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Are Postal Workers About To Go Postal On Imminent USPS Benefits Default?

Tyler Durden's picture


So far the beyond insolvent US Postal Service has been able to avoid outright bankruptcy simply because no major cash outflows were required by the organization. That is about to change in just under two weeks when the USPS is due to make a $5.5 billion payment for retirement accounts. The problem: the USPS does not have the money and needs a bailout. The bigger problem: the USPS needs Congressional action to authorize this latest and so far greatest USPS bailout, however with Congressional recess imminent this won't happen. So are several hundred thousand postal workers about to go postal once they realize that (earmuffs time for all those who love chanting ideological slogans, but have yet to graduate to the abacus) math matters, and every "welfare-funding" entity in the US is ten times broke over? And maybe most importantly: just how will the postal labor union vote in the upcoming election if indeed they suddenly are denied what they had been lied to for years is rightfully theirs?

From the WSJ:

While lawmakers continue to fight over how to fix the ailing U.S. Postal Service, the agency's money problems are only growing worse.


The Postal Service repeated on Wednesday that without congressional action, it will default—a first in its long history, a spokesman said—on a legally required annual $5.5 billion payment, due Aug. 1, into a health-benefits fund for future retirees. Action in Congress isn't likely, as the House prepares to leave for its August recess.


The agency said a default on the payment, for 2011, wouldn't directly affect service or its ability to pay employees and suppliers. But "these ongoing liquidity issues unnecessarily undermine confidence in the viability of the Postal Service among our customers," said spokesman David Partenheimer.


The agency says it will default on its 2012 retiree health payment as well—also roughly $5.5 billion, due Sept. 30—if there is no legislative action by then.

We have covered the extensive woes of the USPS before, but here they are again in summary:

Most everyone agrees the Postal Service needs an overhaul. It had a loss of $3.2 billion in the second quarter of this fiscal year; it is to report third-quarter results on Aug. 9. The agency blames factors including declining mail volumes and the unusual 2006 mandate by Congress that it annually set aside billions for future retirees. But while the Senate has passed legislation to overhaul the agency, the House says it doesn't expect to take up its own proposal until after August.


The two sides remain far apart. Senators voted in April, on a bipartisan basis, for legislation that largely shores up the agency's finances by returning an estimated $10.9 billion overpayment made into the federal employee pension system. The legislation limits the agency's ability to close postal branches and stop Saturday delivery.


Republican House leaders support legislation they say would require the agency to operate more like a business, in part by setting up a panel to reduce the network of post offices. Some rural-district House members, from both parties, have been worried about closures in their areas.

And here is where we should pay attention, because if the muppets are unable to come to terms over a modest payment which would ensure a key union vote swing in either direction, what does that leave for the fiscal cliff at the end of the year, which as everyone knows by now, is economic armageddon for the country unless at least partially resolved?


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Thu, 07/19/2012 - 09:58 | 2631587 sickofthepunx
sickofthepunx's picture

thank you lame duck congress of 2006

--UPS and Fedex

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:14 | 2631660 Clueless Economist
Clueless Economist's picture

Postal workers are the among the hardest working Americans. My postal route of about 6 suburban blocks only needs 3 mailmen to service.  I have one guy who drives the truck down the street on Mondays/Thursdays, another Tuesdays/Fridays, and a third on Wednesdays/Saturdays.

If this was a privately run business, I have no doubt it would take a dozen or more strong men to service this route.

In fact it is so grueling, I usually see the postal truck parked behind the shopping center from 11AM-2PM.  Our hard working Postmen and Postwomen need to rest up, so they can get my mail to my box by 2:30/3PM.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:15 | 2631672 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

CAFR says otherwise  -

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:17 | 2631689 ihedgemyhedges
ihedgemyhedges's picture

If my postal carrier looked like the chick TD has used for this post, I'd never leave my mailbox.  Alternatively, I'd like to stuff her mailbox as well...............

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:17 | 2631701 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

Id be the one making deliveries to her box.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:31 | 2631741 flacon
flacon's picture

Why are employers (any employer) forced to pay for non work-related expenses such as medical, dental, maternity, "pensions" etc? People who are employed ought to be able to buy on their own since these things have nothing to do with productivity of their daily job. 


Should employers be forced to pay for clothing, food, and shelter as well? Of course not. So why all these other cash-cow "benefits"?

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:35 | 2631812 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Unions and legacy profitability.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:05 | 2632012 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Postal workers have my sympathy, but I'm glad the first test case for cutting retirement benefits involves federal government employees.  If they keep their benefits, then the "let's kick grandma into the street" train stops here.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:58 | 2632274 financial apoca...
financial apocalyptic contagion's picture

how long till they start searching through my mail and eat my choclates!

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 12:13 | 2632377 Manthong
Manthong's picture


The mis-hyped “default” is just underfunding to bring the USPS pensions in line with almost every other pension fund in the country except for the auto workers who got their pensions fund fully funded in Obama’s scam takeovers.

Welcome to the real world of unfunded liabilities.  

This is just another nail in the socialization coffin of the former United States of America.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 13:18 | 2632720 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture

how long till they start searching through my mail and eat my choclates!


Or in my case, smoke my cigars. They better not, that would really piss me off, and I might go postal. ;-)

All the mail carriers should look like Tyler's pic. She could smoke my cigar any time.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 13:59 | 2632885 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

I think mine already ate your chocolates, and everybody elses'

How do these people become so rotund doing that much walking acound?

