The U.S. Postal Service just may get a bail out it so desperately needs that is being offered up by Senators like Joe Liberman (Independent – Connecticut), Scott Brown (Republican – Massechusettes), Tom Carper (Democrat – Delware) and Susan Collins (Republican – Maine). Some people, especially the Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe are against this being labeled as a post office bailout.
The reason many feel this wouldn’t be a bailout to help the in debt U.S. Post Office is that the Post Office is claiming it overpaid into a retirement fund called the Federal Employee Retirment System. In fact Joe Lieberman was quoted as saying this, “is not a bailout. It’s the result of a legal analysis that everybody agrees with, that this was in fact an overpayment by the Postal Service.”
The total amount that this bill would refund to the post offices operating capital would be around $7 billion dollars. While this amount of money could help postpone Saturday mail cancelations and laying off some employees it wouldn’t make a dent in the reported loss of last year. Last year it is estimated the US Postal Service lost $10 billion. The post office has been trying to fight off this loss by closing 4,850 locations and laying off up to 220,000 employees and axing Saturday mail.
The new post office rescue plan would also reduce current payments the Postal Service has to pay to plan for future worker retirments. This would reduce a total payment of about $5.5 billion to a lot less while also allowing the post office to make new deals for health insurance with it’s main unions. Currently the USPS is owing a payment for this future worker prefunding on November 18th, 2011 and officials are already wondering whether they’ll get an extension. The current November 18th deadline was the result a previous extension.
One way the post office has been trying slow down the debt piling up around it’s mal delivery is by raising postage for all it’s classes of mail. The postal rates are to be raised in January 2012. A major ad campaign is also being directed towards businesses telling them that refrigerators and corkboards can’t be hacked, unlike email and digital communications. The US Postal Service is trying to slow it’s decline by at least 1% which would keep them from losing an estimated $300 million. The next couple weeks will show whether the post office gets the new bill passed in their favor and get their bailout or as some are calling it, refund.