Trump: Postal Workers Don’t Deserve A Financial Lifeline

| Educate!

Above photo: A USPS postal worker wears mask while making deliveries in Beacon Hill in Boston during the COVID-19 pandemic on April 8, 2020. David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images.

NOTE: CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO SAVE THE POSTAL SERVICE. 

No one else can deliver essential goods to every home in the United States.

But the president is dismissing dire warnings of an imminent USPS collapse, falsely claiming that postal financial woes are self-inflicted.

The financially strapped United States Postal Service wound up with crumbs in the $2.2 trillion stimulus deal, despite playing a vital role in our nation’s public health and economic stability at this time of crisis.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) accused President Trump of personally intervening to strip a Democratic postal rescue proposal from the final bill. Asked on Tuesday for his response, Trump lashed out at the beleaguered Postal Service with a stream of false accusations.

“They lose money every time they deliver a package for Amazon or these other internet companies,” Trump said. “If they’d raise the prices by, actually a lot, then you’d find out that the post office could make money or break even. But they don’t do that…Tell your Democrat friend that he should focus on that.”

For years now, Trump has repeated the lie that USPS loses money through its contracts with Amazon and other private corporations to handle the last legs of their deliveries. A task force Trump himself commissioned in 2018 contradicted that argument. In its most recent quarterly statement, USPS reported a 2.3 percent increase in revenue from parcel delivery and increased revenue per package.

The real cause of the Postal Service’s immediate financial crisis is the coronavirus pandemic. Mail volumes have plummeted under the economic shutdown and package delivery profits cannot make up for the loss. USPS management has warned that mail volume and revenue could drop by 50 percent or more this year.

What’s behind Trump’s attacks? Support for the Postal Service crosses partisan lines. And you’d think a bit more compassion might be in order at a time when postal workers are on the frontlines, straining to meet the skyrocketing need for home deliveries of essential goods.

But playing hardball on crisis aid gives Trump and others in his administration the leverage they’ve been seeking for years to gut the public Postal Service. The crumbs in the stimulus law amount to $10 billion in additional debt, subject to conditions imposed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

By contrast, House Democrats had proposed a $25 billion cash infusion to prevent the Postal Service from possible collapse. It’s also stingy compared to the benefits offered to USPS competitors Fedex and UPS. Under the airline bailout, both of these companies are eligible for a portion of the $4 billion in cash assistance for payroll support and another $4 billion in loans and loan guarantees for air cargo carriers.

While Mnuchin’s loan conditions are not public, they likely echo recommendations from the 2018 task force he chaired, which included partial privatization, draconian cuts to wages and services, and elimination of employee collective bargaining rights.

Unlike many other industries, the Postal Service cannot furlough workers and still achieve its essential mission. Like health care professionals and emergency responders, postal workers are essential to our public health because their deliveries make it possible for people to stay at home and not spread the virus. Millions of people are relying on them to deliver medications and other essential goods, as well as the stimulus checks they’re waiting for to help cover their bills. Come November, postal workers will also be needed to protect the integrity of our election system by facilitating vote by mail.

Without the Postal Service’s network of 157 million daily delivery points and 35,000 post offices, there would be no way to carry out these essential activities. Jacking up package delivery rates now, as Trump is demanding, would harm postal customers, particularly in rural areas — just when they need these services most.

Postal workers are rising to the challenge of a crisis unlike any we’ve ever experienced.

The last thing they need is for the president to dismiss the gravity of the Postal Service’s financial situation. Hardball tactics might make sense in real estate deals. In this case, they could be devastating for every community in this country.

The American Postal Workers Union has organized a petition demanding urgent financial support for USPS.

Trump and leaders in Congress must heed their call and immediately deliver direct relief on the scale needed to save our public Postal Service and the many businesses and families that depend on it.

Sarah Anderson directs the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies and co-edits Inequality.org. Follow her at @SarahDAnderson1.

  • Big Brother Sam Other

    They had no problem spending for mail sorting machines that take digital pictures of everyone’s mail for the surveillance state. If you go to the postal service website, they’ll even give you pictures of your mail. How is that data used? How would it be used if they got their way and privatized the postal service into the hands of a big corporation?

  • voza0db

    Do not worry… The MONEY is being given to those that work hard to get it!

    From March 11 til April 8 Wall Street received $1,770,000,000,000.

    Those that keep on behaving like slaves, are still waiting for the $1,200 check…

    Probably they are trying to end the postal service in order to save some money!

  • Richard

    I will take the USPS over big business and the rest of our greedy crooked government any day. Keep voting D & R and your own demise, but don’t bitch when they take everything from you. Land of the free and home of the brave, yea right, that ended decades ago. More like the land of the brainwashed and home of the gullible these days.

  • rgaura

    Actually, Amazon is gaming the postal service, just like it games the tax system. Amazon is so subsidized by taxpayers it is criminal. I started an internet sales business in 1999, selling books from our independent bookstore in Menlo Park. We sold rare and used titles to Amazon every week. They were not making money. They didn’t have to. They were not paying taxes, which is a significant advantage in a market. They were able to game the system, and push independent, service oriented bookstores (and many other small businesses) out of business. Many small towns, between the monopoly pressures of Walmart and Amazon, no longer have shoe stores, hardware stores, bookstores, music stores. The loss to families, and to the social life, and commons, is drastic. This plandemic is the next iteration of social engineering which isolates and toxifies our populace. When you look at the Gates and Bezos, and the people behind this engineering, you find DARPA, you find some very dark agendas.
    We need to look at how this drill is being run. The body’s response to toxicity, whether to non ionizing radiation, chemicals and particulates in the air, or foods and water, often resembles flu symptoms. The co factors that make a common flu deadly are co morbidities and toxic exposure. This has been the case in Wuhan, Lombardy, and anywhere someone has bothered to really research the data. The epidemic is not one thing. It has, and will continue to hit the US hard, because US citizens are some of the most systematically poisoned people on earth. They have 6 times the amount of glyphosate running in their blood as europeans. The places hit hard have lots of air pollution from cars and airplanes.
    Industrial wastes have been sold into the stream of products sold to consumers, to avoid the costs of proper disposal. When you look at the X-rays of lungs sickened by the current epidemic, they look a lot like lungs exposed to ionizing radiation poisoning. I submit, and its just a theory, that non ionizing radiation at 60ghz acts in a similar way on the organs. If 5g is installed in the schools (and we are in the middle of a 180 day rollout mandated during lockdown) we will see lots of sick kids and teachers, which will be blamed on a virus. The expelling of bits of DNA and RNA covered with lipids (which is what a virus is) can actually be interpreted as the body getting rid of bits of dead cells, as it fights off any toxin.