The Huffington Post has a reputation for leaning to the left, but they apparently provide some sort of affirmative action slots for tea party types. One of them, Eli Lehrer, has a priceless piece today, suggesting that budget hawks should go after:
A truly useless government agency with over a half million employees and $66 billion in annual spending.
Yes, you guessed it- Eli wants to balance the budget by eliminating the US Postal Service. Like so many of his true believer comrades, Eli believes that his personal tastes and beliefs should govern public policy. Eli doesn’t particularly care for the USPS, so we should just get rid of it. Readers have no doubt already spotted a slight flaw in Eli’s plan- the fact that the USPS doesn’t actually take any money from the taxpayers.
Eli does seem to have some faint understanding of postal finances- after the usual trashing of the post office, he writes “Now, before any budget balancers get too excited, it’s worth noting that, since 1970, the Postal Service hasn’t directly tapped Treasury directly in a significant way.” Hmmm…
But never mind that! Eli still thinks we should can the USPS and eliminate a couple hundred thousand jobs because of, well, pensions, apparently.
Given that its debt for pensions and other costs seems almost certain to become a public obligation, no matter what happens, stopping the bleeding now is a good idea.
So let’s just cut to the chase, and immediately start paying for all those pensions from tax revenue instead of postal revenue! Eli has a very original theory of budget balancing! He also doesn’t seem to grasp the fact that the USPS takes in all that revenue on a totally voluntary basis- no one has to mail anything. People use the USPS because they, unlike Eli, want to.
Eli’s disdain for postal employees who actually work for a living, and the millions of Americans who depend on them every day shouldn’t come as much of a surprise though- consider his resume:
Eli Lehrer is President of R Street, a free-market think tank with offices in Washington, D.C., Columbus, Ohio, Tallahassee, Florida, and Austin, Texas. Prior to heading R Street, Lehrer was a Vice President of the Heartland Institute who, along with his staff, left Heartland to create R Street in May of 2012. He has also been a reporter at the Washington Times, a senior editor of the American Enterprise Institute’s magazine, a project manager for the Unisys Corporation, a fellow for the Heritage Foundation, and speechwriter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.
Translation: Has never actually worked a day in his life!
Read more: Eli Lehrer: The Postal Service Should Go… Now.