This has been going on for awhile now but I haven't seen much discussion about it in the blogosphere. The GAO (Government Accountability Office) released their report a few weeks ago putting the U.S. Post Office on its "high-risk" list. What does this mean?
"There are serious and significant structural financial challenges currently facing the Postal Service...."
"Mail volume fell by 9.5 billion pieces in fiscal year 2008 to a total of 203 billion pieces and is projected to fall by 28 billion pieces in fiscal year 2009 to a total of 175 billion pieces. USPS expects mail volume and revenue to continue declining next year, and flat or continued volume decline over the next 5 years. USPS projects a net loss of $7 billion this fiscal year, with outstanding debt increasing to over $10 billion, and a cash shortfall of about $1 billion. USPS also expects that its projected losses will continue in fiscal year 2010."
I don't know about you all, but 90% of our mail is junk mail that we may or may not look at. Even if those sending it don't define it as junk mail. That doesn't count bills. Bills fall in the 10% category for us, though many are foregoing bills sent in the mail so they can be notified by email, or have it automatically drafted from their checking account once a month. We pay as many of our bills by credit card to rack up the points as we are allowed to pay that way and make one payment to our credit card a month. This reduces our personal use of the USPS as well as many others we know. Between automatic bank drafts and consolidation of bill payment, and contacting each other by email when ever we feel like it, demand for the USPS has dropped.
So the USPS, which if you didn't know is run by the federal government, can't find a way to remain profitable. Is that a surprise to anyone? So let me ask you this, are you willing to pay more taxes so that the USPS can remain a viable business in spite of decreased demand and so that all those postal workers can keep their jobs?
I leave you with this; do you want the same government who couldn't keep the USPS a viable business running your health care? Making decisions about your life?