The country is learning about the special-interest handouts in the Inflation Reduction Act.
In one particularly concerning provision, the act gives the struggling, financially irresponsible United States Postal Service $1.29 billion for the purchase of electric delivery trucks and an additional $1.71 billion to build out supporting infrastructure such as charging stations.
While the idea of electric delivery trucks sounds like a win for the environment and a proposal that might reduce operations costs in the long term, the Postal Service’s track record indicates that it is in no position to oversee such a massive overhaul of infrastructure. It is no secret that the USPS has been on the brink of financial ruin for decades, constantly seeking bailouts at the expense of the taxpayer. In 2021, its operating revenue was $77 billion, an increase of $3.9 billion despite reporting a net loss of $9.2 billion in 2020 and a net loss of nearly $100 billion since 2007. This doesn’t even take into consideration the $50 billion in bailout funding that Congress pushed through last year, which was supposed to set the Postal Service on a path of solvency as is required by law.
Top line: The Postal Service needs to get its financial house in order before it takes up an extremely costly, taxpayer-supported program. It currently lacks the proper infrastructure to support a massive switch of the postal fleet.