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Deteriorating Postal Service Finances Make Reforms More Urgent, NTU Says

by Pete Sepp / /

This week, the U.S. Postal Service announced another immense year-end loss of $2.7 billion in its 2017 fiscal year report. The financial statement rekindles the alarms expressed by the nonpartisan National Taxpayers Union (NTU) about the implications that the Postal Service’s failures to address its dire finances may have for the taxpaying public. NTU President Pete Sepp issued the following statement in response to today’s USPS report:

“The latest U.S. Postal Service fiscal report details yet another year in red, and brings the Service’s total losses to a staggering $65.1 billion since 2007 when the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) was signed into law. These trends and accumulation of unfunded liabilities have extended the threat of a taxpayer bailout of the USPS over the long-term. This is especially concerning as lawmakers have offered ill-considered postal reform efforts that aim to shift employee benefit liabilities to Medicare, restrict efforts to achieve cost savings, and usher further experimental services to market that could unfairly compete with private-sector firms.

NTU remains concerned that taxpayers could be on the hook for a massive federal intervention that will cover the Service's debts or future liabilities. Time and again we have warned that the Service's complaints over pre-funding, and preferential regulatory treatment compared to private delivery firms, are masking fundamental operational and managerial issues that cannot be resolved without greater oversight and accountability. 

Reversing the Postal Service’s dangerous course will depend heavily on structural remedies to improve cost and revenue transparency of all services, and better performance on letter mail service for all postal customers. Achieving accountability and sustainability on this way will be critical for Members of Congress and for the recently nominated, and soon-to-be-confirmed, individuals chosen by the Trump Administration to lead the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors.”

NTU’s comments on the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017 drafted by Congress can be found here. Also this year, NTU provided further policy recommendations on USPS’ misguided product development approach to the Postal Regulatory Commission.