TAXPAYER GROUP BASHES POST OFFICE FOR RAISING RATES WHILE WASTE PILES UP | Citizens Against Government Waste

TAXPAYER GROUP BASHES POST OFFICE FOR RAISING RATES WHILE WASTE PILES UP

Press Release



For Immediate ReleaseContact: Sean Rushton or Melissa Naudin
November 13, 2000(202) 467-5300

 


(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today decried the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) request, approved by the independent Postal Rate Commission, to raise its rates this January.  Earlier this month CAGW released a special report,  “The United States Postal Service: Delivering Waste, Fraud, and Abuse . . . for You,” by Senior Vice President Leslie K. Paige, that highlighted ongoing waste and abuse at the Post Office.


“We know USPS loses at least $1.4 billion annually in waste, fraud, and abuse.  Further, we know that from 1995 to 1997, the Postal Service lost $84 million on new commercial products and services such as t-shirts, phone cards, stickers, mugs and other retail items,” Paige said.  “USPS has further wasted millions peddling goods and services already provided by the private sector.  In addition, 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.”


“To raise rates without cutting waste and abuse at the Post Office is an indefensible postal rate-payer bailout of a government monopoly,” Paige added.  “If a private company operated like this, it would be out of business in a week.”


Under the commission’s action, the price of a first-class stamp will rise to 34 cents.  But the 22-cent cost of a second ounce of first-class mail will stay the same, as will the 20-cent postcard.  The Postal Service had asked that the second-ounce rate be raised by 2 cents and the postcard by 1 cent.  The Postal Rate Commission approved the increase after months of hearings and deliberations.  The higher rate for a first-class stamp will bring in about $1 billion a year.  The last rate increase, which tacked a penny onto the cost of a first-class stamp, was in January 1999.   


“Before the Post Office goes back to the well yet again, Congress should demand that it develop specific methods for accurately reporting on its operations, cease all forays into inappropriate commercial activities, and comply with the requests of the Customs Service to inspect international mail shipments.  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?”  To interview Leslie K. Paige, call CAGW at (202)467-5300.


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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