While government bureaucrats are notoriously inefficient at their core missions, such as the EPA polluting the Animus River, the one thing they are consistently efficient at is losing taxpayer dollars. In addition to the EPA’s recent bungles, the U.S. Postal Service this week continued its long tradition of hemorrhaging money.
This week the Postal Service reported a net loss of $586 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2015. The USPS’s ability to lose over half a billion dollars in just three months would almost be impressive if it wasn’t a detriment to American taxpayers. The fact is the USPS receives roughly $18 billion in taxpayer-backed subsidies annually yet is still failing.
Despite this massive multi-billion dollar subsidies crutch, the Postal Service continues to prove incapable of financial accountability. The third quarter losses this week are not only a massive bureaucratic failure but also mean the Postal Service has now posted revenue losses 25 out of the last 27 quarters.
Given the $1.5 billion dollar losses posted in the previous quarter, 2015 could be the 9th consecutive year USPS has suffered multi-billion dollar losses. The Postal Service is now averaging about $5.5 billion in annual losses and within the last decade the Post Office endured over $47 billion in losses, a number that is only slated to grow.
As troubling as such massive losses are, the more troubling fact is the USPS machine is able to push on despite the overwhelming lack of fiscal accountability. Alternatively, if the Post Office were a private company it would have been bankrupt decades ago and a more efficient service would have taken its place.
Sadly, there is little motivation for efficiency or accountability when government bureaucrats know they have an $18 billion dollar taxpayer-sewn safety net to catch them. The truth is as long as billions keep flowing from the government losses will continue, and American taxpayers will be expected to keep footing the bill for these bureaucratic boondoggles.
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