USPS nets $152 million from operations. loses $1.8 billion to politicians

The US Postal Service took in $40 million more than it spent in November, and after two months of the new fiscal year, has a net income of $152 million. In the private sector that would be called a “profit”. Thanks to Congressional accounting gimmicks, however, the USPS will report a net loss of over $1.8 billion for the two month period. The entire $1.8 billion loss is due not to USPS operations, but to legislation enacted by the Bush Administration and the GOP controlled Congress in 2006 that requires the USPS to contribute $5.6 billion to a so-called “trust fund”, which has so far amassed over $42 billion from USPS profits.

While right wing politicians claim the trust fund is simply a “prudent” measure, no other agency or company has a similar burden. The real reason for the requirement appears to be the shifting of billions of dollars of the national debt on to the USPS, which is, conveniently, “off-budget”. The politically induced “bankruptcy” also provides cover for draconian legislation proposed by Darrell Issa, which would dismantle USPS bargaining agreements, and set up a postal “death panel” to gut the service’s infrastructure.

As far as “real world” financial results are concerned, USPS expenses remained level with the prior year, but revenue was down 3.5%. The decline in revenue reflected the continuing drop in mail volume, which dropped 6.3%, or 2 billion fewer pieces of mail. Standard mail, which had shown some growth last year, is down 7.3% in FY 2012 so far. The only bright spot in the volume numbers was the 33.6% increase in shipping services volume. While ecommerce driven package delivery is an obvious growth opportunity for the USPS, the problem is that it still represents just 15% of total revenue.

USPS Preliminary Financial Information (Unaudited) for November.

  • Wake up

    30 years of FERS ( Jan 1984-Jan 2014) ends in 2 years when FERS eligible postal retirees will be eligible to collect the social security supplement . The goal is to destroy the USPS before then so none can receive it!!!$

  • Micster

    Daggone! Wake up is right. I never thought about it this way. No one has ever received that supplement yet. Perhaps nobody ever will.

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  • Jimmie Mac

    Actually, many have received the supplement and receive it as we speak……

  • Ol Man Potter

    Jimmie Mac is right, anyone who hired in after 1984 and is 60 years old is receiving it, as are those smart enough to get out of CSRS and into FERS when offered way back when (they came out WAY ahead……)

  • Jerry Stewart

    We all know the “Pros and Cons”. “CON”gress is the opposite of “PRO”gress! The government, true to form, sees a “Cash-cow” and decides to “Milk” it for every drop it can squeeze! In my humble opinion, these “Milk-RATS” are trying to bankrupt the USPS, to give them justification to privatize it and sell it off to their Cronies (like maybe Pit*ey-B*wes), bust the Unions, beat the workers down to slightly above minimum wage, and let some Major Corporation pick and choose the choicest areas of the country to deliver mail to (at a price their Board of Directors sets). Ridiculous?? Think about how corrupt the lobbyists are, and how they have high placed bureaucrats in their pockets!! All it takes is to strip away the USPS income, Privatize it and sell it off to a Fortune 500 leader, whose board “may include a present or future high ranking elected official. Bingo!

  • Shard

    this should not happent to any federal agency period. then people will loose faith!…turn the “gimmicks” around.

    rep Issa and Ross both are a joke, the way in which they can manipulate information in their talks resulting in their own hidden gain, no justice at all.

  • Shard

    let those who passed the “2006” questionable law answer, GOP will have to answer this double standard!

  • common sense

    Hey, “wake up” and “micster”- What do the USPS financials have to do with the FERS SS supplement? The law that established that benefit doesn’t say “as long as the USPS exists”. It’s part of your benefits the same as your FERS annuity or social security itself- if Congress doesn’t want you to get it, they have to change the law- doesn’t matter if the USPS is around or not! And how did you come up with the idea that the supplement is tied to the existence of the USPS, but the rest of your FERS pension isn’t? For that matter, if you think the supplement won’t get paid if the USPS folds, wouldn’t the same apply to CSRS pensions? Your comments don’t make any sense!

  • BCR

    The truth is that USPS will definitely exist but will, perhaps, be changed if not harmed in fundamental ways. We will survive but will be required to make sacrifices that will hurt — a lot! Maybe the losses will be in the form of higher employee contributions for our pensions, health insurance (that has already happened), reduced or eliminated COLAS, no sixth day delivery which will reduce overtime many of us are used to, or a pay cut. I’m not saying that these sacrifices will be warranted or fair, just that some form of blood letting seems inevitable given the lousy economy and the political landscape.

  • boats_26

    Common shipmates vote all those non-vets out of office..They are against the USPS and the veterans that work and will work for this outfit!!!

  • nv carrier

    The January 2007 edition of The Postal Record (The official magazine of The National Association of Letter Carriers Union) said passage of the 2006 bill was the Unions greatest legislative achievement and that it took a decade of hard work by the Union to get it passed. Nowhere was that mentioned in the story.

  • admin

    Since you don’t provide a link, I can’t confirm whether or not your description of the Postal Record story is true, but assuming it is, what’s your point? Everyone knows that the NALC supported PAEA. Everyone also knows that Burrus and the APWU opposed it. Everyone knows that USPS management disliked it, but said nice things about it because they had no other choice. So? Does that mean it didn’t siphon off $42.5 billion in USPS profits? Does that mean it really was a good idea? Does the fact that the NALC was wrong about PAEA in 2006 mean that they should just roll over and play dead when it threatens the existence of the USPS in 2011?
    What exactly is your point?

  • Wake up

    Hey common sense, are you not aware of the “white papers”recently submitted to congress by the PMG requesting postal employees be taken out of FERS and the fed employees health benefits programs! Yes out of FERS , good bye supplement

  • Wake up

    Hey Jimmie Mac and ol man potter, yes those over 60 with over 20 years service are getting the supplement for two years only. My comment centered on 30 year retirees who can retire at 56 years of age and receive the supplement 6 years. Read previous posting about USPS PMG trying to get us out of FERS. Wake Up

  • common sense

    “Wake up”: yes, I’m aware of the PMG’s proposal to take postal workers out of FERS- why do you ask? As you say yourself, he’s asking Congress to act on it. As I said in my earlier comment, THAT is the only way postal worker’s pensions could be altered. Your suggestion that the supplement (and only the supplement) will magically disappear because of last month’s financial results is still ridiculous.