business news in context, analysis with attitude

The US Postal Service said yesterday that it lost $2 billion during its second quarter - more than the $1.9 billion it lost during the first quarter, and far more than the $740 million it lost during the same quarter a year ago. The increased losses came despite improved service offerings (including Sunday delivery) and price increases that it hoped would improve its financial condition.

According to the Reuters story, "The jump in losses was largely due to a $1.5 billion increase in operating expenses as a result of workers compensation payments, the agency said. USPS blames much of its financial troubles on a 2006 mandate to stow away billions of dollars for its future retirees' healthcare. The Postal Service already defaulted on three of its payments into the fund and does not expect to make the next $5.7 billion installment due September 30."
KC's View:
It is possible, as I've said here before, that the Post Office simply has outlived its usefulness and should be disbanded and completely reimagined. Though I have to admit that by expanding its service - rather than cutting service, which it also considered - the USPS was making intelligent and competitive moves.

So let's assume that its criticisms of the Congressional mandates is at least partially accurate. It is time for the US Congress to get off its collective fat rear end and do something that allows the USPS to be more competitive rather than less so. You don't ask someone to swim a mile and then throw an anchor around his neck just to make it more challenging.