Postal Service finances draw comparison with Greece


What lies ahead for the U.S. Postal Service if nothing is done to brake its financial slide?  Postmaster General Pat Donahoe tossed out an attention-getting benchmark today.

“This is Greece,” Donahoe told participants at the PostalVision 2020 conference, as he highlighted a slide showing the Postal Service with $92 billion in debt by 2016 (up from about $12 billion last year), assuming that Congress doesn’t act on pleas for relief from the requirement to pump billions of dollars annually into a health care fund for future retirees. Greece, he said, has a debt-to-gross domestic product ratio of 1.6 to one. By 2016, the Postal Service’s debt-to-income ratio would be 1.5 to one.

But Donahoe also rejected the idea that the retiree health care funding requirement is the only root of the mail carrier’s ills. Among other needed prescriptions, he said:  Eliminating most Saturday delivery and giving management more day-to-day flexibility.  “You cannot operate with 1940 work rules,” he said.  Donahoe also reiterated hope for the future of mail as a medium, saying that it represents “the most direct way to get in front of a customer’s eyes.”

Donahoe was this morning’s keynote speaker today at the two-day conference, which aims to provide a big-picture view of what the nation needs out of the Postal Service in the 21st century.

More immediately, the agency has another crisis looming Aug. 1, when it’s supposed to make a $5.5 billion payment into the retiree health care fund. That payment was originally due last September, but lawmakers pushed it back until this summer. The Postal Service appears no more able to cover the full amount now, however, and a similar-sized installment is also due at the end of this September.

“We’ll have to talk to our board and then we’ll go from there,” Donahoe said when asked after his speech what the Postal Service plans to do.  That board is scheduled to meet later this week, he added, “and then we’ll make decisions on how we approach it.”


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  1. Help. Confound it. Somebody, anybody, please help. We’re drowning in debt. Throw us a minimum 10 billion $ life jacket. No Greecy spoon french fries, ie. less than 10 billion $, ’cause that’s just plain not Greecy ‘nuf. Don’t none of you people like us no more? Help, we’re drowning.

  2. If this is Greece than you are the leader of Greece and YOU are responsible for this mess . Nice try asshole.. you are at the top of the ladder and you have been put in charge because GEORGE W BUSH thought you were the best person for the job. Maybe you are really like that other asshole (BROWNIE ) that was way in over his head.

  3. Instead of using your name(*******), help fix the problem JD. It is obvious you work for the postal service and must be one of those that try to screw the company then trying to help fix it. You and your union made this mess. Useless employees that are protected for not doing their job. Good luck on a retirement *******!

  4. Five years ago when those of us in the craft knew this day was coming, I told our then Postmaster, who was a preacher and prepared his Sunday sermons in his office while on post office time, that I would be willing to give back 10 percent of my annual salary to help the postal service remain solvent if he and other managers would. His reply was “I work too hard for my money to give any of it back.” That is the mindset of postal mangement. They have raped the service for everything they can get and now are begging for more. Is Congress and the Senate so blind they cannot see this or is it because if they threw a rock at the postal service they would be too afraid it would be thrown right back. Where are the public servents we elected? Suddendly they have become demi-gods and forgot about us. Leave the postal service alone. Tough Love. Sink or Swim. They made the mess, let them clean it up.

  5. Yanick bremer on


    Cliff Guffey
    (202) 842-4250
    (202) 842-4297 (FAX)
    Greg Bell
    Executive Vice President
    (202) 842-4250
    (202) 842-4297 (FAX)
    Elizabeth Powell
    (202) 842-4215
    (202) 842-8530 (FAX)
    Mike Morris
    Industrial Relations
    (202) 842-4273
    (202) 371-0992 (FAX)
    Rob Strunk
    Clerk Division
    (202) 842-4220
    (202) 842-8517 (FAX)

    Sharyn Stone
    Central Region Coordinator
    55 E. Jackson Blvd.
    Suite 400
    Chicago, Il 60604
    312-986-8747 (FAX)
    (312) 786-0390 (TDD)

    Mike Gallagher
    Eastern Region Coordinator
    1401 Liberty Place
    Sicklerville, NJ 08081
    (856) 740-0742 (FAX)
    (856) 740-0715 (TDD)

    John H. Dirzius
    Northeast Region Coordinator
    5 N. Village Ave., Suite 3
    Rockville Centre, NY 11570
    (516) 678-1327
    (516) 766-0967 (FAX)
    (516) 678-1813 (TDD)

    Princella Vogel
    Southern Region Coordinator
    15055 Woodham Dr., S. 100
    Houston, TX 77073-6024
    (281) 821-9000
    (281) 821-9028 (FAX)
    (281) 447-5378 (TDD)

  6. Yanick bremer on

    The union (AWPU) blackmails the USPS for the VER and incentives, Guffey the APWU president uses the Early out for those members hanging on the VER to survive, to threaten for more dues to save his and the APWU National cronies jobs, he craes less about the easing of the agony of the members wanting to go.

  7. Did every one forget 2 years ago when Donahoe gave himself an 80,000 dollar raise and now there are 30 to 40 cronies making over 200,000 a year.Not to mention the others in D.C. that make 100,000 or better.I am a Letter carrier that had most OT cut and had to live on moderate contract raises

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