John Nichols, Nation - Two-thirds of the $15.9 billion “loss” involved what the Times referred to as “accounting expenses of $11.1 billion related to two payments that the agency was supposed to make into its future retiree health benefits fund.”
Those accounting expenses were imposed not by necessity but by
Congress. And the imposition can be lifted, along with restrictions on
the ability of the service to compete.
In 2006, a Republican Congress—acting at the behest of the
Bush-Cheney administration—enacted a law that required the postal
service to “pre-fund” retiree health benefits seventy-five years into
the future. No major private-sector corporation or public-sector agency
could do that. It’s an untenable demand.