A great synopsis of USPS current financial status

Ken Nickerson - Letter to the Editor

The U.S. Postal Service on Nov. 13 released its financial report for fiscal 2015, covering the period from Oct. l, 2014, through Sept. 30, 2015. Here is a statement from National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando:

“The $1.2 billion in annual operating profits reported today by the Postal Service is terrific news that augurs well for the future. The USPS’ continuing financial upswing shows that dismantling services to the public would be precisely the wrong path to take.

“This is the second consecutive year with operating profits above $1 billion. Revenue earned by selling stamps has left USPS operations $2.6 billion in the black in the past two years alone, without a dime of taxpayer money. This also marks the third straight year in the black for USPS operations.”

The Postal Service’s impressive performance is no fluke. It results from two structural factors: An improving economy is helping stabilize letter revenue, and Internet-driven online shopping is sending package revenue skyrocketing — up 11.4 percent over last year.

The timing couldn’t be better, with the holidays approaching. The Postal Service projects the delivery of 15.5 billion cards, letters and packages from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve — including a record 600 million packages.

The red ink you hear about has nothing to do with the mail but rather with congressional politics — the 2006 decision by a lame-duck Congress to compel the Postal Service to pre-fund future retiree health benefits. No other entity, public or private, is required to do this for even one year in advance; USPS must pre-fund 75 years’ worth of these benefits in advance. That’s the “red ink.”

Ken Nickerson, Kearney