Il Trumpe Doesn’t Understand The US Postal Service Budget

I realize ‘Il Trumpe tweeted something stupid’ is a dog-bites-man story, but, even by his lights, this is pretty fucking stupid:

The reason USPS (not the “Post Office”–that’s the building you use to violate the emoluments clause) has a deficit is two-fold. First, in 2006, the Congress decided–including on a voice vote in the Senate*–that the USPS would have to set aside 75 years of retirement funding over a ten year period. Few other companies could afford to do this and still break even. Of course, conservatives are using this as an excuse to screw over postal service employees–to restore fiscal health to USPS.

But it gets worse: before 2006, Congress (again, bipartisanship!) decided that USPS needed to contribute more to the Civil Service Retirement System, forcing the USPS to overpay by fifty to seventy billion dollars**–which just happens to be the amount of the ten-year USPS deficit.

This matters. First of all, the USPS is really important, enough such that it is part of the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 7). Not only does it deliver to and connect to the rest of the country remote, unprofitable areas, but it is also a critical part of commercial deliverers’ infrastructure. Second, the postal workers’ union is one of the largest unions, and is disproportionately minority. Third, related to the previous point, USPS is still a gateway to the middle class.

Also, Il Trumpe is a dope, but you knew that already.

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5 Responses to Il Trumpe Doesn’t Understand The US Postal Service Budget

  1. realthog says:

    A useful post as always — thanks, Mike. However, the footnotes have gone AWOL.

  2. colnago80 says:

    Of course, note the presence of a shot at Amazon. It should be noted that the Washington Post, whose publisher is Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, has been publishing editorials and conservative editorial writers (e.g. Michael Gerson and Jennifer Rubin) who regularly savage dummkopf Donald.

  3. Did the Pissident mean the USPS ought to charge Amazon more than they charge other customers, or charge us much much more to mail letters?

  4. kaleberg says:

    Amazon does have some private deal with the USPS. If nothing else, they’ve driven the USPS to do regular Sunday deliveries, and I don’t see how the USPS can make money on that. If I wanted to ship something, with guaranteed two day delivery, I would wind up spending a lot more than Amazon charges, even for non-Prime delivery, and I could not have it delivered on a Sunday. It’s like they have a private post office.

    There is also the matter that it is cheaper to ship via USPS from China to the US than within the US. I’m not sure how this works, but if you’ve ever bought something from Amazon and had it shipped from China, you’d be rightfully wondering how they can make any money on the item and pay for shipping. Maybe I should think of that last batch of 5V regulators as a gift of the Chinese government and the USPS.

    For more on this:

    P.S. I’m not sticking up for Trump here, but I don’t think the USPS should be an arm of Amazon, Inc.

    • You miss the point. USPS has no choice but to be an arm of Amazon because Congress has their hands tied. Easy fix. Congress could require every corporation to prefund pensions for employees not yet born, right, if that’s so doable. I think the long con here is to completely do away with all pensions & making sure no matter how the middle class works they’ll be in poverty over a barrel in old age.

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