In his May 26 rebuttal to the Review-Journal’s May 14 editorial, U.S. Postal Service spokesperson David Partenheimer said, “We pay for our operations entirely through the sale of postal products and services.” Yet, the Postal Service has defaulted on $48 billion in retiree health and pension payments to the U.S. Treasury. Taxpayers are on the hook for these and other liabilities.
Mr. Partenheimer also claims, “Studies consistently show that the Postal Service is one of the most efficient posts in the world.” Yet a presidential task force report in December urged the Postal Service “be required to provide full price transparency for all package services in order to reduce market distortion.” It adds the Postal Service should “develop a new cost allocation model with fully distributed costs to all products, services and activities.”
How can the Postal Service be efficient if it does not understand its actual costs? This also helps explain the $48 billion default.
It is time for fundamental reform of the Postal Service — before a liquidity crisis hits and taxpayers are handed a huge bill.
The writer is a senior fellow with the Lexington Institute, a public policy think tank.