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 17:57 | 2633166 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture

Walking? All of the homes around here have the mailboxes in big brick enclosures out by the curb. They just drive around and rach out the window. Also if there is a vehicle in front of the home which might impedes their access to the box, they just drive on by. They keep driving on by until the vehicle is moved, then deposit however many days worth of mail they skipped.

Walking? RIGHT!

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 14:00 | 2632894 _ConanTheLibert...
_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

Because the government people are all wannabe communists. Think about it. It all makes sense.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:27 | 2631769 Jay Gould Esq.
Jay Gould Esq.'s picture

It is now likely a foregone conlusion that Saturday delivery will be coming to an end, and yet another rate increase will be in the offing.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:40 | 2631844 j0nx
j0nx's picture

Just like everything else the banksters have gotten their greedy little hebrew hands around: pay more for less. It's the American way after all.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 13:31 | 2632778 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

Oh yeah, but I did hear that you love Hebrew National salami.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:02 | 2631999 jumbo maverick
jumbo maverick's picture

If I was the postmaster general I would say we can no longer deliver mail to your home or business. Everyone gets a post office box at the post office. You come in and pick your mail up. That would save a ton of money.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:09 | 2632031 gtb
gtb's picture

That would require a lot of boxes.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:49 | 2632231 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture

There you go, thinking like a free market person.  

Seriously, you're on the right path.  A cost conscious person with an eye towards profitability is motivated to solve the problem you posed.  This is how all things in our economy should work.


Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:48 | 2632222 augmister
augmister's picture

I volunteer for stamp licking.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:25 | 2631750 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

Id just be happy to get my mail undamaged or at all. They're getting really bad lately.

That and they sometimes shit in your yard.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:47 | 2631889 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

How lazy or/and inept they are is not the point. ALL govt. employee's have that (well deserved) reputation.

They agreed to the job in exchange for the wage, and they agreed to the wage in exchange for the benefits.

Postal workers need to go "postal" on the politicians that misappropriated their funds.

With all the postal employees in all the states, I'm sure they could "clean house" better than any vote could.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:23 | 2632118 toady
toady's picture

That would be a good start.

Add in all the private sector folks whose 401k's are now 201k's (and soon to be 'corzined') and you will REALLY have something.

Both public and private sector personnel have been robbed and lied to... The way I read these comments is the private sector people are jealous that they didn't get benefits in their contracts and public sector people did. Other than that, both public and private are both in the same boat.

All monies they think they have in pensions, 401k's, or other retirement accounts is not there. It may appear to be there in statements they see online, but there will be a bigger pig at the trough if any funds actually materialize.

But keep fighting the public v private battle. It's almost as amusing as the D v R debate!

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 15:11 | 2633199 Taterboy
Taterboy's picture

I would lick her tramp stamp!

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:18 | 2631707 Gene Parmesan
Gene Parmesan's picture

Clueless economist is exactly right. I had a friend who started off as a carrier and had to cover routes for others. The message he got from every last person he covered for was to deliver the mail, then figure out a way to kill the next 4 hours before going back to the office. Without exception.

I expect the unions will be making threats and striking as needed to get what they feel is owed to them.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:56 | 2631951 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

There is an X-ray tech, working at Veterans Hospital that CAN'T be trusted working with female patients......but they CAN'T fire him.

So another tech sits with him......ALL DAY.

Teachers getting paid NOT to work.

These are NOT isolated incidents.

ALL road improvements are chosen based on the benefit to relatives of the politician, a "contributor" to the politician, or, the politician himself.

THIS is what has the deficit so high. NOT low taxes (on ANYONE).

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:25 | 2631752 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

More people need to start paying attention to CAFRs, like California's, which reveals that Jerry "Let's Bankrupt More Cities" Brown was bullshitting us hardcore about Cali's "deficit."

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:22 | 2631731 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

As a former cyclist and cycling enthusiast, I have a nostalgic element of association with USPS. Love or hate the organization, the USPS Cycling team that carried Lance Dopestrong and team (Jose Azevedo is a fucking champion lieutenant and deserves most of the credit for Armstrong's victories) was great.

Maybe I've been lucky, but I have yet to have a negative experience with USPS. I would assume that corporation-issued mail (that oft include the prepaid business reply envelope) is the major revenue source for USPS.

Priority mail is cheap as hell. Why would anyone complain...

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:26 | 2631758 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

I really need sleep, I read that as cyborg.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 14:04 | 2632917 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Mmmm...Better living through chemistry.

Why would a monopoly ever need to advertise on two wheeled, rolling billboards?

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:17 | 2632082 PiratePawpaw
PiratePawpaw's picture


The average route serves between 500 and 1000 deliveries.(your 6 block neighborhood must be very crowded).

"Postal trucks"(also known as LLV's) are usually parked. That is because they are mobile resupply points for the carrier to reload mail from. Most routes are "Park and Loop", the carrier is somewhere within about 10 blocks delivering govt checks and "junk mail" while fighting off dogs because their "clueless" owners wont lock them up.

Businesses in shopping centers get mail too.

