Postmaster General John Potter announced several proposed changes Tuesday to try to close a gaping budget hole.
Here's some fast facts about the Postal Service's budget problems.
• The Postal Service posted $3.8 billion in losses in fiscal 2009. Potter says that number could hit $7 billion in 2010.
• Mail volume has dropped dramatically in the last few years. The agency handled 213 billion pieces of mail in 2006, but only 177 billion pieces in 2009. The 2009 figure represented a 13 percent decline from the year before. Potter projected the number would drop to 166 billion for fiscal 2010.
• Operating revenue fell 9.1 percent to $68.1 billion in 2009.
• To close the gap, Potter proposes cutting Saturday delivery, using price increases in "moderation" as well as pursuing other options. He says exceptions will be made for those who need Saturday service and that the Postal Service will still operate on weekends. Cutting Saturday delivery alone is estimated to save $3.5 billion annually.
• Potter is looking at reducing the number of post offices as well as seeking a change in the law so that the Postal Service does not have to make multi-billion dollar retirement benefit payments in advance.
• Consultants considered privatization of the Postal Service, but concluded that that is an "unlikely" option.