By CAGW, Special for USDR
The Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Porker of the Year Award, and the Oscars have something in common: They all take place before the end of February.
“continues to face great uncertainty and risk related to its financial condition.”
At an appropriately parsimonious red-ink stained carpet gala, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today announced the results of its online poll for the 2014 Porker of the Year. The well-guarded envelope was opened and it revealed that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) won the not-so-coveted Porker of the Year Award with 34 percent of the vote. The Leading Porker in a Supporting Role went to Consumer Financial Protection Board Director Richard Cordray, with 29 percent. Honorable Porker Awards went to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) at 23 percent, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) at 8 percent, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) at 4 percent, and former U.S. Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel at 3 percent.
Sen. Warren emerged from this year’s competitive field as a result of her hare-brained scheme to permit the United States Postal Service (USPS) to get into the banking business as a way to rebrand itself and garner new streams of revenue. She won CAGW’s February 2014 Porker of the Month award after The Huffington Post published her op-ed entitled “Coming to a Post Office Near You: Loans You Can Trust?” Sen. Warren wrote that if USPS “offered … just basic bill paying, check cashing and small dollar loans – then it could provide affordable financial services to underserved families, and, at the same time, shore up its own financial footing … USPS could partner with banks to make a critical difference for millions of Americans who don’t have basic banking services because there are almost no banks or bank branches in their neighborhoods.”
Sen. Warren’s comments came out shortly after the publication of a January 27, 2014 USPS Office of Inspector General report that also explored the possibility of having the agency, which currently sells money orders, dabble more extensively into what the IG called “non-banking services,” such as payment services, savings options, and credit services. Although the financial services concept has yet to come to fruition, the USPS has dabbled in other competitive ventures, such as partnering with companies to compete in the grocery delivery business and offering same day delivery of some products, which has already proven to be a money loser.
On February 11, 2015, the USPS was part of an ensemble cast of dubious characters included on the Government Accountability Office’s 2015 High Risk List, where it has had a recurring role on that series since 2009. GAO found that the USPS “continues to face great uncertainty and risk related to its financial condition.” Despite having reduced costs by $8 billion over the past two years, the agency ended fiscal years 2013 and 2014 with net losses of $5 billion and $5.5 billion. GAO has never suggested that new lines of business represent a viable solution to the agency’s financial problems.
For her supremely inane idea to allow the USPS to take on financial services under its current flawed and bloated management structure in order to chase profits, while setting the stage for another enormous taxpayer bailout, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is CAGW’s 2014 Porker of the Year.
CAGW is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Year is a dubious honor given to a lawmaker, government official, or political candidate who has shown the most blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers throughout the year.