City Carriers work 5 out of 6 days on a rotation. For every 5 routes there is a sub(T-6) who carries on their day off. The 6th day is the T-6's day off. This rotation means one week your regular is off Monday, Tuesday the next week, and so on.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 12:06 | 2632326 jim249
jim249's picture

You name says it all. CLUELESS!!! I am a letter carrier and work up to 10 hours a day in what ever weather mother nature throws at us each day. As in any business you get slackers that won't carry their own weight. People like you who throw this kind of crap around are the real low lifes!

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 12:07 | 2632332 Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

Clueless Economist:

You are seeing different mail carriers because most of them are part time employees now, so as to make them inelegible for benefits. 

I would much rather bail out the postal workers than the banksters. Sadly most sheep would not agree, as they are insanely jealous when they perceive that other sheep may get something and they did not. They also rabidly support the wealthy as if one day they will somehow wake up rich themselves.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:24 | 2631746 NooooB
NooooB's picture

More "Privatization" bullshit. Stealing the valuables from the American people... Again...


Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA), which mandated that the Postal Service would have to fully fund retiree health benefits for future retirees. That’s right. Congress was demanding universal health care coverage.

Congress mandating coverage for future human beings.

The Postal Service would have to fully fund future retirees’ health benefits for the next 75 years and they would have to do it within a ten-year window.

USPS had to cough up $5.5 billion to the Treasury for the pre-funding of future retirees’ health benefits, meaning the Postal Service pays for employees 75 years into the future. The USPS is funding the retirement packages of people who haven’t even been born yet.

Get your facts straight before you peddal your bullshit.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:38 | 2632187 toady
toady's picture

And don't forget the most important part. The 5.5 billion has already been looted, and a maybe we'll pay it back iou is its replacement.

That's why it's so important the money is paid, it's already spent!

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:46 | 2632215 Don Levit
Don Levit's picture

Toady: I have written documentation from many reputable sources that the Social Security truist fund money has beeen spent. Can you cite a reputable source regarding the postal service.  I was under the impression it was never funded.

Don Levit

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 13:46 | 2632831 toady
toady's picture

Sorry, no sources to site.

I've just been going on the assumption that all financial systems are 50+ times leveraged since the W years. If anybody thinks they are in the 1/50th part of that relationship, well, good for them.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 15:24 | 2633241 Jack Sheet
Jack Sheet's picture

and the $5.5 billion itself was presumably calculated based on an 8.5% return.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 13:28 | 2632762 dirtbagger
dirtbagger's picture

NooooB -

Do you have the numbers for USPS operating profit/loss, excluding contributions to their pension fund.  It is my understanding that the Post Office would still be operating in the red even if they were allowed to fund their pensions at the same rate as other entitites.   

It seems there are some fairly easy ways to cut operating costs by:

1) suspending SAT deliveries (no great loss);

2) Begin requiring neighborhoods to use community style mailboxes;

3) and to start closing or privatizing post offices is backwater communities - we are not in a hores and buggy world anymore and the argument that these communities would be isolated is pure BS - did they forget about the internet, cars, cell phones

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 09:46 | 2635765 Goner
Goner's picture

And guess who the real issue is ... Congress. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has proposed several cost cutting ideas (like you mention above) such as

Eliminating Saturday delivery, closing up to 3,700 local post offices, most of them in small towns, replacing them with automated centers operating out of local businesses, laying off as many as 120,000 workers, nearly one-fifth of the agency's work force, and pulling workers out of more expensive federal pension plans

But Congress has to approve this and congress does not like to shut off pork. Its like the base closure debates. Not saying the Postal service is efficient or carries no blame but congress is behind it all. Congress has about a 76% negative approval rating and that shocks me because about 17% still seem to think congress is doing a good job

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 21:53 | 2641481 r4back
r4back's picture

Nope, there are many articles out there that clearly state that the USPS would have had an operational profit of between $600 & $800 Million over the past 5 years, But there was that ridiculous funding payment to consider.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 12:45 | 2632568 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

yea, compare prices on a padded enveloped mailed in the same state.

USPS $1.85

UPS $19.00

Sure mail volume has slowed due to technology, USPS is far cheaper to mail packages.

The 75 yr. pension funding mandate is more financial engineering by TPTB.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 09:59 | 2631593 Comay Mierda
Comay Mierda's picture

the retirement funds have been ZIRPed

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:00 | 2631595 battle axe
battle axe's picture

That is always good, piss off postal workers....I am staying away from the post office.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:03 | 2631609 t_kAyk
t_kAyk's picture

Who will keep all these 'postal' workers away from your mail? 

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:07 | 2631636 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

I don't know about you, but I never have anything come in the mail that I acually want.  I am going to blow up my own mailbox and blame it on some kid in MI.  Can't deliver when no box is there.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:30 | 2631775 mofreedom
mofreedom's picture

Reverse strike!  Do not accept USPS deliveries, and yes, weld your mailbox and mail slots shut.  Reverse strike!  We don't want to pay for this anymore.  Amen!!!


Thu, 07/19/2012 - 12:47 | 2632580 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

Great idea for the elderly that get their medication that way. 

Oh, right, as long as it doesn't affect you. 

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:26 | 2631756 DosZap
DosZap's picture

That is always good, piss off postal workers....I am staying away from the post office

Always found it odd, that you cannot carry a weapon in the PO.

Even CCP holders,your at risk every trip.


Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:00 | 2631599 Snakeeyes
Snakeeyes's picture

We promise staggering benefits for relatively little work, then the Postal Workers are SHOCKED? Pulease!

