Category: Postal Reform
February 25, 2019
This article originally appeared on Fox Business on February 21, 2019.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is struggling mightily to keep its head above water in the current tax season and recent developments have done little to increase trust with taxpayers. A scathing report by the National Taxpayer Advocate describes a backlog of 5 million unsorted mail pieces, as few were on call to sort mail received during the federal shutdown. Taxpayers will likely swarm the phone lines as April draws closer, since an astounding 93.3 percent of callers trying to pay over the phone during the shutdown were unable to contact a live agent. But there remains a bright spot throughout this entire frustrating process: e-filing.» Read More
February 11, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) slammed the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) following its latest loss of $1.5 billion in the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year. The agency had a controllable loss of $103 million, signifying that overall costs of services are continuing to outpace the revenues of its products. » Read More
January 31, 2019
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) released a report calling for a comprehensive overhaul of the United States Postal Service (USPS). In the report, TPA identifies more than $3.3 billion in common sense savings that the agency can achieve without relying on Congressional reforms and/or taxpayer-funded bailouts. The report’s release comes shortly after the USPS raised the price of First Class stamps from 50 cents to 55 cents, the largest percentage increase since the Civil War.
January 8, 2019
Across the federal government, dysfunctional agencies are a dime-a-dozen. Yet few agencies are as braggadocios or thin-skinned as the United States Postal Service (USPS). In a January 7 tweet, the USPS asked its followers “How well do you know our organization? Here are the top 12 things you should know about the U.S. Postal Service!” The accompanying article(which may be trying to imitate a BuzzFeed list) waxes on platitudes such as “social responsibility,” “all hearts,” “heroes,” and “zero tax dollars used,” despite the agency’s sorry state of affairs and, yes, reliance on taxpayer dollars. To make sure that mail consumers actually get to know their friendly neighborhood Postal Service, here’s a rebuttal and further explanation for each item on USPS’s list: » Read More
December 27, 2018
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This article appeared in The American Conservative on December 19, 2018.
All is not well at the United States Postal Service (USPS). After an astounding net loss of $3.9 billion over the past fiscal year (its twelfth consecutive annual loss), nearly everyone admits that something needs to be done. One favorite solution of agency leaders is to hike prices, and proposed rate increases that take effect on January 27 would amount to the largest price hikes since 1991. Instead the USPS should pursue deeper structural reforms that put the agency on a path to solvency.
November 14, 2018
Washington, D.C.- Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) slammed the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for its $3.9 billion net loss for the year, an increase of $1.2 billion from the previous year. Poor financial decisions drove $2 billion in controllable losses, complicating efforts to reduce the agency’s $13.2 billion in debt outstanding. » Read More
September 11, 2018
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This article originally appeared in The Federalist on August 31, 2018.
As the trade war between the United States and China continues unabated, President Trump assures the American people that China’s “unfair” treatment by will soon end. While eliminating tariffs is a good start to solving the problems facing American businesses, focusing on another sort of tariff may also prove useful. Thanks to convoluted international postage regulations, it is cheaper for Chinese businesses to ship goods to American consumers than for American businesses to ship to American consumers. While this is just one of many factors contributing to China’s massive export edge over the United States, it is one of few that defy market logic.
August 9, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) expressed alarm over the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) $889 million in controllable losses this quarter, up from $587 million during the third quarter of last year. The total net loss of $1.5 billion for the quarter demonstrates the Postal Service's dire state of fiscal mismanagement. » Read More
July 20, 2018
For this week’s Summer Reading, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is going to assign a subject near and dear to the organization for years: United States Postal Service (USPS) reform. Many lawmakers have sounded off this issue without first doing their homework. For years, billshave been introduced premised on the idea that the “prefunding mandate” (enacted by Congress in 2006) is the primary reason for the USPS being in the red. But the funding of future retirement benefits is a reasonable safeguard against future financial uncertainties, one that is reflected in valuations of many businesses. From good old-fashioned mismanagement to corporate welfare and questionable vehicles purchases, the USPS is a mess. » Read More
July 18, 2018
This article originally appeared in Economics21 on July 16, 2018.
At 47 years old, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is showing its age. The independent agency has not replaced most of its fleet in decades. More than half of all trucks are more than 20 years old. The Postal Service needs more trucks, but wasting money on a substandard fleet would mean further taxpayer bailouts and an unacceptable experience for customers. » Read More
July 2, 2018
This article originally appeared in Economics21 on June 17, 2018.
