In an article that’s typical of the misinformation flooding the news mdia and the web lately, DC Velocity helps spread the lie that the USPS can’t afford to pay its retirees:
According to published reports, the venerable agency that touches almost every American every day (except Sunday, of course) is so cash poor that it’s on the brink of defaulting on a pending $5 billion-plus pension payment to its retirees.
The blog doesn’t cite a source for its assertion, because there isn’t one- it’s not true. As most readers know, the USPS has no problem whatsoever in paying its retirees, and doesn’t expect to in the near future. The “$5 billion-plus” payment the author refers to is for the Congressionally mandated prefunding of potential future retirees health benefits over the next 75 years. Let’s make that clear- the payment is for the retirement benefits of people who may not even have been born yet! And the USPS has already socked away $42 billion for that purpose! (Which just so happens to be exactly $42 billion more than Congress has set aside for all other federal employees).
The author is correct in pointing out that the USPS faces massive challenges adjusting to the decline in mail volume. But he ignores the plain and simple fact that without the 2006 PAEA law, the USPS would be facing those challenges with zero debt and billions in cash on hand.