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:05 | 2631620 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Exactly.  Like you need a masters degree to deliver the mail.  Talk about a low level stress free job.  And yet, postal workers go postal?  Why exactly is that?  Are there people screaming at them to work harder/faster?  Every time I go to the post office, the line can be 30 people long, and the workers move just as slow as if there is 2 people in line.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:11 | 2631657 sickofthepunx
sickofthepunx's picture

you can print labels and arrange for a postal worker to pick up your package from your home/business.

if you are stupid enough to actually visit the office, you deserve to wait.


Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:34 | 2631804 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

I go there maybe once a year.  Maybe twice.  Every time, the workers are going at the same speed.  SLOW.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:40 | 2632193 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Last time I went was for a single stamp to mail a letter (I work a block away). Looked around the lobby to no avail wondering where the stamp vending machine went, only to find the "Mailitron 2000" self-service postage/label printing machine. It did not take money, only plastic, which I didn't have on me.

So I had to go stand in line and wait for a human to sell me a stamp.

Efficiency FTMFW!

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 12:52 | 2632604 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

who wastes their time for a single stamp? there's plenty of satellite offices at convenience stores. My post office is very effecient. Where do you live, Detroit?Wow, amazed again.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 11:00 | 2633526 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Your tale of woe is more a testament to your inefficiency, not that of the Post Office.   I suppose you only bought 1 stamp rather than a pane of the forever stamps which would be good for any first class rate.  People like you lining up at the post office is what makes the lines long -- didja ever think of that?  You're just looking for trouble.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:13 | 2631667 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

I have a friend who works for the post office.  He is a chain-smoking, beer chugging, lazy ass bum pot-head (not there is anything wrong with that- simply statement of facts, not character judgment).  He is living with his stripper girlfriend and her illegitimate 9 month old son (not his).  She apparently has fibromyalgia, but the doctor's scripts for Oxy are just not enough, so she has to go on the streets to buy it.  She stopped stripping, so postman Dan is paying for the kid, two cars, and the rent.  All medical bills, cartons of cigs, and her Oxy habit are also covered by him. 

I hadn't talked to him in 5-7 years, but he called recently for financial advice (asking to borrow some cash I assume) just a few weeks back. Advice I gave him?

1. Run away from the heroin addict stripper.

2. Stop contributing to his USPS pension fund.

3. Find a new job that doesn't suck the teat of the public.

Have not heard from him sinse.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:11 | 2632047 pashley1411
pashley1411's picture

I have a friend working at the PO, he has done so all his career, and he is hardworking, raising his kids, and I always thought he would do fine out in the private sector.

Now he's going to get his chance.    The PO going bankrupt deserves a big shrug.  

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 22:00 | 2641491 r4back
r4back's picture

Ummm, welcome to 1986. Why 1986? Because that is the last time that the USPS received any sort of taxpayer money for its operations. C'mon, really?? Are there still so many people that are ignorant of that fact these days?

Too bad there isn't something that you could get easy access to that would have enormous amounts of information at your fingertips at a seconds notice. Some kind of machine that could hook up to other machines all over the world and the users of these machines could exchange information and learn things that they didn't know. Wouldn't that be a great thing to have available to the masses?

Maybe try a google or something instead of wasting your bandwidth on porn. It only makes you sound stupid-er when you can't even state widely known facts correctly.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:16 | 2631684 dudebum
dudebum's picture

This is not about USPS inefficiency.

The USPS was given a death blow in 2006;

At the very end of that year, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA). Under PAEA, USPS was forced to “prefund its future health care benefit payments to retirees for the next 75 years in an astonishing ten-year time span” — meaning that it had to put aside billions of dollars to pay for the health benefits of employees it hasn’t even hired yet, something “that no other government or private corporation is required to do.”

As consumer advocate Ralph Nader noted, if PAEA was never enacted, USPS would actually be facing a $1.5 billion surplus today:

By June 2011, the USPS saw a total net deficit of $19.5 billion, $12.7 billion of which was borrowed money from Treasury (leaving just $2.3 billion left until the USPS hits its statutory borrowing limit of $15 billion). This $19.5 billion deficit almost exactly matches the $20.95 billion the USPS made in prepayments to the fund for future retiree health care benefits by June 2011. If the prepayments required under PAEA were never enacted into law, the USPS would not have a net deficiency of nearly $20 billion, but instead be in the black by at least $1.5 billion.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:31 | 2631785 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

dudebum said:

This is not about USPS inefficiency.

The USPS was given a death blow in 2006;

Exactly. Congress made the USPS entirely self funded. When they saw the USPS actually running a surplus, they saw a fresh jugular into which they could sink their fangs.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:33 | 2631799 PiratePawpaw
PiratePawpaw's picture

And why pray tell is the USPS forced by Congress to prefund its retirement accounts at a rate more than double the norm?......


I'll give you a hint....The USPS retirement fund is the "lockbox" that the govt "dipped into" to continue to operate during the debt-cieling debate last year. But they left an IOU.

Smart Postal employees have withdrawn every penny they can from their retirement and thrift savings accounts. That money is gone just like Social Security.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:48 | 2632229 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Since money is nothing but IOUs anyway, technically they are "fully" funded.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:54 | 2632256 Don Levit
Don Levit's picture

PiratePawpaw: Do you have any written documentation from a reputable source that cites the government dipping into the retirement fund?

