Defaulting on a mandatory $5.5 billion payment to cover health care costs for future post office retirees is just the latest example of how troubled the U.S. Postal Service is. For years, mail volume has shrunk. Even as the Postal Service has closed hundreds of post offices and tried to cut other costs, it loses billions annually—$8.3 billion in 2010, for example. The Washington Post estimates that the USPS loses $25 million each and every day. Since the fall of 2010, the individual charged with transforming the USPS into a profitable enterprise, or at least stopping the bleeding, has been Post Master General and CEO Patrick Donahoe. In addition to the possibility of eliminating Saturday delivery, one of Donahoe’s suggestions for turning the Postal Service around is to encourage more businesses to send out junk mail.
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