I really want to make sure that my readers understand just what the attacks on the U.S. Postal Service are about, and why they are constantly facing a default on payments they have to make, and just how those payments, exclusive of all other government entities, were forced on the Postal Service, by our Congress, in a serious attempt to eliminate out government sponsored mail service in order to replace it by a private service. (Please remember that this is a primary goal of most Republicans in office, and many of those newly elected Republican governors in 2010 have been dismantling public sector jobs and replacing them with private contractors, from schools on down to police and fire departments).
In 2006 there was a congressional mandate that the U.S. Postal Service pre-fund future retiree health benefits for the next 75 years, within a ten year period. This, of course, is not mandated for any other public agency. That amount, approximately $5.5 billion a year, $21 billion total, is exactly what is causing the financial problems within the postal service.
Take a moment to digest that. Congress mandated the USPS to PREPAY retirement benefits FOR THE NEXT 75 YEARS WITHIN A TEN YEAR PERIOD! This is/was absurd. Can you imagine if you or your company (let alone any other government institution) was required to pay ahead of time 75 fucking years worth of proposed retirement benefits, and to pay that amount (75 years) in 10 years?
This is why the postal service is going broke. Please support the American Postal Workers Union.