If that was the case, intragovernmental debt would have been higher, but I thought the Postal Service was no longer a governmental agency.

Don Levit

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 12:17 | 2632406 jim249
jim249's picture

I'll give you a hint....The USPS retirement fund is the "lockbox" that the govt "dipped into" to continue to operate during the debt-cieling debate last year. But they left an IOU.


The treasury via our friend Timmy borrowed the funds from the G Fund, the federal pension 401k to carry over the government until the debt ceiling was rasised. It was then all paid back after the ceiling was raise by congress.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 12:26 | 2632461 PiratePawpaw
PiratePawpaw's picture

Wether or not it was repaid is debateable and irrelevant. The fact remains that they took it.

That isnt what it is there for.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 13:18 | 2632441 PiratePawpaw
PiratePawpaw's picture

google "govt raids postal pension fund" or something similar. That should yield some reputable results.

As far as "written" documentation; of course I do. Congress sends me a thank you note and a statement everytime they rob us. I file them between the ones they send about emptying SS and my written proof that the sun rises in the east.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:36 | 2631817 Jay Gould Esq.
Jay Gould Esq.'s picture

PAEA ought be repealed, then. No "Act" is writ in stone; enacted by Act of Congress, repealed by the same mechanism.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:03 | 2632002 crawldaddy
crawldaddy's picture

Finally someone speaking intelligently. 


This entire crisis is bullshit and made via our corrupt and broken congress.


Moral of the story.. CONGRESS is the problem, not the USPO.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 13:03 | 2632655 Midas
Midas's picture

I wish I could get to a station in life where I could force others to save for the future.  And uh, yeah, I'll hold on to that money for ya......

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 14:47 | 2633098 marathonman
marathonman's picture

Nancy Pelosi's first year as Speaker of the House oddly enough. 

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:01 | 2631600 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

Is this the Neil Bush Bulgarian security thread or am I in the wrong spot?

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:01 | 2631604 blueridgeviews
blueridgeviews's picture

Both Fed Ex and UPS make noey hands over fist.  What is the USPS doing differently?

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:02 | 2631611 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

usps hires zombies and is gov 

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:08 | 2631639 sickofthepunx
sickofthepunx's picture

not gov.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:11 | 2631648 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

not only is gov but also only carrier to successfully deliver Anthrax on multiple occasions. and of course Kozinski's carrier of choice. 


"...independent agency of the United States government..." a la TeH FeD.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:13 | 2631666 tmosley
tmosley's picture

It is a corporation directly controlled and continuously bailed out by the Government.  It is part of our fascist government.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:17 | 2631696 sickofthepunx
sickofthepunx's picture

takes no taxpayer money, although that may change due to the pension mandate.


take off your tea bags and educate yourself.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:25 | 2631751 oddjob
oddjob's picture

Tax exemptions are the same as subsidies.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:09 | 2632030 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Seems like every "big" corporation in the US gets tax exemptions on something or other.  If they subsidize companies like Exxon and GE and Walmart, I'd expect the USPS to be similar.  Lots of employees.

I know I won't miss the USPS when it's gone, tho.  It's been over 5 years since I moved to my current place and the carrier still won't put my mail in the right mailbox.  These days I don't even check weekly.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:54 | 2632255 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Where did I say it did?

You don't even know what "fascism" is, do you?

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:17 | 2631693 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


usps hires zombies and is gov

Not exactly, although I can't entirely rule out the zombie thing. The USPS is under government control, but it is self funded.

The reason they are in fiscal trouble is that congress has mandated that the USPS fully fund employee pensions 20 or 30 years ahead. I may be mistaken, but I believe they'd be running at a slight profit if not for that mandate.

You have to wonder why congress would mandate such a thing, unless the money is going into a "lock box" for vaporization.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:26 | 2631760 ForTheWorld
ForTheWorld's picture

Lock box and vaporized for sure.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:38 | 2631824 WhyDoesItHurtWh...
WhyDoesItHurtWhen iPee's picture

Bingo, my understanding is that the usps is a"quasi" gov entity, that is regulated and managed by CONgress, who voted in the above mentioned Bill in 2006, to help their own cash flow.

By the way did anyone mention what Franking privledges CONgress gets: free unlimited mailings of junk mail to "vote for me".  You will be seeing record loads of it in your mailboxes soon.  Perk of being an Incumbent CONgressperson.


Sun, 07/22/2012 - 17:04 | 2640920 r4back
r4back's picture

FYI, Congressmen and women are not permitted to use their Franking privilege to send campaign material. They may only frank mailings that are of a newsletter type of material to sty in touch with their constituents. 

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:06 | 2631622 Dasa Slooofoot
Dasa Slooofoot's picture

When I was in college(10 years ago), I made $10/hr loading UPS trucks.  Something tells me the average USPS worker makes 4x that with half the volume. 

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:47 | 2631895 Dburn
Dburn's picture

and today you would make $9.00 an hour for 4x the load , because that's just the way shit is. You suck it up and take it or someone else will . Plus your not moving fast enough. 

The post Office is wildly profitable. If the S&P 500 were forced to fund it's retiree health care benefits like the Post Office, they would be carrying zero cash and a pile of bond debt not to mention the S&P would be down to around 400.

