was verbally abusive to me when I wanted to give an update of the situation and when I reported the incident to the Postmaster of Atlanta, Atlanta Office of consumer affairs
    Hi Tuere

    My name is Kimberly Kaminsky, I reside at [address removed by editors].

    I have lived at this address for three years and have had ongoing problems with mail delivery by the USPS

    This latest episode of the USPS not delivering my periodicals and other mail has been ongoing for the last three months.  I contacted the Atlanta office of consumer affairs three months ago where they put a publication watch on my periodicals which were either not coming at all or extremely late.  They refused to take the initiative to research the issue further leaving me voicemail messages to contact the carrier unit.  When I contact the carrier unit I have been told that there is nothing they can do or will do to assist me.  The consumer affairs office did not leave a return phone number nor the last name of the USPS representative

    My letter carrier was verbally abusive to me when I wanted to give an update of the situation and when I reported the incident to the Postmaster of Atlanta, did nothing

    If this were a real business then the business would be closed because of horrible unprofessional customer service and that they dont care and have admitted they don’t care to me that they don’t care about the service they are providing

    I have had mail carriers be abusive towards

  2. annette Says:
    October 5th, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    I wish that Mr Sean Reilly would investigate the situation before getting on his key board and blogged about something he obviously knows NOTHING about. Let me school you. In 2006 Postal Reform Act the USPS is required by LAW to prefund it’s retireys health and pension fund 75 years into the future in 10 years time. NO other government agency or business in America is required to do this. Maybe you should investigate the WHYS of this situation. What are they using the 5.5 billion dollars a year to shore up?

  3. MIke D Says:
    October 5th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Prefunding the retiree fund is mandated by congress…….The USPS receives NO taxpayer funding, and hasen’t since the Postal Reform act of the late 1970′s where the Post Office Department, which had been a federal entitie, was removed from the federal docket and made soley responsible for generating its own operating revenue, while continuing to be a federal department . …….That continues to this day. The USPS is governed by a federally appointed board. The PMG is a Federal appointee. The USPS still has congressional oversight even though it sustains itself thru its own self generating revenue. Thats because there is a congressional mandate to have a postal department. The USPS is the only governmental department that has to prefund its current and future retirees. That isn’t a bad thing. But even the I.G. (Inspector General’s) office concluded that the USPS should not have to pre fund, and because of that situation, it has , on paper, shown the USPS to be billions in the red. That is not the case and they need relief instead of the kicking around, which is not warrented, by both the public and the current administration. If you want a private delivery option, and want to get rid of the Post Office as we all know it, just think about how far a letter with 44 cents can travel…..Clear across the country…….Put 44 cents in your car and see how far it gets you…………Stop complaining.

  4. chrisk Says:
    October 6th, 2011 at 6:22 am

    annette and MIke D say what I have posted on the comment sites for a long time when people complain about USPS and how we’re looking for tax payer bail out money. I wish that the major news media outlets would read some of our posts, research them and then broadcast them to the public. That of course won’t happen, they’re afraid of the truth.
    To K. Kaminsky. I’m sorry you’re having issues with your carrier. As a clerk who works on the window I can tell you your problem is not an isolated one. There are unfortunately carriers who do not follow the rules and seem to be protected by their union. We often have people come in and complain about their mail delivery and have them speak to the carrier supervisor. They talk to the carrier and if the problem doesn’t stop then the carrier is brought in with their union rep. for a discussion as to what is going on. From what carriers in my office say it sounds as though some of them are protected and can get away with things others can’t. It is unfortunate and the ones involved often don’t care. Since you’ve lived at your place for over 3 years I don’t see how the carrier can be confused about what mail to deliver. I’m sorry you’re having such a problem. Hopefully it will be fixed soon. Know though, that while things like this happen, it is not the norm.

  5. Sucka Says:
    October 7th, 2011 at 12:24 am

    Kimberly Kaminsky. First make sure you have your apartment unit listed on your mail. Secondly, make sure your name and all others are listed in your apartment mailbox. Third and most important, make sure your periodicals have not expired. That’s all. Oh yeah, what was the issue?

  6. Tim Says:
    October 9th, 2011 at 1:22 am

    Kim, I have seen this happen in our office. The periodical has you mailing address printed and then bundled. Sometimes the label is not in the correct order when printed and therefore is bundled in the wrong bundle. This can cause a late delivery. The bundle is sent, they find your periodical and need to return it to the correct processing center. It’s not always the Postal Services fault.