The United States Postal Service (U.S.P.S.) is in desperate need of reform. Once a revered pillar of our country, they have lost sight of their core mission and it is costing taxpayers greatly. Instead of focusing on mail delivery, the U.S.P.S. has shifted towards services like the delivery of flowers and groceries, which are losing money. It is not surprising that they announced they suffered another abysmal financial quarter, netting a loss of $1.5 billion.
This continues a long pattern of losses and it comes on the heels of a $754 million loss in the previous quarter – putting them at a $2.2 billion loss for the current fiscal quarter. In addition, the U.S.P.S. has already maxed out their $15 billion line of credit with the U.S. Treasury. Over the past eight years alone they have seen a total of $50 billion in losses.
As the Washington Times rightly noted, changes will not occur overnight with an organization of that size, but serious reforms are needed, and needed quickly.
An enormous operation that employs 600,000 and maintains a $71 billion budget can’t change its profligate ways overnight, but some of the schemes under consideration to “cross-subsidize” letter delivery are troubling.
For the Postal Service to contemplate and move into the expansion of service when it can not get the basic things right, or operate solvently should be offensive to taxpayers. Whether it is financial services, grocery delivery or any other number of new services Postal Service apologists have proposed in recent years they are all a distraction from the organizations fundamental purpose- mail delivery. As the Washington Times noted in the same editorial, “Grocery delivery is a distraction from the fundamental mission of the Postal Service, which is to deliver letters at a reasonable rate to anyone anywhere in the United States.”
These losses signal the need for congressional reform and for the U.S.P.S. to go back to what is profitable: mail delivery.