It's almost too funny to see the knee jerk reactions when people speak the word "Union" here.  This is the one quasi govt agency doing everything that the reactive right wants them to do but yet kneejerks are incensed that they won't and can't pay retiree benefits yet for people who aren't even born much less hired. They are covered 75 years into the future even under a ZIRP environment.

More Ignorant Rants please. Same goes for the dipshit who posted this shit article  without doing any research.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 14:06 | 2632924 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Anything to break US faster for any reason, this for a VOTE.

Since when did we agree to pay for the worlds food supplies?,with our tax dollars.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:53 | 2631936 PiratePawpaw
PiratePawpaw's picture

A little off the mark. Figure Cost of Living Increases on that $10 for 10 years and that is what they make now, more like 1.4x.

Plus benifits have steadily been whittled down. 10-15 years ago the Post Office was a pretty "cushy" job. Now it is barely competitive.

A manager of a Lv 21 office, generating over $1.25mil/yr in revenue, managing 30+ employees, works 60+hrs/wk for less than $60k/yr and is lucky to get 2wks vacation/yr.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 17:12 | 2640935 r4back
r4back's picture

IF, andit is a big IF, you factor in ALL of the non-cash payments that are made on my behalf by the USPS such as the matching FERS contributions, for my retirement and the employer portion of Social Security and Medicare as well as the employer portion of the heasth benefits. Also factor in the vacation time and sick time that I earn as well as the uniform allowance and the $10K life insurance policy, MAYBE, just MAYBE it might work out to $40 per hour.


Right now, with 28 years of service, I earn just a shade over $26. 10 years ago it was about 70¢ an hour less. Oh yeah, I'm just rolling in it now. I can't wait until I retire so I can start colecting that $100k pension with full benefits, just like I don't have now.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:05 | 2631626 sickofthepunx
sickofthepunx's picture

for one thing they are not charging $15 to deliver a letter

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:14 | 2631671 tmosley
tmosley's picture

or $0.15 to deliver in town, or to a PO Box in the same office.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:26 | 2631761 Saro
Saro's picture

It's illegal to charge for less than the post office on first class mail.  Do you think that law came into affect because they were afraid other companies would charge more than the USPS?

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:11 | 2632048 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Some of us actually know the history of WHY that law came into effect.  We don't have to speculate.

Amazing, eh?

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 12:01 | 2632292 Saro
Saro's picture

Do explain how the "market failed" and "government intervention was necessary".

(This ought to be good).

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 14:17 | 2632984 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

That's a weird question.  The Post Office is a government responsibility mandated in the Constitution.  There's *never* been "free market" mail services in the USA.


During the colonial period, private mail services competing with the Royal Mail routes were so successful, they threatened to put the "legal" service out of business, so private mail delivery became considered a threat to the Crown, and was outlawed.  Free delivery services were acceptable, but no payment could be made for any "non-official" mail deliveries.

This tradition was maintained in 1792 because the Founders recognized that private competition with the official postal service presented a lot of security challenges.  Businesses and trade that depended on the ability to exchange information could easily be damaged by private carriers who might demand premiums for faster delivery to some citizens and not others.  Everyone was heavily dependent on newspapers, many of which had to be delivered through the mail, and the politicians themselves needed a method of delivering their own messages to the public.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:26 | 2631766 DosZap
DosZap's picture

for one thing they are not charging $15 to deliver a letter


Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:38 | 2631825 PiratePawpaw
PiratePawpaw's picture

All changes in USPS rates and operations have to be approved by The Postal Rate Commission. This commission is made up of congressmen and representatives from FedEx, UPS, etc....

If Ford had to get approval from GM, Chrysler,etc and politicians in the pay of GM, Chrysler, etc; How profitable do you think they would be?

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:02 | 2631607 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture


Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:02 | 2631608 the 300000000th...
the 300000000th percent's picture

As long as it doesnt interfere with my favorite TV programs its fine

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:03 | 2631612 daccord
daccord's picture

can they do email?

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:03 | 2631615 DavidC
DavidC's picture

"Dear Santa Claus,
Please can I have my Christmas presents delivered by that nice blonde lady from the post office in that picture instead of you?"


Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:22 | 2631730 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

I am pretty sure that most men would actually "pay" for that service.

Maybe a business model the Post Office should think about.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:05 | 2631623 Rainman
Rainman's picture

replace mailman with big jugged mailgirl as pictured above ...she won't need a the hugs- 4 - tips angle...everybody wins.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:17 | 2631695 semperfi
semperfi's picture

Why just USPS?  Stimulate the whole U.S. economy.  My plan, if you elect me president, to stimulate the economy & create jobs:

a) girls like her, topless, to replace all GM & Ford salespeople
b) girls like her, topless, to replace all salespeople in all shopping mall stores
c) girls like her, topless, to replace all airlines stewards/stewardesses
d) girls like her, topless, to replace all waiters/waitresses in all restaurants
e) girls like her, topless, etc, etc, ad-infinitum......

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:27 | 2631771 foxmuldar
foxmuldar's picture

Sounds nice but wouldn't her boobs get sunburned in the summer and freeze in the winter? More postal workers would be on sick leave in a very short time. 

