USPS Reaches The Limit Of $15 Billion Borrowed From Treasury, Is All Like, “Now What?”

We feel kind of bad for the U.S. Postal Service these days. Here it is, this important part of American life that has provided a service we relied on heavily for hundreds of years before the Internet, and here it is limping along broke and basically friendless. And now it’s borrowed all the money it’s allowed to, $15 billion, from the only place it’s allowed to borrow from, the U.S. Treasury. Sigh.

A spokesman confirmed to CNNMoney that the agency hit its cap on Sept. 28, which drives home the point that its struggling from lack of cash. Congress placed the $15 billion cap and requires that the USPS can only borrow from the Treasury, and not private banks.

Because we no longer need to mail letters as often as back when that was basically the only option, the USPS is struggling to make money from stamps and postage fees. The Postal Service has also defaulted  on two $5 billion payments it as supposed to make into its future retirees’ fund. Time’s a ticking, too — Congress needs to act soon or the USPS could be completely insolvent this spring.

“Our liquidity concerns are ongoing now, and especially as we get into the second half of the current fiscal year,” said David Partenheimer, a spokesman for the Postal Service.

It has enough money to keep limping along and pay its employees for a few months yet because of all the holiday and election mail flying around right now, but a plan to save it in the long run likely won’t come until Congress convenes again after the election.

The USPS might be a bit of a dinosaur now, but think of all the important information that never would’ve been conveyed without it — letters to and from U.S. Presidents, important politicians, messages of love and sadness and every other human emotion, missives relaying new ideas or inventions, envelopes bearing $10 bills from grandparents to grandchildren the country over… . The list goes on. Makes one a bit teary-eyed to think about it, actually.

Postal Service barred from borrowing more [CNNMoney]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.