As U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other party leaders continue to push for $25 billion in funding for the U.S. Postal Service ahead of November’s election, some in the GOP are responding with pointed criticism.
For his part, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) questioned the wisdom of continuing to fund a federal entity that he described as hopelessly mismanaged, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
“Unless you fix their labor problems”
His remarks came during a Fox News Channel interview on Wednesday.
Explaining his belief that the USPS needs a top-down overhaul to ensure its underlying issues are properly addressed before Congress agrees to spend more taxpayer dollars on its operations, Paul offered some specific statistics to bolster his position.
“Well, you know, anybody who wants to give money to the post office, you might as well just put it into a big pile on your front lawn and burn it,” he said.
No amount of congressional aid will redeem the agency unless leaders address the problems at its root, he said.
“You cannot fix the post office unless you fix their labor problem,” Paul argued, pointing out that postal service rivals in the private sector operate on significantly lower costs.
“Lost $8 billion last year”
“So really, in the end, just giving money to the post office is giving money to an operation that lost $8 billion last year,” he added.
Of course, USPS defenders across the political spectrum defend its operation at a financial loss by emphasizing that it is a federal service provider, not a private business.
Packages entering the far less profitable last leg of many rural deliveries initiated by UPS, FedEx, and others, for example, are often transferred to postal service carriers.
Paul, however, echoed the concerns of many critics by saying even a reduced level of funding for the USPS would amount to a “foolhardy notion.”
While the postal service remains overwhelmingly popular among Americans in general, Paul is hardly the first fiscal conservative to raise concerns about its negligent spending habits. The agency provides a vital resource for millions of Americans, but it might just require a major overhaul to maintain those services for future generations.