TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Postal Service sets record $15.9B loss

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By Reuters
Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 8:44 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — The Postal Service on Thursday reported a record annual loss and warned that, without congressional action, it could face a cash shortfall next fall.

The mail service said it lost $15.9 billion in the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30 — more than triple its $5.1 billion loss last year.

The Postal Service — which relies on the sale of stamps and other products rather than taxpayer dollars — has been grappling for years with high costs and tumbling mail volumes as consumers communicate more online.

In September, the Postal Service hit its $15 billion borrowing limit for the first time in its history. The agency has few options if it suffers an unexpected shock — such as a slowdown if lawmakers are unable to prevent the year-end tax increases and spending cuts known as the “fiscal cliff.”

“When you've got a $65 billion revenue business, and you are looking at the potential of this fiscal cliff, of course that may have an impact on advertising and whatnot, which could hurt us,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

“That's why we're saying let's get this thing done now ... and get us off of our own personal, postal fiscal cliff.”

Much of the agency's loss in 2012 came from two defaults on a total of more than $11 billion in payments that Congress directed the agency to pay into a fund for future retirees' health benefits.

The agency was unable to make the payments, but still must account for them in financial statements.

The Postal Service wants Congress to pass legislation that would allow the agency to end Saturday mail delivery and to run its own health plan rather than enrolling employees in federal health programs.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Prosecutors won’t retry North Carolina police officer in black man’s death
  2. Kentucky county clerk’s protest of same-sex marriage near end
  3. Northwest fire crews hope for break in weather
  4. Court lifts injunction against NSA call records program
  5. ‘Facts are bad’ for pier-shooting defendant, legal experts say
  6. Prep school graduate Labrie convicted of sex charges
  7. Supreme Court has protest-free zone, judges panel rules
  8. Virginia reporter, cameraman killed on air; gunman also dies
  9. Clinton: Women ‘expect’ extremism from terrorists, not GOP candidates
  10. Wisconsin company lands deal to replace Humvee
  11. Suspect in 1996 Khobar Towers bombing arrested