TPA Submits Comments to Postal Regulatory Commission on USPS Grocery Delivery Expansion

Michi Iljazi

October 13, 2014

The federal government has a nasty habit of inserting itself into the marketplace when it is neither wanted nor needed. Many times their involvement harms private sector stakeholders who are at a limited capacity when it comes to the advanatages the federal government has in order to cripple private competition, regardless of the usual lower quality service the government provides at taxpayer expense. Recently the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced plans to expand their grocery delivery service beyond current markets and sought public opinion on the proposal. Last week, Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) submitted comments to the Postal Regulatory Commission on this matter and pointed out the unfair advantages, sorry financial state of the agency, and lack of clarity for how this will impact the marketplace and the US Postal Service. 

See the full comment below:

Before the
Postal Regulatory Commission
Washington, D.C.

In the Matter of:

Market Test of Experimental Product- 
Customized Delivery
Docket MT2014-1

Comments of Taxpayers Protection Alliance 

October 9, 2014

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is a non-profit non-partisan organization dedicated to educating the public through the research, analysis and dissemination of information on the government’s effects on the economy. We are submitting these comments on behalf of American taxpayers who are concerned with government overreach and intrusion on private business.

The United State Postal Service (USPS) is a government agency and a congressionally backed monopoly afforded certain rights and privileges to which private enterprises are not privy. The agency has a track record of taking advantage of these freedoms and using them to undercut the market in which they operate.

The USPS is seeking permission to expand its grocery delivery services to additional markets. Inserting themselves into this industry space would simply be another way for the USPS to expand their reach without instituting real reform, not to fulfill its mandate of delivering the mail on time to its customers anywhere in the country. This growth would work to push out already established private providers. This action works to hurt private businesses who cannot afford to bring their price down to a level where they can be competitive. A government agency should not be working to compete with American businesses.

Perhaps even more startling, the USPS is near a point of financial collapse losing millions of dollars a day and billions of dollars every year. Earlier this month, the agency once again defaulted on their $5.5 billion pre-payment for their employee healthcare benefits. The USPS needs to definitively show that the previous 60-day test of grocery delivery services was successful and that the USPS did not lose money on this project. They should not be moving into new and unknown markets before understanding the possible consequences. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) should not rule on this matter until the full set of facts have been presented and shared with the American public.  We believe the PRC should conduct a full study that will provide the financial details of this expansion and determine its effect on the USPS and American businesses.

There are too many questions that have yet to be answered. The Postal Service is at a very fragile point economically and any further damage could be catastrophic. The PRC needs to take a very close look at this test program. The cost of doing business should not be a cost to American businesses.

Respectfully submitted,

David Williams
Taxpayers Protection Alliance


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