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Finally- one mainstream media source explains the REAL reason the USPS is losing money!

It may not be as historic as the events happening in Cairo today, but this piece by the AP’s Randolph E.Schmid is probably the first to accurately describe yesterday’s USPS financial report:

The post office continues to lose money at a rapid pace thanks to a requirement that it make advance payments to cover expected health care costs for future retirees.

The agency said Wednesday it had a loss of $329 million for the first quarter of the fiscal year – Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2010.

That was up from a $297 million loss in the same period the year before, which ended with a total loss of $8.5 billion.

Without the requirement for advance health care payments, the post office would have had a net profit of $226 million for the quarter, the agency announced.

Congress has proposed easing the upfront payments, which are not required of any other government agency.

Now really- how hard was that?

via Post office had $329 million loss in first quarter.

  • Don

    I don’t know WTH is going on with this PO, losing money making money, make up your mind.

  • brian

    Don- what don’t you understand?

  • cpttuna

    Congress may make a move,Congress might make a move, Congress is thinking about making a move. Amove might be made by Congress. Congress can’t even spell the word move.

  • Mike

    The ship continues to sink yet Congress, USPS, and the media debate over how fast the water is coming in instead of plugging the hole.

  • Bigwheel

    I don’t know why, but it seems that the Republicans are trying to balance the budget deficit on the backs of postal employees. The PAEA of 2006, pushed and passed by George W Bush’s administation, is the cause of the current postal money problems. Even after several govenment accounting agencies have proven and reported billions of dollars ( between 50-75 billion) overpayment by the postal service into these same retirement plans- THE REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED CONGRESS allows the lie to continue.
    The postal service is not losing a dime.

  • It is……..

    Gov screwing the Gov……..Many Congressman have stock in FedEx and UPS. It is pretty simple.

  • Mailer

    The USPS is losing money like Social Security is insolvent. If Congress could keep their hand out of the cookie jar, the problem disappears.

    They cannot be trusted with money they don’t have to answer for.

  • Joe

    Well the democrats had the house,congress and the President and did nothing to help the USPS ……..but of course its always the republicans fault?///;’-@!$%^^

  • Larry Lee

    “Advance Heath Care Payments”, these payments are nothing but a “Stamp Tax”! Every time someone buys a stamp or mails a package they are paying a federal tax! That money does not advance pay for a thing, it is already spent!

  • Packmule

    Big Wheel-
    PAEA was the NALC’s Number 1 legislative priority in 2006, passing with bipartisan support. Democrats had a filibuster proof Senate and Huge majorities in the house for 4 years. Pres Bammy is a “friend of labor” (or at least enjoys our campaign cash) Yet they were to busy strangling industy with environmental control, banning incandescent lightbulbs, nationalizing banks, insurance and car companies, pushing cap and trade and destroying the best health care system in the world to worry about the Post Office. The current republican controlled congress can’t do anything about lazy reporters and sloppy, inacurate reporting due to first ammendment issues.The clusterf@&! is bipartisan politically and results from moronic institutional behavior on behalf of management and the Unions!

  • Ralph O. Campideris

    Republicans and President Bush pushed PAEA in 2006? From the NALC official website in December, 2006: The passage of PAEA was “the fulfillment of NALC’s top legislative priority. ….. the union played a crucial role in developing many of its important provisions……we prevailed over the White House. The new law sets out a 10-year schedule for using the escrow and military pension savings to dramatically reduce the Postal Service’s massive unfunded liability for retiree health insurance, while also providing some flexibility for other uses. In so doing, we secured more than $100 billion for the Postal Service in the decades to come and protected the interests of our current and future retirees…..” An ecstatic NALC President Bill Young stated on December 8, 2006 stated that the bill would “definitely help the Postal Service survive…” He proceeded to thank Democrat Representatives Waxman and Danny Davis and Democrat Senators Carper, Lieberman, and Akaka for their efforts passing the bill. Solely a Republican bill? Hardly. Check the history.

  • Paul

    Which ever political party you believe in makes no difference to the fact we are a political football and are getting our collective asses kicked. Money is being made in the USPS but it is also being spent on bonuses and per diem for the top management. Front line supervisors are enticed to push all employees in order to achieve some made up production number so the supervisor can re- ceive a Pay For Performance incentive. Details to OIC positions and upward E-career moves cost per diem, purchasing of homes for PCES and EAS em- ployees and benefits not given to the grunts. Wake up folks and see that this whole scam has been going on forever. We lose!

  • trout

    it is the republicans fault…just wait and see…Congressman Issa is in charge of the commitee that over sees the post office you should read his opinions on the USPS….and he’s gunning for us….OK the democrats are to blame also by default…they’re politicians….again with the bonuses…really? my goodness how old is that crap?….it’s amazing what people want to believe….as far as I can see there have not been any OIC assignments in my area that have paid per diem in years….as a matter of fact very few positions (if you are lucky to get them) have even paid relocation expenses….you want to talk waste? you want to fix something…why not get rid of binding arbitration?…our system is broken and needs fixing but no one wants to address the issues we are facing…..the majority of grievances we file are crossing crafts we need a postal worker who can do any job without someone asking to be paid for doing nothing….
    why not go to evaluated routes?….that would save more money than the 7500 EAS jobs that are going to be cut and the 2000 plus offices that are going to be closed and the 10 districts they are planning to get rid of….

