TAXPAYER GROUP’S REPORT CRITICIZES U.S. POSTAL SERVICE FOR WASTE, EXPANDED ACTIVITIES, CUSTOMS ABUSES | Citizens Against Government Waste

TAXPAYER GROUP’S REPORT CRITICIZES U.S. POSTAL SERVICE FOR WASTE, EXPANDED ACTIVITIES, CUSTOMS ABUSES

Press Release



For Immediate ReleaseContact: Sean Rushton or Melissa Naudin
November 1, 2000(202) 467-5300

 


(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today released its latest Through the Looking Glass special report,  “The United States Postal Service: Delivering Waste, Fraud, and Abuse . . . for You,” by Leslie K. Paige.  It highlights the ongoing waste and abuse inside the USPS, and assesses its effort to expand beyond its core mail delivery mission, wasting taxpayer dollars by the hundreds of millions and disrupting private markets.


“The USPS uses its power as a quasi-government agency to interfere in private markets and damage American commerce,” CAGW President Tom Schatz said.  “USPS today is striving to survive and justify itself in a world increasingly served by private delivery companies and the Internet.  To survive it must adapt, even if that means going beyond what people need and the Constitution mandates.  This report is a wakeup call to the press, private sector, and Congress.”


Some points from the report:


  • USPS loses at least $1 billion annually in waste, fraud, and abuse. 
  • Between 1995-1997 the Postal Service lost $84 million on new products and services such as t-shirts, phone cards, stickers, mugs and other retail items.  USPS has wasted millions peddling goods and services already provided by the private sector. 
  • When the Postal Service loses money, the American taxpayer picks up the tab in the form of increased postage rates.  USPS now wants a rate hike worth $3.4 billion.
  • USPS remains exempt from most federal, state, and local taxes, and is exempt from zoning laws and is not required to license its vehicles or even pay parking tickets.  Without these benefits, the Postal Service would have had a loss in fiscal year 1997.
  • Unlike private companies, USPS does not present international mail for inspection by Customs, leaving drug-traffickers and money launderers an easy avenue to move illegal shipments into and out of the United States.  Further, USPS fails to collect duties and fees 94 percent of the time, resulting in as much as a $1.5 billion annual loss of revenue to the U.S. Treasury.

In the short term, the Postal Service should develop specific methods to accurately report on its own operations, cease all forays into inappropriate commercial activities, and comply with the requests of the Customs Service to inspect international mail shipments.  Long term, Congress should ultimately privatize the U.S Postal Service.  Further, the Postal Service should assume responsibility for its own debts, adhere to zoning laws, and pay all applicable federal, state, and local taxes.


The report is available at:  www.cagw.org, under “What’s New?”


CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with over a million members and supporters, dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement, and abuse in government.

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