Despite the cries of bankruptcy from right wing politicians, the US Postal Service earned a profit of $112 million from its operations in October, despite a 5% drop in revenue, and a 10% drop in total mail volume compared with October 2010.
Unfortunately for postal workers and their customers, however, the accounting gimmicks enacted into law by Congress and the Bush Administration in 2006 require that the USPS hand that profit over to the Treasury. Not only that, but the USPS is required to borrow another $350 million from the Treasury, so that money can also be handed back to the Treasury for the so-called “trust fund” for potential future retiree health benefits.
The end result of all of this politically inspired money shuffling is that the postal service is forced to book a net loss of $139 million. From the politician’s point of view, it’s a win-win situation- each month, the gimmickry shifts another half billion dollars of the national debt “off budget”, to the USPS; and it matches the story people like Darrell Issa and Dennis Ross like to tell about bloated bureaucracies and overpaid workers.
We just can’t have a unionized government run operation making a profit, can we?