The United States Postal Office (USPS), an independent agency of the federal government, likes to present itself as a business. The Postal Service also wants to dabble in other businesses such as grocery delivery and banking. It claims to “put information and technology at the center of its business strategies,” while receiving zero taxpayer dollars for operating expenses. » Read More
May 11, 2018
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) expressed continued alarm over the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) latest $656 million quarterly loss. This brings the total loss to $1.3 billion for the first half of the 2018 fiscal year. TPA has had an active role in analyzing USPS’s challenges, which includes advancing key concepts and principles for the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to incorporate in its work. While the PRC continues to apply its guidance and oversight, many of the substantive changes that the USPS requires must become top priority for lawmakers, Postmaster General Megan Brennan, and the future USPS Board of Governors.
April 13, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) President David Williams applauded President Trump’s Task Force on the United States Postal Service (USPS). In the announcement, the President stated that the Postal Service’s operations and finances will be evaluated, including, but not limited to: “The expansion and pricing of the package delivery and USPS’s role in competitive markets,” and “The decline in mail volume and its implications for USPS’s self-financing and monopoly over letter delivery and mailboxes.” » Read More
April 5, 2018
This article originally appeared in The American Conservative on April 5, 2018
The United States Postal Service is deep in the red, with a dwindling list of options available to stop the bleeding. USPS officials and Congress have continually neglected to employ sound financial management, which has resulted in $15 billion in debt and more than $100 billion in unfunded liabilities for the Postal Service. Despite inept leadership, anyone bringing attention to these issues is bound to be repeatedly attacked as a corporate shill trying to harm the USPS. » Read More
February 9, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted with concern about the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) latest loss of $540 million for the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year. Since the current Postal Service law, the Postal Accountability & Enhancement Act (PAEA), came into effect in December 2006, the USPS has accumulated $65.6 billion in total net losses. » Read More
January 3, 2018
This article originally appeared in The Hill on January 2, 2018
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is as determined as ever to make customers pay more as they defend ludicrous schemes keeping the agency deep in debt. The cost of First-Class postage is slated to increase from 49 to 50 cents on Jan. 21 as part of a desperate move by postal officials to stem the financial bleeding. As the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has previously documented, increases in postage rates promote risky behaviors with non-postal business ventures and shore up liabilities in a massively-underfunded pension system buoyed by unrealistic promises. But, the biggest and ugliest secret lies below the surface in the rampant postal cronyism that disproportionately benefits e-commerce giants such as Amazon. In April, a Citigroup analysis found that Amazon gets roughly$1.50 in shipping subsidies from every package delivered via the Postal Service. » Read More
September 12, 2017
The fiscal turmoil at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) continues with no end in sight. In light of the staggering trends, USPS faces an immense need for a new strategic direction that will help to achieve overall financial stability and accountability. Much of this responsibility rests in the hands of the Postal Service Board of Governors, which has regrettably become fully vacant (with the exception of the Postmaster General and the Deputy Postmaster General who were chosen by the former governors). » Read More
August 14, 2017
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Washington, D.C. - Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) expressed concern about the continued alarming financial trends from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). TPA also called on Congress and USPS leadership to take immediate action to stop the hemorrhaging of money. With a loss of $2.1 billion announced in this week’s third quarter statement, USPS faces a total loss of $2.8 billion for the 2017 fiscal year thus far. After yet another dismal report it becomes increasingly impossible for USPS leadership, the greater postal community, or the general public to find any silver linings in the USPS’s financial outlook.
June 19, 2017
With operations awash in red ink, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has certainly seen better days. After posting yet another loss of $562 million for the 2017 fiscal year thus far, the USPS is pleading for members of Congress to bail out the struggling organization. The USPS, which has dealt with multi-billion dollar losses over the past decade, is pushing for the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017 as a way of shoring up finances. But the bill, which would transfer health-related retirement liabilities to Medicare, would shift expenses to taxpayers without solving any of the underlying problems facing the Service. » Read More
May 11, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) expressed dismay about the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) continuing escalating debts. In today’s release, the USPS posted a loss of $562 million in its second quarter financial report for the 2017 fiscal year. This loss is a stark reminder about the agency’s inability to achieve fiscal stability. After posting losses during the December holiday delivery season, the USPS appears on track for its 11th consecutive fiscal year in the red. The USPS has failed to pay its retiree health benefits payments despite its legal obligation to do so. Even though they have failed to pay this obligation, they have included this unpaid figure as a part of its quarterly losses. After amassing these debts, and many others as a result of bad management practices, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has calculated that the Postal Service now carries more than $121 billion in unfunded liabilities on its books.
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