Saturday Mail Delivery to End Aug. 1


The U.S. Postal Service announced Tuesday what most Americans already knew: Saturday mail delivery (which began in 1863) will end beginning Saturday, August 3. Package delivery will still occur on Saturdays.

Later today, the Postal Service is expected to announce more drastic cuts to service, which will probably include major layoffs.

The USPS, drowning in billions of red ink, twice defaulted on loan payments in 2012—totaling $11 billion—and exhausted a $15 billion line of credit from the U.S. Treasury.

The Postal Service is, by law, an "independent establishment" of the executive branch. The agency doesn't normally use tax dollars for operations, except for its $15 billion loan from Treasury. As late as 2005, the Postal Service had no debt.

A 2012 report projected by mid-March of this year, the agency would have about $1 billion in cash—barely enough to keep the agency running for four days.