The good news is the federal mail delivery monopoly — the Postal Service — only lost half as much last year as it did the prior year.
According to Reuters the USPS posted a net loss of $9.2 billion for the 2020 fiscal year. But last year, just $4.9 billion went out the window — as the junk mail piled up in our mailboxes.
Maybe next year it will only lose $2 billion….
Luckily — for the Post Office — there’s more where that came from.
Back in March of 2020, Congress passed the oilily-named CARES Act — ostensibly to provide “relief” to all the businesses crippled by the government during the first year of the pandemic, in the manner of the mafia enforcer who just broke your leg being nice enough to hand you a pair of crutches … which you paid for.
The CARES Act somehow included $10 billion in aid to the Post Office — which was never closed — except to the customers who were locked out of Post Office stores for refusing to perform the mandated Sickness Kabuki. If you were a postal worker, you got paid while millions of “non-essential” American workers were forced into unemployment.
The House followed that up in August of 2020 by shoveling an additional $25 billion at the Fed’s mail monopoly — while stopping reforms that might have ended the monopoly. For some odd reason, almost no one ever asks about that. About why there is a federal mail monopoly.
Because competition bad — like Orange Man bad. Especially now that bad Orange Man gone.
Part of Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan includes $2.6 billion to buy a fleet of electric vehicles for postal workers to drive, which will cost us even more than the time wasted waiting for these EVs to charge up before they can deliver anything.
Electric postal vehicles also cost twice-plus as much as non-electric postal vehicles such as the venerable Grumman LLV that’s been used as the primary postal delivery vehicle for decades. These typically remain in service for 20 years or more — and refuel in minutes rather than hours.
But they’re not “clean,” according to the Biden Thing — so never mind who’s being taken to the cleaners.
Speaking of that …
Another cash hand-off to the postal monopoly emanates from Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s Postal Service Reform Act of 2021 (HR 3076), which would take the USPS’s health care liabilities off the USPS’s balance sheet and sluice them over to Medicare, transforming a specific liability into a general one.
“The plan, part of postal reform legislation now before Congress, would move Postal Service retirees into the Medicare system,” says policy analyst Brian McNicoll in a recent Washington Examiner piece. He notes that Medicare itself is “$50 trillion or more behind in what it is supposed to have for the next 75 years.”
Postal employees “… who paid premiums for retiree healthcare and pensions throughout their careers would be required to enroll in Medicare Part B and take on premiums of up to $1,500 per year for insurance for which they assumed they’d already paid.”
Advocates of offloading the government mail system’s health care liabilities onto Medicare’s liability balance sheet — which includes some Republicans, such as Rep. James Comer of Kentucky — argue that counting them as part of the USPS’s cost of doing “business” makes it appear the postal system is burning through taxpayer money faster than the fine-print reader for a radio timeshare commercial.
Which is like saying opening your eyes in the morning makes it appear the sun is rising.
But transferring liabilities to another department of government doesn’t make those liabilities less.
It only serves to hide their source.
According to analysts like McNicoll, this putative “reform” would end up putting taxpayers on the hook for another $46 billion when all is said and done — in order to make it appear the federal mail monopoly isn’t quite as wasteful as it actually is. Possibly as a way to take political heat off the federal mail monopoly’s serial wastage — which might prompt people to ask why there still is a federal mail monopoly at all.
UPS — which is a private delivery service — manages to not lose billions every year and get your stuff to you faster and more reliably.
Maybe the example could be followed.
Meanwhile, Congress won’t touch Medicare reform because of the political costs that attend cutting a federal entitlement program that has created millions of dependents who were made dependent by being forced to pay in all their working lives and who now reasonably expect to get the services they were promised.
How bad is it?
The Congressional Budget Office projects that mandatory outlays for both Social Security and Medicare will at least double over the next ten years. Medicare is facing insolvency in less ten years. Even if the federal government could balance the budget tomorrow, taxpayers would be on the hook for almost $30 trillion in federal government debt.
Meanwhile, the USPS is on track to lose $160 billion over the next ten years.
But that’s what happens when a “business” has “customers” like the IRS has “clients.”