USPS Loses Another $2.2 Billion: What Congress Can Do

Is the end near for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS)? Things have been pretty glum over the past few years, as the government-owned organization has reported loss after loss. The latest hit? A whopping $2.2 billion for the second quarter. That follows a loss in fiscal year 2010 of some $8.5 billion.

And if there is a light at the end of the tunnel for USPS, it’s an oncoming train, as it projects that by September it will run out of cash and default on a payment owed to the U.S. Treasury for retiree benefits.

You don’t have to go far to see the reason USPS is in trouble. It’s the computer or mobile device you are looking at right now. Simply put, the post office is on the wrong side of the information revolution. As broadband and other digital technologies become increasingly available, mail is used less and less. E-mail, online bill payment, and even digital greeting cards are taking the place of paper and stamps. The trend is clear: First-class mail volume has shrunk 20 percent since its peak in 2006, and the fall shows no sign of stopping.

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