U.S. POST OFFICE IS APRIL PORKER OF THE MONTH | Citizens Against Government Waste


Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Sean Rushton or Melissa Naudin
April 5, 2001(202) 467-5300



Washington, D.C. – This summer the U.S. Postal Service, fresh off its January rate hike, is gearing up to petition to hike mail costs yet again – this time by as much as 25 to 30 percent.  The price hike comes in response to the Postal Office’s projected losses of $2 to 3 billion this year.  Meanwhile, USPS’s own Inspector General reports $1.4 billion per annum in waste, fraud, and abuse and the General Accounting Office has added the Postal Transformation Process of the USPS to its high risk list.  Due to its blatant failure to eliminate the bloat while attempting to raise prices, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) names the Post Office its April Porker of the Month.

Since 1980, despite falling postal demand, the Postal Service has increased its workforce by 36 percent.  It now employs more than 900,000 people.  Meanwhile, despite multi-billion dollar outlays on technology upgrades, USPS’s productivity is expected to be an anemic 0.7 percent this year and has had only an 11 percent increase in productivity over the last 30 years.  In addition, the Postal Office had $9.3 billion in debt at the end of fiscal year 2000 and has no repayment program for this mounting debt.  The only things propping it up are its special tax breaks and government-granted monopoly status in the First Class Mail business.

To offset declining revenues, the Post Office, a top-heavy, bricks-and-mortar bureaucracy, now wants to merge onto the Information Superhighway to bring its lightning-fast efficiency and innovative service to e-commerce, where it is already losing money.  If history is a guide, once on the Information Superhighway, it will probably use its regulatory authority to prevent its competitors from getting into the passing lane.

Charges of abuse at the Post Office include lavish executive parties, large-scale junkets, and generous annual bonuses – last year more than $200 million, exactly the same as the agency’s loss.  Adding to the perception of a badly mismanaged Postal Service that definitely does not need more public money are recent reports it rented a train as part of a publicity campaign.  In the final analysis, the United States ought to follow the lead of countries like Germany and Canada – eliminate the first-class mail monopoly and privatize the Postal Service. 

For refusing to downsize its workforce, reduce waste, and make good use of its new technology; for attempting to raise rates and inappropriately expanding its mission; and for behaving like a bloated bureaucracy instead of a consumer-oriented business, CAGW awards the U.S. Postal Service its April Porker of the Month.

CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.  For more information, see CAGW's web site at www.cagw.org.




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