The Postal Service Is Bankrupt

Commentary The U.S. Postal Service is underwater. It’s financially drowning. Ben Franklin, America’s first postmaster general, must be rolling over in his grave. Even Biden’s Postal Service director, Louis DeJoy, admits that the agency LOST $15 billion over the past two years. His prognosis is anything but promising. HE predicts some $160 billion of red ink over the next 10 years. Did I mention that by law, the Postal Service is required to be a self-financing operation? There’s one big reason why snail mail volume is shrinking right before our very eyes: Email. Electronic mail means that financial transactions, letters, photos, journals, and even junk mail (now called spam) can be sent over the internet for free. There’s no turning back the clock here. The mailman is going to go the way of the milkman. And soon. One would expect given this dismal financial outlook for mail delivery that Congress is demanding immediate and dramatic cutbacks in costs and perks and delivery services that lose money. After all, that’s what any sane private business would have to do. Instead, Congress caved last week to the postal unions and adopted a hocus-pocus accounting change—or “reform” as House members are calling it—to make its losses magically disappear off the balance sheet. Congress will now stop requiring the letter carriers to prefund their gold-plated and underfunded multibillion-dollar employee health benefits. It’s an accounting swindle and everyone knows it. The postal unions—which are a powerful lobby because there are mail delivery workers in every congressional district in the country—defend the change because they say that private sector companies don’t have to prefund their pensions. So why should the USPS? Because the Postal Service has no money in reserve or any future revenue stream large enough to pay for the pensions and there is close to zero chance they will ever have a cash profit to support the exorbitant benefits. Private companies have been moving toward self-financing 401(k)-style pension plans and prefunded Medical Savings Accounts to make sure that the money is there to pay the benefits. Most companies have moved away from so-called defined-benefit plans because the financial risk is too great. Every member of Congress knows full well that the Postal Service won’t have anywhere close to the money to ever pay for these promised benefits. And EVERYONE knows the game afoot is to eventually place these burdens on the backs of taxpayers. This is on top of the $30 trillion of debt taxpayers are already on the hook for. When will Congress admit that it’s time to get the government out of the mail delivery business? Privatize the entire operation. FedEx, UPS, and now Amazon deliver to nearly every address in America—and a lot faster than the Pony Express ever has. Government mail delivery is truly the last dinosaur in America—and yet Congress refuses to let it go extinct. Instead, we get sham bookkeeping. A large majority of Republicans and Democrats in the House voted for the gimmickry. They’ve even congratulated themselves for solving the Postal Service’s mounting losses. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) even gushed that Congress’s Bernie Madoff accounting scheme will “finally put USPS on a sound financial footing.” Uh-huh. Sure, Carolyn. We believe you. Stephen Moore is a senior fellow in economics at FreedomWorks. He serve as a senior economic advisor for Donald Trump and is the author of the new book: “Govzilla: How the Relentless Growth of Government is Devouring Our Economy, and Our Freedoms.” Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times. Follow Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at FreedomWorks and co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity. He served as a senior economic adviser to Donald Trump. His new book is entitled: “Govzilla: How the Relentless Growth of Government Is Impoverishing America.”

The Postal Service Is Bankrupt

Commentary

The U.S. Postal Service is underwater. It’s financially drowning. Ben Franklin, America’s first postmaster general, must be rolling over in his grave.

Even Biden’s Postal Service director, Louis DeJoy, admits that the agency LOST $15 billion over the past two years. His prognosis is anything but promising. HE predicts some $160 billion of red ink over the next 10 years.

Did I mention that by law, the Postal Service is required to be a self-financing operation?

There’s one big reason why snail mail volume is shrinking right before our very eyes: Email. Electronic mail means that financial transactions, letters, photos, journals, and even junk mail (now called spam) can be sent over the internet for free. There’s no turning back the clock here. The mailman is going to go the way of the milkman.

And soon.

One would expect given this dismal financial outlook for mail delivery that Congress is demanding immediate and dramatic cutbacks in costs and perks and delivery services that lose money.

After all, that’s what any sane private business would have to do.

Instead, Congress caved last week to the postal unions and adopted a hocus-pocus accounting change—or “reform” as House members are calling it—to make its losses magically disappear off the balance sheet.

Congress will now stop requiring the letter carriers to prefund their gold-plated and underfunded multibillion-dollar employee health benefits. It’s an accounting swindle and everyone knows it.

The postal unions—which are a powerful lobby because there are mail delivery workers in every congressional district in the country—defend the change because they say that private sector companies don’t have to prefund their pensions. So why should the USPS?

Because the Postal Service has no money in reserve or any future revenue stream large enough to pay for the pensions and there is close to zero chance they will ever have a cash profit to support the exorbitant benefits. Private companies have been moving toward self-financing 401(k)-style pension plans and prefunded Medical Savings Accounts to make sure that the money is there to pay the benefits.

Most companies have moved away from so-called defined-benefit plans because the financial risk is too great.

Every member of Congress knows full well that the Postal Service won’t have anywhere close to the money to ever pay for these promised benefits. And EVERYONE knows the game afoot is to eventually place these burdens on the backs of taxpayers. This is on top of the $30 trillion of debt taxpayers are already on the hook for.

When will Congress admit that it’s time to get the government out of the mail delivery business? Privatize the entire operation. FedEx, UPS, and now Amazon deliver to nearly every address in America—and a lot faster than the Pony Express ever has. Government mail delivery is truly the last dinosaur in America—and yet Congress refuses to let it go extinct.

Instead, we get sham bookkeeping. A large majority of Republicans and Democrats in the House voted for the gimmickry. They’ve even congratulated themselves for solving the Postal Service’s mounting losses.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) even gushed that Congress’s Bernie Madoff accounting scheme will “finally put USPS on a sound financial footing.”

Uh-huh. Sure, Carolyn. We believe you.

Stephen Moore is a senior fellow in economics at FreedomWorks. He serve as a senior economic advisor for Donald Trump and is the author of the new book: “Govzilla: How the Relentless Growth of Government is Devouring Our Economy, and Our Freedoms.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at FreedomWorks and co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity. He served as a senior economic adviser to Donald Trump. His new book is entitled: “Govzilla: How the Relentless Growth of Government Is Impoverishing America.”