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OPINION: President Trump wrong about Postal Service

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This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom. 

 “The Postal Service is a joke,” President Donald Trump recently told reporters in the Oval Office.

He said he won’t sign off on a $10 billion loan to the USPS unless it raises prices on online retailers “by approximately four times.”

“They [USPS] don’t want to raise it because they don’t want to insult Amazon. They’re handing out packages for Amazon and other internet companies. Every time they bring a package, they lose money on it,” President Trump said.

According to the Washington Post, President Trump’s animus toward the postal service is tied to his grudge against Amazon founder and Post owner Jeff Bezos.

Postal Service woes

The $10 billion line of credit is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Postmaster General Megan Brennan told the House Oversight and Reform Committee last month that because of the loss of mail volume due to the coronavirus pandemic the USPS will “run out of cash this fiscal year” without further financial assistance, according to the Federal News Network.

Between 2007 and 2016, USPS lost $62.4 billion, an estimated 87 percent of which is attributed to a prefunding requirement, which mandates from a 2006 act that USPS first pay worker pensions and retirement health-care benefits, according to the Postal Service inspector general.

The agency hasn’t turned a profit since 2006.

President Trump vs. the Postal Service

I tend to side with the president on most of his policy decisions. But he’s wrong: the Postal Service is no joke.

The USPS is a necessity, a lifeline — literally delivering life-saving medicines — to rural areas of the nation.

The Framers of the US Constitution saw the postal service as critical to facilitating commerce and communications among the 13 states. The USPS was ranked as a high-priority item, along with the ability to create money and an army and ensure fair trade among the states.

Its founding dating to 1775, the USPS is one of the few government institutions spelled out in the Constitution.

If the USPS were to be privatized, the standard flat rate applied equally to every citizen would vanish under market forces.

I am a free-market guy. But the Postal Service is no joke. America depends on its army of mail carriers. It should stay.

 

Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.