  • Mike

    @ Trout
    Great point there at the end. I think going to evaluated routed on the city side of the carriers could save the Post Office upwards of 40-50 Billion a year, yes Billion.
    And just to echo your comment on per diem, etc…..If you take an OIC somewhere it is going to be somewhere close and your “per diem” is going to be the higher level pay you get. Also the Post Office hasn’t paid relocation expenses in about 2 or 3 years. We are dealing with a broken system and yes we need some outside help, but we could help ourselves out a lot more with a little more wiggle room from the unions. And last but not least, management does NOT get bonuses. It is a raise, and that only happens IF they earn it.

  • Gregg

    It is obvious that there are many different thoughts about how we can fix the USPS.We all blame someone else for the problems.Whether it be Congress or politics.Management also takes a big hit as well.Fact of the matter is,just hang in there and see what happens down the road.Be optimistic about the future of the USPS.The USPS will not go away.We have provided a service for over 200 years,and will continue to do so for years to come.Change will come,closing of P+D’s,small offices that do not have enough revenue etc…Many of us will be affected by these changes.But after all is said and done,the USPS will be here providing an important service to the people we love.Our Customers.That’s the most important reason we do our jobs everyday.We will weather the storm!!

  • Nanny

    I’m so tired of hearing about the crying at the bottom. I’m hear to give you a ninny. The Postmaster at the local level gets no more of the perks than the so called grunts. Quit crying and carry the mail. You’re making a lot of money and for the most part most of you are basically qualified to bag groceries. All the craft employees do is whine and bitch. Grow up and enjoy the golden spoon the USPS has put in the mouth of you and your families. Most offices are like a day care. You sit there and listen to grown men and women cry, “I have too much mail”, I’ll never get done today, blah blah blah. If you weren’t taking your 2 hour lunches prior to DOIS maybe we wouldn’t be in this situation. Just do your job, shut up or quit!

  • angie

    @Nanny, Wow! You must be a postmaster, which means you do nothing, nothing at all. You make more money than the employees you bad mouth and you make it for sitting on your ass. What qualifies you for this? Lots of ass kissing. That and pushing your employees to make yourself look better.

  • Uhoh

    There is truth in all of these statements. Most managers or supervisors came up through the ranks and were once in craft positions. The finger pointing and blame games do nothing to help our situation. All employees need to pull together to save our dying service.

    I have been in customer service and processing, both areas do not have near the quantity of mail we had 5 years ago. EVERYONE has the “that’s not my job” attitude and if we/you could do more for the same pay it would be an immediate cost saving.

    The self entitlement mentality is killing our business. We no longer make enough money to stretch our dwindling mail volumes into a full day of pay. If we do not step up to the plate we cannot continue to provide one of the greatest services available to the united states.

    The upper echelon will always get their perks and go by the good ol’ boy system. Unless we are privatized it will never change. This is a sad fact of how our government works.

    I have been mistreated in both craft and management equally. I still put forth a days work for days pay as I am grateful for opportunity to have such a good paying job with benefits. There are not very many of those left today.

  • once proud 28 yr carrier

    Nanny, you’re the poster child for piss-ass poor managers and postmasters. People like you are destroying the postal service with your rotten attitudes toward the hard working craft employees. I guess it’s because your “title” makes you so much better than us “bottom dwellers”! You should see if you can change our name back to the “Post Office” because you useless, pencil pushing, numbers crunching idiots have taken the “service” right out of name! Our customers deserve better. We may bag groceries but I’ll bet you couldn’t CARRY them!

  • Harold

    I believe the USPS is a business and should be run as a business by and for the American people. It would be naive to believe there aren’t forces at work here.
    Most everything bought and sold on the Internet has to be shipped The Internet shipping business is big and is going to get exponentially bigger and become exponentially more lucrative world wide. If they privatize the USPS, they will have eliminated THE MOST LEVERAGED AND ADVANTAGED PLAYER IN THE SHIPPING BUSINESS. Tax exempt, non profit and with the largest infrastructure on the planet. Fed Ex, UPS and DHL, no one can compete with the United States Postal Service. There are trillions of dollars at stake. The USPS can generate massive federal revenues and still keep the cost of a stamp down much better than anyone. All those revenues will go into the pockets of profiteers instead of our treasury. Once it’s done , it can’t be undone. The Postal Service has trillions in real estate and infrastructure assets which are owned free and clear without tax liabilities. Once they’re sold, we will never be able to afford to buy them back. Gone forever. There is more at stake than tons of money. American freedom and liberty. Ben Franklin the first Postmaster General couldn’t see the Internet coming but he was smart enough to realize that Americans have the right to a free flow of correspondence and conveyance of materials without profiteers and possibly foreign entities having any control over it. Don’t let the USPS be turned into a utility bill and junk mail delivery service while the multinationals make a grab for the real estate and equipment that took the the American people 250 years to acquire .

  • john

    You can tell when supervision opens their mouths Carriers work hard every day, you sit in your office at a conatant 72 degrees while we are out in the summer heat and winter cold. We do the job because we don’t mind the weather> QUESTIONS: why is there a supervisor for every nine workers? why is the USPS required to fund retirement for workers that haven’t been born yet ?And oh yes the past PMG got a parachute of at least four times his base pay.Dont call them bonus’ they are an insentive and most supervisors above lever 18 got something’ they set their own goals so they would be guarenteed a bonus