President Trump has been counseled numerous times about the situation with the United States Postal Service. He knows that they’ve been losing money for years, due to the advent of email, online bill pay, and other methods that have made “snail mail” cumbersome and unnecessary, for many.
He’s also been counseled regarding the package delivery aspect of the USPS, and the deal with Amazon that is keeping the operation from sinking, completely.
None of that matters. Trump is overcome with petty jealousy. Jeff Bezos, the CEO and founder of Amazon could lose two-thirds of his wealth and still be 10 times wealthier than Trump (and he didn’t have a rich daddy to set him up for success, either. He did that on his own).
Trump has been spewing nonsense about the deal between Amazon and the USPS for weeks, now, and on Thursday, he announced a snap-decision executive order to evaluate and review “the expansion and pricing of the package delivery market and the USPS’s role in competitive markets.”
In other words… How can he stick it to Jeff Bezos?
The task force will seek recommendations for “administrative and legislative reforms” for the postal service and will be chaired by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Further, the executive order mentions $65 billion in losses for the U.S. Postal Service since the 2007 – 2009 recession.
Yeah, so of course, look for ways to damage the one money-making portion of the service.
The task force will evaluate “the decline in mail volume and its implications for USPS self-financing and the USPS monopoly over letter delivery and mailboxes,” the operation’s business model, and the role the U.S. Postal Service plays in the U.S. economy and rural areas.
Great. Go back over the obvious, and keep in mind that the USPS is a government bureaucracy in its purest form.
“It shall be the policy of my Administration that the United States postal system operate under a sustainable business model to provide necessary mail services to citizens and businesses, and to compete fairly in commercial markets,” the executive order says.
So Operation Change the Subject is in full swing, then?
There’s no mention of Amazon in the order, but it’s not a far leap to assume that’s at the root of this, given Trump’s recent fits, regarding the company and its relationship with the USPS.
He has railed against the discount rate for package delivery that Amazon gets, saying they lose $1.50 for each package, under the current agreement.
That’s not the whole story.
According to the U.S. Postal Service’s 2017 fiscal report, the company actually made more money in shipping and packages than in 2016. In fact, shipping and packages raised $2.1 billion more in revenue in 2017 than in 2016, despite an overall revenue loss of $1.8 billion.
Another factor is a 2006 law that requires they prefund employee health benefits for 75 years into the future. That costs them $5.5 billion a year.
An executive order to delve into what is obviously a poor business model, given today’s needs shouldn’t be necessary, unless the goal is to streamline the current system and bring them forward to meet demands.
I don’t see that happening, however. This will be a lot of focus on Amazon and how best to jack them up.