Every now and then, we hear or read about the financial woes od the U.S. Postal Service. There are two big reasons for this. As a 33-year employee, let me say this:
One reason, of course, is the decline in first class mail volume (25 percent in the last few years.) The biggest reason, in my opinion, goes back to 2006 when the U.S. Congress mandated the postal service to prefund the retirement health benefits for future retirees for the next 75 years! The result amounted to a payment of $5.5 billion per year from 2006 to 2016. no other agency is required to do this. Due to this financial burden, the Postal Service had to default on the Aug. 1 payment this year.
In an effort to compensate for the loss of revenue, the Postal Service took several steps; over 12,000 city carrier routes were eliminated nationwide; over 10,000 vehicles were excessed from the fleet and several district offices were closed.
Sometimes people complain about postage rates. When you can put a stamp on a letter and for less than half the cost of a cup of coffee have it delivered to any home or business in the United States, that’s a pretty good bargain. Don’t you think?