Another Quarterly Postal Loss, Another Taxpayer Headache

As today's financial report for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) revealed yet another quarterly loss, National Taxpayers Union (NTU) warned that both Congress and postal management must work harder to prevent what could be a massive bailout of the entity at taxpayer expense. NTU President Pete Sepp issued the following statement:

"August is usually a time when Americans take vacations, but when it comes to postal finances neither Congress nor postal officials can afford to take any more vacations from fiscal reality. USPS' third quarter loss of $2.3 billion is almost completely attributable to expenditures since revenues were nearly flat compared to the same period last year. Yet even flat revenues are a sign that USPS' business model and attempts to rebuild it are faltering. Even after effectively defaulting on some $34 billion of retiree benefit prefunding obligations almost three years ago - a move which USPS defenders said would effectively fix the system's finances - the woes are continuing.

Just as discouraging is the portion of the loss that is supposed to be "controllable" by management, as opposed to influenced by outside conditions, was $1.08 billion - an increase of more than 20 percent compared to the same quarter in 2018.

Every quarter seems to bring bad news and worse prospects at USPS. Just as they were put on the hook for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, taxpayers have every right to fear a USPS bailout. Quarter after quarter, year after year, postal problems should have served as a warning to policymakers for greater cost transparency, more managerial flexibility, and restraint on compensation costs at USPS. Will Washington heed this latest wake-up call?"

For more than two decades NTU has sought to protect taxpayers from postal financial meltdowns. Further information on our work is available here, and here