“I’m operating right now with a week’s worth of cash,” Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe told Senators on Tuesday. After the Postmaster General went to Capitol Hill to pass the hat around, the White House announced it’s a few weeks away from developing a plan to save the USPS from bankruptcy.
In the meantime, Obama is asking lawmakers to give the postal service a 90-day extension on billions in mandatory retirement payments. But some of the answers will have to come both from cuts to the USPS and increased efficiencies.
Right now they’re looking at about 120,000 in layoffs, most of which will come from attrition, which means not filling positions after the employee retires.
According to a report by the Postal Service Inspector General, the USPS has 33,000 unnecessary facilities, and owns or leases millions of square feet it doesn’t need.
Senators also suggested the postal service develop a national marketing campaign to encourage people to send more letters.
“You cannot get money by text message,” Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) said, perhaps unaware that Visa is working on a service that lets you do exactly that. “I really think that there is a longing out there right now, especially in these uncertain times, for some of the things that have provided stability over the years.”
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) chimed in, recommending, “We should be writing more passionate letters to those we love.”
Postal Service financial rescue plan in works at White House [Washington Post]