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President Trump and the Post Office: The real story

Allow me to be rather direct. If you opened this post, you are about to have your level of commitment to finding the truth tested. For a few weeks, I have listened to many Democratic politicians and their surrogates claim that changes being made in U.S. Postal Service operations are intended to make voting by mail ineffective, a failure.

The argument put forth is that this action is driven by Trump’s opposition to voting by mail. (For information, those pushing this argument hardly ever explain that Trump’s opposition is to “universal voting by mail”, not to the usual absentee process.) The Internet is replete with articles to this effect and television news reports are filled with Democrats giving soundbites that vehemently push this narrative. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, who allowed the House of Representatives to go on recess without finalizing assistance for Americans suffering financial and other hardships because of COVID-19, brought members back early to address the Post Office situation. 

Here is the test of your commitment to finding the truth. Facing the task of getting to the truth regarding this matter, I started my usual research process. I came across a newspaper article that explains, in factual and crystal clear terms, what the truth is in this post office squabble. The article was written by the Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal and is titled, “The Post Office’s Problem Isn’t Trump”. To read it, go to https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-post-offices-problem-isnt-trump-11597360885. You might have to take a short subscription in order to read the full article. It will be inexpensive.

Here are a few excerpts from the article:

Two months into his new job, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is being keelhauled by Democrats for alleged sabotage of the U.S. Postal Service. Nearly 200 House Democrats signed a letter this week accusing him of acting to “accelerate the crisis” at the USPS. Apparently they missed the post office’s news release last Friday, when it reported losing another $2.2 billion last quarter. Congress has only itself to blame for this mess.

Total losses since 2007 run to $78 billion, according to a May report by the Government Accountability Office, which said that the “USPS’s current business model is not financially sustainable.” It’s a Blockbuster service in a Netflix world.

Overall mail volume peaked in 2006, at 213 billion pieces. As of last year, it was down 33%. More than half of what remains is “marketing mail.” Maybe you noticed while searching for a birthday card amid the real-estate fliers. Over the same period, however, the number of delivery points served by the USPS increased by 9%, from 146 million to 160 million.

“Our financial position is dire,” Mr. DeJoy told the postal Board of Governors last week, “stemming from substantial declines in mail volume, a broken business model and a management strategy that has not adequately addressed these issues.” He emphasized the need to stick to schedules and cut overtime costs. Mr. DeJoy shook up the org chart, with 23 top staff reportedly “reassigned or displaced.” The USPS instituted a “management hiring freeze” and will seek early retirements.

President Trump said Thursday that he opposes extra money for the USPS, since without it, “you can’t have universal mail-in voting, because they’re not equipped to have it.” This is a foolish line to take. Millions of mail ballots are coming, ready or not, and Mr. DeJoy has already insisted that “the Postal Service has ample capacity to deliver all election mail securely and on-time.” The USPS has projected that it won’t run out of cash until 2021.

I, Karl, totally agree with the Journal editors that Trump never should have made a connection between funding and universal mail-in voting. My take on what the Wall Street Journal article presents is that Congress messed the Post Office up and now Democrats are politicizing the Postmaster General’s effort to fix the mess made by Congress. If Trump wins another term, I suppose Democrats will seek to impeach him because of this effort to make the post office efficient and effective.

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