WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) reacted with astonishment and outrage at the latest schemes being proposed to allow the fiscally imperiled United States Postal Service (USPS), which has lost $46 billion since 2007, to expand into unrelated sectors of the economy.
For the third time since January 2014, the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) has shirked its customary responsibilities to be an independent watchdog dedicated to eradicating waste, fraud, and mismanagement in favor of becoming an in-house marketing consultant. The OIG released two white papers, on January 27, 2014 and May 22, 2015, the first of which urged the agency to begin delivering groceries, and the second of which suggested that USPS should provide certain financial services.
While these two schemes are preposterous, the latest expansion foray may take the cake for absurdity. On July 27, 2015, under “Ideas Worth Exploring” on the USPS website, the OIG stated, “As the number of older Americans increases, so do their needs. Not all of those needs are being met. But the U.S. Postal Service could change that.” The ideas ripe for exploration include delivering groceries to the elderly, setting up mobile health units, deputizing letter carriers to identify aging folks in need and forwarding that information to “wellness organizations,” and helping citizens with Social Security.
The latest push from the OIG comes on the heels of the introduction of a bill that would create other ludicrous endeavors. S. 1854, introduced on July 24, 2015 by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), would allow USPS to begin providing public broadband Internet access, alcohol shipments, and Internet voting.
“An agency with a $68 billion dollar annual budget and congressionally-conferred special privileges valued at $18 billion annually, which still cannot make ends meet and has run record, multi-billion dollar deficits for eight consecutive years, has no business expanding its operations into any other sectors of the economy,” said CAGW Vice President for Policy and Communications Leslie Paige. “This is nothing more than another desperate effort to avoid the reforms that are long overdue to address the USPS’s mission, which is to deliver the mail. If the agency cannot remain financially stable doing that, it is unlikely that it will magically turn itself around by using its broken business model to take on more responsibilities in areas where it has zero expertise. Allowing the USPS to expand into senior care is particularly ridiculous. The USPS should be required to do what every failing entity does: hew to its core business, right-size its operations, and gets its fiscal house in order.”
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.