Nov. 16 - The U.S. Postal Service is bleeding red ink announcing a record annual loss of close to $16 billion. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The daily digit is $15.9 billion. This is how much U.S. Postal Service lost in the fiscal year that ended on September 30, a record number, and more than triple last year's gaping hole. Part of the loss is an accounting issue, but the Postal Service is also facing a long-term decline in revenues. Tech savvy Americans who prefer emails and instant messaging to paper letters with a stamp, means tumbling mail volumes, while at the same time costs are escalating. In hopes of staunching the bleeding, the company asked Congress to pass legislation that would allow it to end Saturday mail delivery and run its own health plan rather than enrolling employees in federal health programs. The Senate gave its okay in April, but the House is still holding out. But this is not the end of the mailman's problem. If the fiscal cliff hurts the economy that will further slow mailings, which will mean even less revenue.