USPS Needs Reform, Not Bailouts

The United States Postal Service (USPS) received a $10 billion bailout in the 2020 CARES Act and was allocated $25 million in the Democrat-supported HEROES Act that was never signed into law. Congressional activists  warned that if the USPS did not get their $25 million bailout, the agency would not be able to deliver the 2020 election mail and yet the USPS did not get their $25 million windfall and was able to handle the election mail without issue.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was blamed for the forecasted problems at the USPS and partisans accused him of masterminding election mail delays to help President Trump’s reelection efforts. As it were, DeJoy’s reforms were briefly enacted between July 10-August 18, 2020 and then stopped after Democrat scaremongers ginned up public sentiment and conspiracies to force the agency back to its troubled operations. According to Post Master General Louis DeJoy’s testimony before the House Oversight Committee:

A record 159 million voters cast ballots in the 2020 general election — 22 million more than in 2016 — and the turnout percentage was the highest in a U.S. election since 1900. In a year when COVID-19 made voting in-person less desirable, these dramatic increases were achieved in part because the public had the convenient and safe option of voting via a mailed ballot. The Postal Service delivered over 135 million ballots to or from voters in the general election, a subset of the broader 541 million election mail pieces delivered during the 2020 general election.” We are proud of our performance as a delivery organization. We delivered 99.89 percent of ballots within seven days, consistent with the guidance we provided voters throughout the election cycle and delivered 97.9 percent of ballots from voters to election officials within three days. Overall, on average, we delivered ballots to voters in 2.1 days. Most importantly, on average, we delivered ballots from voters to election officials in just 1.6 days.

According to the Lexington Institute, USPS performance was significantly worse once DeJoy’s reforms were stopped for daily business operations. During the busy 2020 holiday season for the week ending December 26, only 64 percent of first-class mail was delivered on time, a staggering 18 percent lower than the worst week in the summer.

Instead of throwing more money at the failed agency, it’s time to reform its business model. The USPS has been bleeding money for years and is on track to continue losing money. From DeJoy’s testimony:

Despite our mandate to be financially self-sufficient, in fiscal year 2020, the Postal Service recorded a net loss of $9.2 billion, adding to a decade of losses totaling $66.8 billion. We have been able to maintain operations only by defaulting on statutory obligations to fund pension and retiree health benefits, and we have large unfunded liabilities. Absent substantial changes, our financial losses will continue to widen, and our ability to invest in the future of the organization will be severely curtailed. We are forecasted to lose $160 billion over the next ten years, with a negative cash balance of the same size.

Why should the taxpayer continue to throw good money after bad at the Postal Service? Any private business would be forced to overhaul its operation if it wanted to stay afloat. The problems at the Post Office come from excessive retirement benefits, unnecessary service requirements, expensive junk mail, inefficient management and poor pricing practices which are all issues their competitors in the private sector do not face. Instead the USPS should focus its efforts on the one area where it has a monopoly: mail delivery.

The Biden Administration has named three nominees to open positions on the US Postal Services governing board. Biden spokesman Jen Psaki addressed a question about the administration replacing DeJoy, “He [Biden] believes the leadership can do better, and we are eager to have the board of governors in place.” Perhaps these Biden proxies will look to structural reform at the USPS instead of throwing more money away at a failing business model. Anything less will get the taxpayer more of the same from postal service.

About Liz Sheld

Liz Sheld is the senior news editor at American Greatness. She is a veteran political strategist and pollster who has worked on campaigns and public interest affairs. Liz has written at Breitbart and The Federalist, as well as at PJ Media, where she wrote "The Morning Briefing." In her spare time, she shoots sporting clays and watches documentaries.

Photo: (Photo by Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

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