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File:United States Postal Service (emblem).png
The full eagle logo, used in various versions from 1970 to 1993

The United States Postal Service, also known as the Post Office, U.S. Mail, or Postal Service, often abbreviated as USPS, is an independent agency of the United States federal government responsible for providing postal service in the United States. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution.

The U.S. Mail traces its roots to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress, where Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general. The Post Office Department was created in 1792 from Franklin's operation, elevated to a cabinet-level department in 1872, and transformed in 1971 into the U.S. Postal Service as an independent agency under the Postal Reorganization Act.

The USPS employed 617,254 workers (as of February 2015) and operated 211,264 vehicles in 2014. The USPS is the operator of the largest civilian vehicle fleet in the world.<ref name="sizescope2015"/> The USPS is legally obligated to serve all Americans, regardless of geography, at uniform price and quality. The USPS has exclusive access to letter boxes marked "U.S. Mail" and personal letterboxes in the United States, but still competes against private package delivery services, such as UPS and has part use with FedEx Express.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

The USPS has not directly received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s with the exception of subsidies for costs associated with the disabled and overseas voters.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Since the 2006 all-time peak mail volume,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> after which Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> (which mandated $5.5 billion per year to be paid into an account to fully prefund employee retirement health benefits, a requirement exceeding that of other government and private organizations <ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>), revenue dropped sharply due to recession-influenced<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> declining mail volume,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> prompting the postal service to look to other sources of revenue while cutting costs to reduce its budget deficit.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> The USPS lost US$5.5 billion in fiscal 2014, and its revenue was US$67.8 billion.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=citation }}</ref>


United States Postal Service sections
Intro  History  Current operations  Budget  Governance and organization  Universal service obligation and monopoly status  Law enforcement agencies  How delivery services work  Financial services  Employment in the USPS  In fiction  See also  References  Further reading  External links  

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