(UPDATED!) Congress + Postal Service = Longest Lines Ever

August 2, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

Question: What is significant about that stack of money? 

Answer: It’s approximately how much a single, one-ounce stamp will eventually cost.   Why?  Because the postal service is about to default on $5 billion loan they owe the generous people of Congress, who generously loaned them the dough on behalf of you and me.  Generous, huh? [UPDATE: They defaulted.]

 When the United States Postal Service needed cash, it turned to the bail bonds people on Capitol Hill.  And the USPS dug themselves in long before they bemoaned email, the Internet, blah blah blah. (Tell you what, Clavin: one of my family members has been waiting in line at the Des Moines post office since before Al Gore invented the Internet; she reports that windows #3-6 show no signs of opening and the guy at #2 keeps counting the same crap).  

“In 2002, it was discovered that the Postal Service was wildly overpaying its retirement obligations to the tune of $71 billion,” Jon Nocera reports. “A new fund was established in 2006 — for the prepayment of health benefits for future retirees, with the Postal Service agreeing to pay between $5.5 billion and $5.8 billion annually.

“No sooner did the bill become law than first class mail began to fall off the cliff. The prefunding requirement became a noose around the Postal Service’s neck.”

Here’s another little dirty secret: the USPS uses FedEx to haul some of its stuff.  A FedEx driver personally confirmed that to me (and took great pleasure in doing so).  Think your company’s FedEx or UPS bill is high?  I bet not $35 million.
 
Drop us a line – for gosh sakes, don’t mail it, post it below – and tell us your thoughts.
 

 

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About the Author (Author Profile)

Chris Carley is producer, writer, and entrepreneur. He grew up Republican, became a Democrat, then decided it's easier to analyze issues and people individually before casting his vote.

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