Postmaster says agency is amid "financial disaster" and may need emergency rate hike

  • Article by: ANDREW MIGA , Associated Press
  • Updated: September 19, 2013 - 2:26 PM

WASHINGTON — Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said Thursday his agency is in "the midst of a financial disaster" and may need an emergency increase in postage rates to keep operating.

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drposterSep. 19, 1311:48 AM

Emergency funding/rate hikes so they can continue to be the best Gov't run buggy whip makers around!

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WHIMSEYSep. 19, 1312:01 PM

Dear Postmaster general; Keep raising rates and you keep loosing business to competitors. Look within and find cost cutting measures. Are you top heavy in management, do you have to many post office locations, are you using fuel efficient vehicles? Maybe congress could give the postal system more flexibility as well.

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drudgemonkeySep. 19, 1312:13 PM

This is the only organization in the US, public or private, that must fully fund future retirement obligations 100%. No business or public entity is required by Congress to do so, as the USPS is. That's driving a lot of the issues. Also, private business does not want the "last mile" to all the rural and low profit customers the USPS serves. In some ways, this is one of the better run organizations in the US. You get what you pay for. Go ahead and cut it, but don't expect your services to be what they have in the past if USPS isn't funded.

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PicklesSep. 19, 1312:33 PM

USPS may as well be delivering via Pony Express. It is the slowest, most expensive way to move materials across SOMEONE needs to make some tough decisions in order to make it profitable again (or at least break even). But special interests and political jockeying will never allow that to happen. It will be allowed to suck tax payer money out of pockets to continue running multi-billion dollar deficits each year.

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mikehazardSep. 19, 1312:40 PM

I have known and know a lot of great letter carriers and postal clerks. Some are friends of mine. But, yesterday at the Northeast PO in Minneapolis I watched a clerk tell a young woman with a hyperactive four year old boy who needed a tiny piece of scotch tape to secure the envelope she was mailing that "The Post Office does not give away tape. It sells tape." He repeated this three times like a robot as she tried to reason with him. Meantime, another clerk clearly new to the job kept interrupting to yell questions like "How much does it cost to add $200 to $500 of insurance on a package?" He yelled back as if no customers were there. There was a roll of tape being used within arm's length. I was, am aghast. As the next customer after she left unable to mail her unsealed envelope, I told him, respectfully, I had never witnessed such insensitive, lousy customer relations in my life, let alone at the PO. He shrugged his shoulders. My point is the PO is a gorwing disaster, and it is more than the money and the laws that are taking it down.

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buttlesSep. 19, 1312:44 PM

"SOMEONE needs to make some tough decisions in order to make it profitable again (or at least break even). But special interests and political jockeying will never allow that to happen. It will be allowed to suck tax payer money out of pockets to continue running multi-billion dollar deficits each year." == First, the USPS does not get any funding from tax monies. Second, the only "tough" decision that needs to be made is to repeal the poison pill that requires it to fund retirement for workers who haven't even been born yet.

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shakingcoldSep. 19, 13 1:50 PM

I buy stuffs online, I never choose USPS since it has higher rate compare to Fedex and UPS. Why? I thought it would be the cheapest.No. And USPS simply can't track its shipment. The merchandise seems to arrive faster than their tracking tool. Geez!

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mouthwashSep. 19, 13 2:37 PM

Another factor which factors in but is seldom realized, is that the USPS originated back in the days when having a physical address IN AND OF ITSELF did not represent such a societal dilemma. Social implications of housing scarcity will naturally trickle down to any business which deals with personal-situs issues in a less direct sense, including postal delivery. Think of that next time you read about having to pay, say, $3000 for a decent apartment in a major city.

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Mike1eyeSep. 19, 13 4:18 PM

To those of you who think that USPS service is expensive - how much does it cost to FedEx a letter to Alaska, or Hawaii? 46 cents? Nope. And are FedEx and UPS limited in charging what they need to charge to make a profit delivering your letter or package? Nope. But the USPS is required to deliver to every address in the nation, and cannot raise rates as needed to cover costs, subject as they are to an act of Congress to do so. They've pulled out every idea possible to cut costs, but Congressional mandates make them permanently unprofitable as it now stands. This boondoggle is a worthy testament to Congress's ability to run a business.

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arspartzSep. 19, 13 4:19 PM

This is the only organization in the US, public or private, that must fully fund future retirement obligations 100%. No business or public entity is required by Congress to do so, as the USPS is.

Where would Detroit (or any of the now bankrupt cities) be is they had planned ahead for retirement costs? The pre-fund mandate is simply protecting the US from a future expense that it will not be able to fund.

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