With the announcement that the U.S. Postal Service will be unable to make a $5.6 billion payment to its employees’ health benefit plan due on September 30th, calls for privatization of the archaic service are mounting.
The service already failed to make last year’s payment of $5.5 billion which Congress had allowed to be delayed until August 1st. And it’s no wonder that the service can’t make those payments: it lost $5.2 billion in the third quarter this year, up from a loss of $2.1 billion a year ago. Estimates are that the service will lose at least $10 billion this year without counting the default of $11 billion in payments to its benefit plan.
USPS spokesman David Partenheimer thinks the service can still be salvaged through “comprehensive reform” of the laws that govern the service. He said:
They are urgently needed in order for the Postal Service to fully implement its five-year business plan and return to long-term financial stability.
Missing from his statement was any mention of profitability, just