USPS year to date profit from operations reaches $1.4 billion

Seven months into the current fiscal year, the US Postal Service’s revenue exceeds its expenses by $1.353 billion. If the USPS was a private sector company, that would translate to a pretty healthy profit. In the topsy turvy world of Washington, however, it means the USPS is still “bleeding cash”- making it much easier for politicians to pretend that the agency is in a crisis, or perhaps even a “death-spiral”. A postal service that simply plugs along, providing a service and paying its bills doesn’t suit the powers that be on Capitol Hill- or at L’Enfant Plaza.

So the USPS financial statement includes two items that, as if by magic, transform a $1.4 billion profit into a $2.6 billion loss. One is the familiar “trust fund” charge- $3.3 billion through April. This is a charge that only exists on paper (and in the minds of politicians and USPS Headquarters bureaucrats). The other is a $600 million “non-cash” charge for possible, potential, maybe non-existent future workers compensation expenses.

The whole charade, with congressmen and Senators from both sides of the aisle piously wringing their hands over the imminent possibility of a postal collapse, has gone on for almost a decade now. Last week the Republicans seemed to admit the entire “USPS is dying” saga is a joke when they suggested that the USPS could afford to finance America’s highway system for a year- and not a single professional Washington news journalist pointed out the absurdity of the proposal.

The USPS is certainly in a critical situation- but it’s driven not by financial realities, but by cynical politicians and the bureaucrats who serve them.

USPS Unaudited April Financial Results.

  • Tony L.

    Why do you think these Congress folks and Senators raise millions of dollars to secure a job that pays a couple of hundred thousand a year! Duh! Term limits is the only logical solution… Get them out before they learn to master the system and bury millions!

  • not living the dream

    The USPS is not broke – it does matter how much profit they make, Congress and the top dogs at the USPS will find a way to tell the American public that the USPS is broke – it’s just playing with the numbers – too bad I can’t do the same with my finances to make myself be richer or poorer depending on my own personal greed!

  • mailmanjoe24

    The carriers and clerks and handlers are being treated like sweat-shop workers in third world countries…killing themselves because lower-middle management morons push them beyond endurance while the top dogs feed and spread the wealth elsewhere. The union, paralyzed, scrambles into self-preservation mode and the whole downward spiral gains momentum. What will those “experts” in both the union and congress do when the workers have had enough or when they’ve completely gutted the place? My guess…nothing.

  • Jason

    My guess is they hire younger stronger workers willing to do the work for half of the pay.

  • bigtime

    Drive by any post office today and watch the carriers come and go.90% are limping,not walking normal. Yes there will be a price to pay but management doesn’t care! Slave conditions nation wide,all the equipment is junk,the delivery method is junk, leadership is junk,and now our bodies are junk.we deserve a instant 5,000$ raise for the extra work forced on us.this is not what the arbritator ruled on!

  • texasmailman

    It doesn’t matter anymore. Darrell Issa will still find a way to kill it. i do believe that both sides of our govt are intent on killing the company and put us all out of work. Somehow that satisfies both Republicans and Democrats. And these new guys they are hiring? Its a joke what is happening to them. We used to have to take the civil service exam, have clean records, get drug tested. It was a job with pride. Sad. Very sad

  • fred

    Apparently the author of this article is unfamiliar with basic accrual accounting. This system of accounting, used by all businesses except the very smallest, recognizes expenses when they occur, not when they they are actually paid out. If part of current postal workers’ compensation is health care in retirement, then that liability is an expense against current revenues. Therefore, talk of USPS glowing operating profits is clearly delusional. This author needs to take high school bookkeeping 101.

  • postalnews

    Thanks for the comment fred, but you might want to actually do some research before pontificating about subjects you’re unfamiliar with. We’re not talking about an actuarially calculated future obligation. We’re talking about an arbitrary annual charge that is applied by law to the USPS, and to no other government agency or private organization.

  • Dan

    It would seem that you are unfamiliar with the Congressional “money grab” that was put in place when USPS and the entire country were financially skyrocketing. The Congress saw a big profit that they could take away under the pretense of funding benefits for 70 years into the future. I assure you that the 5 billion dollars per year that USPS pays into that fund is nowhere to be found – least of all in some fund waiting for 70 years to pass.

  • MrPolarBear

    Mr Fred. The workers compensation you mention (health Care in Retirement) isn’t for current employees. It’s for future employees that the Government thinks the Postal Service might hire in the next 75 years. They aren’t even born yet . I understand your reasoning, It’s logical. However, the expense is a mandated bill the government passed in 2006 requiring the Postal Service to pay 5.5 billion a year for ten years to cover FUTURE employees health care and retirement benefits. Not CURRENT EMPLOYEES. Please understand this. The USPS is getting screwed. No other business in the world has ever been mandated to do this. NO BUSINESS EVER ! The Post Office is down sizing. Yet the Bill passed. So far, almost 50 billion dollars has been place into this Future Employee fund which congress has dipped into and spent. Since this billed passed in 2006, The postal service has had to borrow from their credit with the treasury department to pay this fund. That’s right, it’s borrowing from the government to pay the government. Congress is trying to bankrupt the Postal Service. Just a FYI. Any year the USPS makes a profit, guess where it goes??? Into the General Fund of the US treasury. The USPS is a non profit organization. It use to make money, every year for the government. Until 2006 when it was forced to pay the 5.5 billion per year fee. The government wants to bankrupt the USPS so it can sell it off to the private sector. Which, by the way will increase postage rates and expense. Canada went privatize in 1981. At that time you could mail a letter from the US to Canada with no additional postage. IT was penny to penny equal to the US Postage rate. Now it cost a dollar to mail a one ounce letter in Canada, The USPS rate is 49 cents for two ounces. Twice the weight for half the price. Why, because Canada postal employess can go on strick for higher pay. The USPS postal employess can’t.

  • MrPolarBear

    A reporter recently did an article on the recent problems of mail delivery in many major cities in the US. His findings is the new CCA’s are throwing mail away in record numbers. They want the pay, but aren’t willing to do the work.

  • MrPolarBear

    You are absolutely right . Term Limits.