I know, I know — it’s silly of me to expect or even hope that a government-run service should ever be forced to cope with fiscal realities, especially once said service is practically obsolete and has long since outlived it’s ability to just break even (because that right there would pretty much disqualify the entire federal government), but what can I say? I’m just an optimist. The deplorable truth, however, is that public employment — especially once unionized — is not easily undone.

The USPS posted their third-quarter earnings today, and surprise, suprise: Technological advancement hasn’t miraculously reversed its course and the USPS is even deeper in the hole than it was this time last year. From the NJ:

The USPS posted a $5.2 billion loss in 2012 Q3, a week after its first ever default. USPS posted a $3.1 billion net loss during the same period last year. …

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka told the Alley he’s not losing any sleep over the prospect of the House bill. “The House bill is not going to pass,” he said confidently.

“The postal service is more than just a place for your mail to come to. And I think whoever goes after them or does that, changes the postal service in that way, takes it away from rural America, there is a political price that would be paid there,” Trumka said.

Reps. Darrell Issa (R-California) and Dennis Ross (R-Florida) introduced legislation earlier this year that would’ve allowed the USPS to close down some post offices and renegotiate labor contracts, but leadership never brought it to a vote — although the Senate passed a very different bill last April that would’ve thrown $11 million at the problem to try and help the USPS avoid default this year. No, no: Even though the Postal Service is a drain on economic growth and hence comes at the possible alternative of productive jobs, it would be far too contentious for lawmakers (especially those from union-heavy or rural districts) to actually address the flagrant problem and potentially take actions that might cause people to lose their unproductive jobs in the short-term. Nothing doing.