Report: USPS Gets $18 Billion In Subsidies And ‘Special Privileges’

The United States Postal Service receives $18 billion in annual federal subsidies, but that is still not enough to offset the $20 billion in lost productivity that results from its monopoly status.

A study released Wednesday by Robert Shapiro, founder of the economic advisory firm Sonecon, finds that in addition to billions in direct subsidies like reduced-rate loans and tax exemptions, the USPS receives “special privileges” worth at least $15 billion thanks to its government-mandated monopoly.

To assist with its mandate of providing universal service, for instance, the USPS “is supported by a range of subsidies, including appropriations, exclusive access to residential and business mailboxes, borrowing subsidies, and favorable tax treatment,” which together serve to insulate the Postal Service from competitive pressure and create significant economies of scale.

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