What Should Congress Expect from USPS’ New ‘Business Plan’?
While there is clearly broad awareness of the U.S. Postal Service’s struggles, the puzzling financial reality for the institution and poor quality of service for consumers is that its fiscal chaos is getting worse. Since the current postal laws were enacted in 2006, the Postal Service has suffered $72.6 billion in net losses and the Government Accountability Office estimates that its total unfunded liabilities and debt amount to $143 billion.
After losing $3.6 billion thus far in 2019, the Postal Service is well on its way to record its largest annual loss since 2012. The Postal Service is now projected to run out of cash in five years — likely prompting catastrophic service and work stoppages.
In discussing these challenges face to face with Congress at an April hearing, Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan explained how “we have a responsibility to put forward a plan that closes this gap.”This business plan, prepared for congressional review in the coming weeks, is expected to address, in its most basic terms, matters of cost and revenue. Such an approach is positively in the right direction, however the Postal Service’s perspective on these terms, as members of Congress are beginning to learn, is undeniably off base.