Bailout architect/beneficiary says privatize USPS

As OMB chief, Orszag bailed out Citibank- now they pay him millions

Citibank’s Peter Orszag thinks the US Postal Service needs to be privatized. In an article for Bloomberg, he doesn’t exactly explain why this is necessary, but simply insists that it is. Here’s an example, where he talks about the Universal Service Obligation:

For the hard-to-reach, unprofitable routes, a subsidy could be provided. This would be more economical than the vast and opaque cross-subsidies now used to ensure universal service.

Peter never bothers to specify what those “vast and opaque cross-subsidies” are, (probably because they exist only in his mind). If you’re pushing privatization, it’s a bit awkward to admit that you’d need subsidies to maintain service, so why not just pretend that there are already “vast” subsidies in place, and go on to your next point!

But never mind that- Peter Orszag is uniquely qualified to pontificate on issues involving government and private enterprise, because he’s operated quite skillfully on both sides. In 2008 President Obama put him in charge of the Office of Management and Budget, where he worked on health care reform, and the continuation of the Bush Wall Street bailout.

But after just two years at OMB, Orszag moved on to greener pastures- as Will Wilkinson wrote for the Economist in December 2010:

Last week, Mr Orszag accepted a senior position at the investment-banking arm of Citigroup, an institution that exists in its present form thanks to massive infusions of taxpayer cash. Exactly how much Citigroup pay Mr Orszag is not public knowledge, but swapping tweed for sharkskin should leave him sitting pretty. Bankers who spoke to the New York Times ballparked his yearly salary at $2-3m.

So I think it’s safe to say that Peter Orszag knows what he’s talking about when he tells us to ignore the facts and privatize the USPS. He’s talking about money, and lots of it!

In Peter’s mind, it’s time we stopped wasting money on good middle class jobs with security and decent benefits, and put that money where it belongs- in the pockets of people like Peter Orszag and his Wall St. cronies!

via Best Fix for Postal Service Is to Take It Private – Bloomberg.