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:46 | 2631887 semperfi
semperfi's picture

Suncreen sales increase - yet more stimulus

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:51 | 2631915 Need More Cowbell
Need More Cowbell's picture

She looks really lonely.  As a humanitarian, I'll give her a hug.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:05 | 2631625 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

I look at this through the lens of “sectoral financial balances”, an analytical framework learned from the work of the late Wynne Godley. The essential idea is that since income has to equal expenditure for the economy, as a whole, (which is the same things as saying that saving equals investment) so the sums of the difference between income and expenditures of each of the sectors of the economy must also be zero. These differences can also be described as “financial balances”. Thus, if a sector is spending less than its income it must be accumulating (net) claims on other sectors.

The crucial point is that, since sectoral balances must sum to zero, a rise in the deficit of one sector must be matched by an offsetting change in the others. It follows that if the fiscal deficit is increasing, the sum of the surpluses of the other sectors of the economy must be increasing in a precisely offsetting manner. These are tautologies. But the virtue of this framework is that it forces us to ask what drives what: are, for example, fiscal deficits in the US (or UK) driving the surpluses in other sectors or are the surpluses in the other sectors driving the fiscal deficit? We can obtain answers by examining what behaviour is changing. I will argue that during a big financial boom and subsequent crisis, it is the private sector’s behaviour that changes.

The government responds in a largely passive way. That has certainly been the case in the US. It is not government decisions that explain the huge shift into fiscal deficit, but private sector decisions.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:15 | 2631681 Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

Assumptions based on false premis have niether weight nor substance. BTW Martin Wolf wouldn't know his ass from a strap on. Sectoral financial balances my ass.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:06 | 2631630 Jason T
Jason T's picture

All your retirement funds are belong to us.  

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:06 | 2631632 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

pay them in forever stamps

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:23 | 2631739 foxmuldar
foxmuldar's picture

"pay them in forever stamps", Didn't you mean Food Stamps? 

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:06 | 2631635 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Please...this is a non-event. The law makers will come to an agreement for funding. No politician with any hope of getting re-elected wants this hanging over their head.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:07 | 2631637 Walt D.
Walt D.'s picture

Why should the Congress bailout the USPS workers pension funds? Would they bail out FEDEX or UPS? DId they bailout the ENRON employee who lost their pensions?

Why should taxpayers in the private sector, who have no pensions? bail out the pensions of badly managed entities in th epublic sector?

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:24 | 2631745 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Why should the Congress bailout the USPS workers pension funds?

The USPS pension funds don't need a bailout. However, congress has required those pension funds to be fully funded 20 or 30 years into the future, which has drained what would have been profits from the USPS.

I'm all for placing blame where it belongs, and this time the blame rests squarely on congress.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:49 | 2632233 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture


OK, but if there were no requirement for a Post Office in the Constitution, this would've already been fixed.

Maybe we just need another amendment...

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:54 | 2632259 toady
toady's picture


Thu, 07/19/2012 - 13:04 | 2632654 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

>>>>>DId they bailout the ENRON employee who lost their pensions?

You can bet ur sweet ass they were beneficiaries of said lost pensions.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:07 | 2631638 BLOTTO
BLOTTO's picture

Time to go back to 'smoke signals' - the very first cell phone.

Nothing new under the Sun,

History is repeating itself...

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:08 | 2631642 Antifaschistische
Antifaschistische's picture

My question, is "where will that $5.5 billion dollar payment go?"

THAT'S the real question...who's waiting for that infusion of cash?   You can guarantee, whoever that is, will have the lobby army at DEFCON 2 next week.   Is it a backroom deal that guarantees Treasuries will be bought with that money?

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:09 | 2631644 CunnyFunt
CunnyFunt's picture

The bottom line is that the USPS sucks. Strangely enough, it is one of the few US agencies with a constitutional mandate.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:26 | 2631757 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

But it is only going to cost $5.5 billion to keep them going.  1/125th (minimum) of what is cost to keep the TBTF Banks going.  And who causes more problems for the world?  So, USPS looks like a deal to me in that light.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:51 | 2631917 CunnyFunt
CunnyFunt's picture

Right, but what mandate does TBTF have? None, they bought and paid for the USG instead.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:09 | 2631645 semperfi
semperfi's picture

More 'anthrax letters' to show up at the Senate & House buildings ?

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:10 | 2631650 HD
HD's picture

I expect most personal mail delivered to the homes of members of congress will now be urine soaked for some unknown reason...

 Global warming maybe?

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:10 | 2631651 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

If anything it's all about bailing out bricks and mortar R.E. and Reits so the easy answer is just triple shipping/postage fees this way you bail out the pensions and bricks and mortar reits. Kill 2 birds with one stone.. but how would our Marxist leaders knock off fedex/ups competition ?  I'm sure they've thought of something.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:11 | 2631653 surf0766
surf0766's picture

privatize it. stop throwing money down a hole.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:27 | 2631687 PulpCutter
PulpCutter's picture

Privatize it...and end any part of the postal service that doesn't clear a significant profit.  Such as, service to most rural areas, local walk-in offices staffed by humans, regular scheduled service when corporation figures out that putting up with your problems will cost them less than regular delivery, huge increase in lost mail ("Prove you mailed it, asshole - you chose not to pay for tracking."), etc..  When was the last time the postal service lost a first-class letter of yours?

