[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Friday, 2015-10-30

Does the USPS “lose billions”?

Filed under: History,Politics — bblackmoor @ 09:52

super mailman

Fun fact! The US Post Office is one of the very, very few parts of our federal government that is authorized by our Constitution:

“The Congress shall have Power […] To establish Post Offices and post Roads;”
— US Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 7

(That same clause authorizes what we today call the US Interstate Highway System.)

As for the USPS losing money, it does and it doesn’t. It routinely makes more than it spends on actual operating costs. The “losing billions” that people sometimes refer to pertains to payments made into a fund for employees’ future retirement for the next 75 years. These payments are the result of a 2006 law passed by Congress, and it’s a requirement that is imposed on no other public or private institution.

But when you see people talk about the Post Office “losing billions”, that’s what they are talking about: failure to pay into a fund for the future health and retirement benefits for people who are not yet born.

If I were conspiratorially minded, I would think that this unique requirement was imposed on the USPS specifically to drive it out of business, by the same people who today call for its privatization because it “loses billions”. But that’s just crazy, right?