The "feds" want us to believe they're just as efficient as the private sector. Indeed, as Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner noted, July 7, the Postal Service is trying to convince us that its two- or three-day express system is just as good as the overnight services of FedEx or UPS.

Feulner also contends that the Postal Service is lobbying Congress to give it a freer hand to jack up first-class rates and other mail rates, producing additional money it could use to subsidize its other operations. In his words: "The scam is simple: If the Postal Service can fatten its coffers from its first-class mail monopoly, the additional funds would enable it to lower its 'express-delivery' prices and undercut the competition."

Feulner contends, however, that: "American companies shouldn't have to compete against their own government - especially when the same government awards itself all the advantages. The Postal Service doesn't have to pay the same sales, property and other taxes or follow the same regulations private companies do. ... If the Postal Service wants to compete against FedEX and UPS in the express-delivery business, then these private companies ought to be allowed to compete with the Postal Service in delivering first-class mail. After all, fair is fair."

We agree. But we don't think the Postal Service will make any such recommendation for pure competition in the near future. We do think private companies could perform in an even more cost-efficient manner if they didn't have to turn over so much of their profits to the Internal Revenue Service. And despite all the talk about tax legislation on Capitol Hill, we still think former Republican presidential contender Steve Forbes had the best idea when he suggested a flat tax.

While speaking about the current tax system at a recent GOP fundraiser in Portland, he offered the same advice he gave in St. Johnsbury not too long ago. In Steve Forbes' words: "There is no way to reform it. With a monster like that, what you have to do is kill it, drive a stake through its heart."

Copyright 1997

The Caledonian-Record


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