The U.S. Postal Service lost $5.1 billion in 2011, has $45 billion worth of unfunded liabilities for retiree health benefits, has drawn down a $15 billion line of credit from Treasury and is losing $25 million a day.
Unless members of Congress let the Postal Service make changes, it won't be able to pay its more than 500,000 employees sometime next year.
Yet the U.S. Senate voted 62-37 to delay reforms that would cut its costs - and to give it another $34 billion.
Observed the Wall Street Journal in an editorial:
"This may be a first in Washington: A federal agency wants to reform itself to save money but Congress won't let it."
The Postal Service wants to close about half its mail processing centers and about 3,000 underused post offices, ease delivery standards, renegotiate no-layoff labor contracts, end Saturday delivery, and set up a less expensive health insurance plan to save money.
No, no, no, no, no, no, said the Senate.
A story in the Washington Post credited Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., with likely preventing health insurance savings with an amendment to require any new program to have the same quality as the bleeder.
"So bleeding Uncle Sam will borrow $34 billion to give to the bleeding Postal Service," said the Journal.
"In government, political constituencies protect a loser as long as Congress can keep soaking taxpayers."
Some people will posture this year that they stood up for taxpayers and saved small post offices and Saturday delivery.
Don't believe it. They stuck it to taxpayers instead.