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Postal "Reform" Legislation Would Stamp Out Competition, Hit Taxpayers and Consumers with Hidden Costs, Study Finds
For Immediate Release October 5, 2005
(Alexandria, VA) -- As volatile energy prices threaten to push the Postal Service's deficit (and planned rate hike) even higher, Congress's second-class postal "reform" legislation is not up to the job of protecting consumers and taxpayers: that's the assessment of an Issue Brief released today from the 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU), which is urging the U.S. Senate to reject the so-called "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act" currently awaiting floor action after the House passed its own bill in July.
"Far from launching comprehensive reforms to bring the nation's ailing postal monopoly into the 21st Century, the legislation now grinding its way through Congress merely offers a recycled 'grab bag' of reorganization measures," said NTU Government Affairs Manager and Issue Brief author Kristina Rasmussen. "Fortunately, the Senate, and if necessary the President, can still send these bills to the dead-letter bin."
According to Rasmussen, one of the first mistakes legislators made in drafting the current postal bills (H.R. 22 and S. 662) was to largely ignore the recommendations of the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Though that panel disappointingly spurned full-scale privatization, its suggestions could have been the basis of honest reform legislation. Instead, H.R. 22 and S. 662 are fraught with hidden liabilities:
"Recent economic events have once again shown the need to think beyond the old-style bureaucratic structures in order to provide Americans with the service they deserve," Rasmussen concluded. "If policymakers are truly committed to first-rate postal reform that will keep pace with the rest of the world, then these weak bills should be returned to sender."
NTU is a non-partisan citizen organization working for lower taxes and smaller government. The group has advocated a phase-out of the postal monopoly for more than two decades. Note: NTU Issue Brief 156, First-Class to Nowhere: Congress's Second-Rate Postal Reform Bill, is available at www.ntu.org.