USPS hearing: Cash flow troubles


A subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee is holding a hearing on the financial crisis and the Postal Service. (You can watch it live here.) Steve Losey is at the hearing, and he’ll have a longer story later, but I wanted to post a few important quotes; first, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said this in his opening statement:

We may well be faced with a situation later this year where the Postal Service asks Congress to raise its borrowing limit or provide direct financial assistance. Those are steps I don’t think we should take.

Put another way: The Postal Service may be running out of cash by year’s end.

Carper and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, support giving the Postal Service a two-year break from funding its future retiree health benefits fund, one of its biggest expenditures.

And, as we first reported this morning, Postmaster General John Potter asked Congress to reduce the delivery requirement — from six days a week to five. That could mean an end to Saturday delivery for at least part of the year, or to other delivery days if they’re lighter than Saturday.


About Author


  1. Perhaps congress should look into hiring an outside, independent company to audit the postal service and figure out where the ‘additional costs’ are coming from … I would venture to guess that it is not being borne by those who deliver the mail on a daily basis … I believe that the postal service needs to restructure its management and administrative personelle, which will inevitably strenghten the long-term financial viability of a cash based business … Use the additional money to fund long-term growth initiatives rather than day-to-day management, which is primarily duplicative in nature as it is shared among many supervisors and postmasters … The 5 day delivery is not a good option if it results in excessive overtime costs on the sixth day, not to mention the devastating effect it will have on the macro-economic condition of the US economy, which is accustommed to sending and receiving bills and cash flows on a daily basis

  2. I had some additional thoughts on the Postmaster General’s statement that the postal service is losing money … Perhaps Congress should not blindly accept the Postmaster General’s statements that the Postal Service is operating at a loss … Unadjusted returns indicate that the postal service lost millions of dollars in first quarter 2009, however, were those same returns adjusted for depreciation, amortization, and other non-cash transactions? The term ‘unadjusted’ leads me to believe otherwise … Congress should demand that an in-depth analysis of the postal service be done with the statement of cash flows as the focal point, not the income statement

  3. Pingback: Fedline » Working for the weekend

  4. The USPS problems can’t be entirely blamed on a decrease in personal mail or a depressed economy. A larger factor is poor service by arrogant bureaucrats.

    When I complained about a misdelivered certified letter (defeating the purpose of sending a legal notice by Certified Mail), I received a terse response from a very arrogant paralegal (secretary) who threatened to turn me in to the postal inspectors (apparently for complaining about bad service).

    Since then, I take every opportunity to use alternate means of communication such as on-line bill paying and sending packages by UPS, etc. Excellent customer service is the easiest and most economical way to increase business, but when you’re a tax supported monopoly, you don’t need to be nice to your customers.

    Someone should inform Potter that arrogance won’t pay the bills.

Reply To Dave P Cancel Reply