Some may remember the Fedex ad where the delivery truck skids to a stop in Kathmandu "Fedex: when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight".   Nonsense.  If you live in a rurual area, Fedex farms the delivery out to whatever local bids the lowest.  Fedex "overnight" was routinely at least two days - all Fedex loses is the delivery fee.  Airborne took a week to "overnight" a contract from 40 miles away - I figured the client was bullshitting me, and turned them down.  One Fedex guy was a drunk kid in a Camaro, at 6AM Saturday morning.  Said he saw we were awake - what, was he sleeping in his car down the road?

Fedex, UPS, Airborne, etc. has skimmed off the profitable parts of the postal service's business for decades.  Eliminate everything the postal service still does now - that's what a private postal service would look like.



Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:37 | 2631822 Saro
Saro's picture

"Privatize it...and end any part of the postal service that doesn't clear a significant profit."

Obviously, then, we need federal grocery stores . . . and federal gas stations . . . and federal shopping malls . . . and . . .

I shouldn't be forced to subsidize someone's choice of housing location.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:15 | 2632072 PulpCutter
PulpCutter's picture

The real story:

The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA), obligates the USPS to prefund 75 years' worth of future health care benefit payments to retirees within a ten-year time span – a requirement to which no other government organization is subject. Thus, in addition to the weak economy and the diversion of mail to electronic means, the mandates of PAEA have had a considerable impact on Postal Service finances.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 12:02 | 2632298 Saro
Saro's picture

1. I'm aware.

2. That has nothing to do with what I said.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 17:02 | 2633679 strayaway
strayaway's picture

 'In the past four years, those prepayments have totaled $21 billion. The agency's deficit during that time is about $20 billion. Remove these crazy pre-payments — a requirement that no other government agency endures and no private industry would even consider — and the Postal Service would be in the black."

Issa is taking apart our infrastructure.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:29 | 2632143 PiratePawpaw
PiratePawpaw's picture

UPS, FedEx, and others all "drop-ship" their packages at the Rural Post Offices for the USPS to deliver. It is too expensive for them to deliver and they would lose $. The Post Office on the other hand is required to make delivery under the Universal Coverage mandate.

If the USPS is ever privatised; city delivery costs will remain about the same, but rural delivery prices will soar.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:57 | 2632270 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Which is the way it should be.  If you want cheap services, live in the city.  

It shouldn't be that hard to get a PO box at a centralized location that takes delivereis once a week.  Most traffic is electronic nowadays anyways.  If we didn't have artificially low postal rates, it would ALL be electronic, and packages would be delivered privately, as they are now.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 12:09 | 2632345 Saro
Saro's picture

No, no, you don't understand.  Everyone should have access to every good or service at the same price as everyone else, regardless of any other factors!

In fact, it has come to my attention that places far from gas refineries often pay more for gas than places close to gas refineries.  Obviously, the correct solution is to create a federal agency called the United States Gas Office that sells gasoline in rural areas at a loss and increases the price per gallon in populated areas to balance it out.  And to prevent private companies from undercutting them in the populated areas, we need to pass a law making it illegal to sell gas for less than the USGO. Done! Fixed!


Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:21 | 2631725 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

You do realize that Fed Ex and UPS move alot of their stuff............. via POST OFFICE linehaul trucks.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:59 | 2632281 tmosley
tmosley's picture

So?  Companies take advantage of government folly.  Stop the folly, and they will stand on their own two feet, or collapse.  Either way, those more able to provide the services, will.  At least, if they are free to set the price.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:13 | 2631663 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

every "welfare-funding" entity in the US is ten times broke over?

Yes, unfunded liabilities of the US govt are $119.8 trillion and increasing at $6.7 trillion a year.  Every retiree gets more than $500,000 in medicare benefits and pays in just 10 to 20% of that.  These same retirement benefits are driving cities into bankruptcy.  While ZIRP is great for the Fed now, it kills retirement funding.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:13 | 2631664 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

I could live without the 5 lbs of junk mail every week.  BTW, I haven't had to buy a stamp in 5 years, my bill paying is all internet.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:21 | 2631720 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

That five pounds of junk mail is the reason stamps don't cost a dollar each.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 12:01 | 2632290 tmosley
tmosley's picture

If that is the case, then why can't a free market mail delivery service work?  They can deliver junk mail just as easiliy as the USPS.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 12:14 | 2632380 Saro
Saro's picture

Because private corporations stuffing reems of dead-trees into my mailbox would be just another example of the sociopathic, anti-environmental bent of greedy private corporations, whereas when the government does it, it's a shining example of smart business sense and the public's continuing support for a union that is doing God's work all over the country.


Thu, 07/19/2012 - 13:11 | 2632688 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

well, he could contact direct marketing to alleviate all the work he has to do to lift that 5 lbs. of junk mail & even do it on the internet.  

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:43 | 2631864 DosZap
DosZap's picture

my bill paying is all internet.

Just where they want you.And all your acct #'s and personal data.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:59 | 2632278 smiler03
smiler03's picture

have you ever thought about paying a bill without an account number? How would they know where to credit it? Ah, DNA, of course.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 13:06 | 2632671 bbqporkwings
bbqporkwings's picture

Stored n a NSA computer.




What happens when the US government feels the need to flip the switch? (like what was done in the Middle East Spring)

For your safety?

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 23:43 | 2634805 Clever Name
Clever Name's picture

And writing a check is absolutely untraceable, because of course there is no digital record of that...



Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:14 | 2631668 Jason T
Jason T's picture

I think I now know where Krugman got his ideas from on how to end this depression

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