Baucus Fudges Subsidy Talk with Postmaster Gen

Aaron Flint posted on April 13, 2012 12:26 :: 1251 Views

Benjamin Franklin may have been the first Postmaster General of the United States, but apparently the lightbulb didn’t come on for Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) when it came to tax policy during yesterday’s visit by the current Postmaster General of the United States.

Debate over the history of the lightbulb aside, here’s what Sen. Baucus- the Chairman of the US Senate’s tax-writing Finance committee- had to say when asked about his thoughts on the need for subsidizing the fledgling US Postal Service.  

Sen. Baucus: “Yeah, I think you make a good point, asking ‘why not subsidize the postal service when other companies get tax breaks’ which are in effect some form of subsidies. There are federal revenues that go to the Postal Service, but you’re right there are significant tax breaks that go to big companies, competitors of the Postal Service.” 

Click below to listen:

Baucus Discusses Postal Service Subsidies

The Chairman of the United States Senate Finance Committee doesn’t know the difference between a subsiby and a tax break?  This is a great debate over whether or not to subsidize the US Postal Service in order to save small, rural post offices.  However, let’s get this straight: the US Postal Service does not pay taxes.  Senator Baucus says tax breaks are equivalent to subsidies.  I take it we are to assume that since the Postal Service pays zero dollars in taxes that the Postal Service is already fully subsidized?  

For more on the Postal Service and taxes, The Cato Institute had this in a November 2010 report:

As a federal organization, the USPS benefits from numerous other privileges. The USPS is exempt from vehicle licensing requirements,
sales taxes, and local property taxes. It doesn’t have to pay parking tickets, and it has eminent domain powers. It pays to itself the income
taxes that it would owe if it were a private business.

The Associated Press filed this report from Ingomar Thursday which was picked up by The Washington Post and contained this:

In a report released Thursday, federal auditors stressed that “dramatic changes” were needed to stem the Postal Service’s mounting debt and that the agency’s proposal to close mail processing centers, estimated to save roughly $3 billion a year, was an important part of accomplishing that goal.

The report by the Government Accountability Office also noted that the proposal to close mail centers faced tough obstacles due to local communities’ opposition to the job losses and cutbacks in service. Labor agreements also make layoffs and forced employee transfers difficult, the report said.

Northern Broadcasting and Northern Ag Network was at the event and provided live coverage online and on the air for multiple radio stations across the state. Click here for more coverage.

Click Below to Listen

Click to Listen

Below is a video containing Sen. Baucus’ initial remarks. (Will update if more video clips follow)

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