Postal Service: This week the Senate passed a postal bill that throws billions at the beleaguered monopoly but does nothing to fix it. If Congress can’t even manage to get this reform right, the country is doomed.To get a sense of how out of whack lawmakers’ priorities are these days, consider that Congress has for years made naming post office buildings its most crucial task — passing more bills to do that than anything else.
Since 2005, there have been 288 post office designation laws, according to an IBD review of Library of Congress records. That accounts for one of every five laws enacted over those years.
All this happened while the U.S. Postal Service was careening toward bankruptcy. And now, with that fate imminent, the Senate passes a bill that would make it virtually impossible for the USPS to shut these — or any other — post offices down, no matter how little used they are or how much money they lose.
This isn’t just a minor issue.
The USPS is losing $25 million each day and has already piled up $13 billion in debt. It’s so bad that the Postal Service itself desperately wants to cut costs to keep the service more or less viable.
What it got instead was a Senate bill that sets up new restrictions on how the USPS can manage its costs, along with a truckload of taxpayer bailout money to cover its losses.
Even the postmaster general isn’t buying it.
Over on the House side, Darrell Issa, who heads the Government Reform Committee, vows to block the Senate bill.
Of course, what the Postal Service needs isn’t just a little more freedom to cut costs, but wholesale privatization. Many other countries have privatized their postal services, opening them up to competition and watching as market forces improve quality and lower costs.
The bigger issue is this:
If lawmakers don’t have the stomach to let even a few post offices close because doing so might inconvenience some voters, what’s the chance that they will ever be able to reform the nation’s entitlement programs, or fix the tax code, or do other the other things needed to wean millions of Americans off their growing dependence on government?
FROM: IBD Editorials