Recently, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) its May 2018 Porker of the Month for her proposal to force the fiscally-imperiled United States Postal Service (USPS) to expand into banking.
USPS is in the midst of its 12th consecutive year of financial losses, which total $66 billion. On May 11, 2018, USPS released its fiscal year (FY) 2018 second quarter financial report, which showed a $1.3 billion loss, more than double the $562 million loss it experienced in the second quarter of FY 2017.
The floundering USPS reached its statutory debt limit of $15 billion in 2012 and has more than $120 billion in unfunded liabilities. The agency has routinely been included in the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) High Risk List since 2001. GAO has charged USPS with operating with “a broken business model,” and concluded that major reform is “needed to stave off financial insolvency.”
This fiscal nightmare has occurred even though USPS possesses unique financial benefits. A March 2015 report by Sonecon CEO Robert Shapiro, an economist in the Clinton Administration, found that USPS has an $18 billion financial advantage over similar private sector companies.
While most would analyze this situation and conclude that USPS should seek to right-size its operations and modernize the services it already provides, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has the opposite impulse. On April 25, 2018, she introduced S. 2755, the Postal Banking Act, which would force USPS to expand its operations into “financial services.” She called the postal service “a system that already works,” and said that expanding the failing agency is an “elegant solution.”
CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “The USPS is a sinking ship and Sen. Gillibrand wants to add more weight. Unfortunately, she lives in the world of government-sponsored entities, where the motto is ‘fail and expand.’ This proposal should be returned to sender, and USPS should get back to basics.”
For attempting to force the financially beleaguered postal service to get into the banking business, CAGW names Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand its May 2018 Porker of the Month.
Gillibrand is often mentioned as a probable candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination.
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.