AirTalk for August 9, 2012

Post office delivers another loss in the billions

U.S. Postal Service Has Busiest Day Of The Year As Holidays Approach

Brian Kersey/Getty Images

Customers wait in line at a United States Post Office in Chicago, IL.

A week after announcing its very first default payment, the U.S. Postal Service said it will miss its next payment due to the Treasury due to a $5.2 billion loss in the third quarter. An independent government agency that doesn’t receive tax money to fund its operations, the U.S.P.S. still operates under congressional control and is required to fund retirement benefits for its employees, including those who have yet to retire.

Those benefits, accounting for $3.1 billion, coupled with rapidly declining first-class mail volume have accounted for much of the losses and financial burden, but the Postal Service has also tried to end Saturday delivery and close low-revenue offices around the country. The Senate passed a bill in April to reduce annual health payments and provide an $11 billion boost, but the House has yet to make a move.

Will Congress ever make a move? Is there any hope for the Postal Service? If so, what will do the trick?

Guest:

Angela Greiling Keane, Bloomberg News regulation reporter


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