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U.S. Postmaster General and USPS CEO Patrick R. Donahoe discussed the challenges the U.S. Postal Service faces with co-hosts Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell live today, Nov. 28, 2012, on CBS THIS MORNING on the CBS Television Network (7:00 AM – 9:00 AM). Check out the interview in full below!
Below are excerpts from the interview:
ROSE: Explain this to me-you're running out of money. Where do you get your money, how are you spending your money, and what's the problem here?
DONAHOE: First of all, I think most people don't realize we're 100% self-sufficient. Now that might not sound good when you're losing the money that you're losing, but here's the situation we have to face--
ROSE: Self-sufficient means what?
DONAHOE: It means we pay our own way. We take no tax money, so what we operate on, what comes in the door in terms of revenue-stamps and packages. The situation is this; we have two major issues that we're facing. Number one: volume has dropped. People pay their bills online, so we've lost about 25% of our volume in the last five years. Now our people have done a nice job taking cost out to balance that out. The other issue that we're faced with is we're required by law to pre-fund retirement health care for people who haven't even retired yet to the tune of $5.5 billion a year. That's what's hurting us from a financial standpoint. So as the volume dropped, we have not been able to make those payments.
O'DONNELL: Are you going to cut Saturday delivery?
DONAHOE: Our proposal is this: We're asking Congress to act right now in the lame-duck session to do a couple of things. Number one, we need to refinance the payment for the retiree health benefits. We're not asking to get out from under it, we're taking responsibility of doing it, but rather than pay $5.5 billion a year we think we should be paying around a billion a year. The second thing we want to do is eliminate Saturday delivery of mail, not packages, just mail. So we'd have post offices open Saturday and we still have package delivery.