Katie Pavlich

Last year the United States Post Office posted nearly $16 billion in losses. The three years before then averaged around $5 billion in losses. Now, the USPS Chief is looking at serious ways to save the Post Office which includes the end to Saturday mail and cuts in benefits.

The head of the financially struggling U.S. Postal Service said the agency must be allowed to ease the terms of prepayments into a retiree health-care fund and eliminate general mail delivery on Saturday.

Patrick Donahoe told "CBS This Morning" the agency isn't asking Congress for money.

He said, "I think most people don't realize, we're 100 percent self-sufficient. We pay our own way." But the postal chief notes the agency is losing $15.9 billion this year.

Donahoe says the post office needs to refinance retirement health fund payments to $1 billion a year instead of $5 billion.

More on the numbers:

The struggling U.S. Postal Service on Thursday reported an annual loss of a record $15.9 billion and forecast more red ink in 2013, capping a tumultuous year in which it was forced to default on billions in payments to avert bankruptcy.

The financial losses for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 were more than triple the $5.1 billion loss in the previous year. Having reached its borrowing limit, the mail agency is operating with little cash on hand, putting it at risk in the event of an unexpectedly large downturn in the economy.

"It's critical that Congress do its part and pass comprehensive legislation before they adjourn this year to move the Postal Service further down the path toward financial health," said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, calling the situation "our own postal fiscal cliff."

Much of the red ink in 2012 was due to mounting mandatory costs for future retiree health benefits, which made up $11.1 billion of the losses. Without that and other related labor expenses, the mail agency sustained an operating loss of $2.4 billion, lower than the previous year.

Post Office officials have made an attempt to make cuts and reforms in their system but due to Congress dragging its feet and not approving those cuts, the losses keep getting worse.


Katie Pavlich

Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is a New York Times Best Selling author. Her new book Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women, will be published on July 8, 2014.

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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography