Taxpayers Are Mad USPS Is Delivering Groceries
The U.S. Postal Service should be delivering mail, not groceries, says the social welfare nonprofit Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA).
On Friday, the Alexandria, Virginia-based 501c4—coding the Internal Revenue Service uses for civic leagues, social welfare organizations and local associations of employees—sent a notice to Target Marketing about the complaint the organization filed with the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) on Thursday. The PRC is the entity reviewing the USPS request to conduct a two-year-long grocery delivery test in cities beyond pilot metropolis San Francisco, which received groceries from AmazonFresh via the postal service.
In the complaint, the organization makes many claims about the USPS to complement its objection to the grocery delivery test. TPA calls the postal service "a government agency and a congressionally backed monopoly" that has legal rights unavailable to private companies.
"Inserting themselves into this industry space would simply be another way for the USPS to expand their reach without instituting real reform, not to fulfill its mandate of delivering the mail on time to its customers anywhere in the country," reads the complaint signed by TPA President David Williams. "This growth would work to push out already established private providers. This action works to hurt private businesses who cannot afford to bring their price down to a level where they can be competitive. A government agency should not be working to compete with American businesses."
Though TPA has a mission statement, the nonprofit doesn't reveal its backers. As a Washington Post synopsis of 501c4 organizations shows, TPA isn't required to reveal its donors as a result of the 2010 "Citizens United" ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. TPA launched in March 2011.
"Anne J Siarnacki, the public representative appointed to provide a general public interest view on PRC matters, also raised concerns that the postal service has not done enough to show that its customized delivery service will not cause market disruption," Post & Parcel reports.
Conversely, the Arlington, Virginia-based Food Marketing Institute and National Grocers Association didn't file complaints with the PRC. They also didn't immediately answer Target Marketing's requests for comment about the grocery delivery test and their opinions about the TPA complaint.
USPS didn't directly respond to the TPA allegations on Friday.
"We will be filing our own reply comments to the PRC that are being received based on our filing," USPS told Target Marketing.
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