Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with condolences to the U.S. Postal Service. The Post Office is stuck with hundreds of millions of stamps bearing the likeness of Homer Simpson. The service predicted the stamps would be twice as popular as Elvis Presley. One billion stamps were printed. Bloomberg reports only 318 million have been sold. An inspector general's report says that kind of overprinting adds to the post office money losses.
For the first time ever, the United States Postal Service has defaulted on a payment to the Treasury.
The USPS warned of a default in a statement on Monday. It it would not make the $5.5 billion payment due today and that it would also default on a $5.6 billion payment due Sept. 30. Both of those payments are federally mandated and go toward prefunding retiree health benefits.
This month, the U.S. Postal Service begins cutting back hours and services at rural post offices across the country. One store facing changes sits inside the Wood & Swink general store in the northern Florida town of Evinston. The store has been in Freddie Wood's family for more than 100 years. In that time, it's gone through only small changes.