It’s no secret: The U.S. Postal Service is in trouble. After a proposal to close nearly 4,400 offices around the country, the Head of the U.S. Postal Service has decided to call in the big dogs, Congress.
As you are reading this, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe is probably prepping for his upcoming appearance before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
His appearance serves the purpose of drawing attention to Postal Service’s ever growing debt. It is the second year in a row USPS has reported an $8 billion loss. There has even been a website created to help save the postal service, with a count down until USPS will have to default.
24 Days Until Default
On September 30, 2011 USPS is expected to pay $5.5 billion to the U.S. government — as you well know, they don’t have this money. One option being tossed around is having taxpayer funding bail out the troubled service, this option may even be turned into an enforcement once the USPS shows they can’t pay.
USPS is challenging people to see if they can save it. In what looks to be like a survey quiz mashed up with a game they ask questions such as:
Did you know the Postal Service spends 80% of its money on labor costs? Competitors like FedEx and UPS spend 20-40% less on labor. A big reason is Postal workers only pay 21% of their health care costs and 0% of life insurance costs. Even federal government workers pay more: 28% of healthcare costs and 100% of life insurance costs.
Savings Opportunity #5:
- Save $0. Let the Postal Service shift the bulk of its health and life insurance costs to customers and possibly taxpayers.
- Save $1.4 billion. Ask postal workers to pay the same rates as federal workers.
As you continue on through the survey you can monitor how much you are saving the postal service. At the end of the survey, they ask you to gill out your name, email and zip. The survey results are used to ‘teach’ the federal government some smart and simple solutions.
What this Could Mean for the USPS
The cost-cutting measures the USPS wants to enforce would prove devastating to its employees, but in this point and time it doesn’t seem like there are many other options. As technology advances, it is clear that the services provided by the U.S. Post Office are not as necessary. Here are a few of the ideas the USPS has come up with when considering costs:
- Shipping Alcohol
- Going to a M-F schedule
- Cutting down offices to fit the amount of mail actually being sent
- Ask Postal Workers to pay the same amount of health and life insurance to customers
- Eradicate door delivery by as much as possible
It’s hard to say the exact impact on getting rid of the USPS would have on America. For one, it would cause 570,000 individuals to lose their jobs. It could also change the way many businesses operate, considering some depend solely on the USPS to get their product to customers. If the majority of America was forced to rely on FedEx and UPS the two companies could potentially increase operation costs.
As of now it looks like the majority of decisions, and changes will boil down to the actions taken in September. Keep in touch with MyBankTracker.com for the latest updates about the future of the USPS.