The Future Of The U.S. Postal Service

The Future Of The U.S. Postal Service

The U.S. Postal Service is bracing for its first-ever default on billions of dollars. Options for resolving its financial troubles and the future of the nation's mail service.

The U.S. Postal Service owes the Treasury Department $5.5 billion. The bill is due today, but the postal agency cannot make the payment. Nothing will happen in the near term: Post offices will not shut down overnight, and people will still be able to send letters and packages through the mail. But the default underscores not only the financial woes plaguing the nation's mail system but also dysfunction in a partisan Congress, which controls the Postal Service. Some say privatizing the mail agency is the only way to stanch the flow of red ink. Others blame Congress' requirement to pre-fund postal retirees' health benefits. The future of the U.S. Postal Service.

Guests

Fredric Rolando

president of the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Lisa Rein

national reporter for The Washington Post, covering the federal workforce.

Tad Dehaven

budget analyst for The Cato Institute.

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The Diane Rehm Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.