Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Congress’ tech policy knowledge ...

Congress’ tech policy knowledge gap

“Suppose you were an idiot,” Mark Twain once quipped, “and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.” Like Twain, libertarians tend not to think highly of elected officials. We view them as corrupt, in cahoots with interest groups, and obsessed with politicking instead of governing. And, as Twain quipped, dumb. Oh, so, […]

Financial collapse of the United States Postal Service is com...

Financial collapse of the United States Postal Service is coming

The United States Postal Service (USPS) will run out of cash in five years. Postmaster General Megan Brennan shared this news in testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee earlier this month. The immediate consequence of USPS becoming insolvent would be that the world’s largest postal system — which still moves 150 billion mail pieces per year, […]

Written testimony on public access to Congressional Research Service repo...

Written testimony on public access to Congressional Research Service reports

Thank you, Chairman Ryan, Ranking Member Beutler and members of the Legislative Branch Appropriations subcommittee for holding this open hearing. This is the third consecutive year the subcommittee has held a public hearing, which is a wonderful and remarkable achievement. All of us who have participated previously and are submitting testimony today are very grateful. […]

GAO versus the ghost of OTA: Who will win the science and technology assessment ra...

GAO versus the ghost of OTA: Who will win the science and technology assessment race?

Hardly anyone would argue that Congress is well equipped to make technology policy. Very few members are techies, and let’s face it, innovation is hurtling forward at a mind-blowing pace. Nor is Congress and its basic modus operandi — serving as a bargaining arena for diverse interests — particularly congenial to the use of data […]

How does Trump’s budget propose to fix the Postal Servi...

How does Trump’s budget propose to fix the Postal Service?

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) lost $3.9 billion in 2018. The agency also failed to make a $6.9 billion payment to cover its retiree health and pension benefits. Mail volume is down more than 25 percent since 2008, leaving the postman with less revenue. So what does President Donald J. Trump propose to do to right the USPS’ ship? […]

Five charts show the grim financial condition of the U.S. Postal Serv...

Five charts show the grim financial condition of the U.S. Postal Service

Last year, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) ran a deficit of $3.9 billion. Unfortunately, losses are the rule rather than the exception for the agency. All this red ink has flowed despite USPS’s aggressive move into the parcel delivery business. These five charts depict the immensity of USPS’s financial challenges. The Postal Service was designed […]

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