Never forget that there is always an ulterior motive behind everything Donald Trump does. If there isn’t a tangible personal benefit for Trump he wouldn’t be doing it. That benefit could be political, financial, or just a shot in the arm to his voracious ego. But it’s there, and you don’t usually have to dig too deep to find it.
Last week Trump reprised his long-running vilification of the U.S. Postal Service. His hostility to this agency, that is explicitly authorized by the Constitution, is rooted in his jealousy of and contempt for Jeff Bezos, a real billionaire and the owner of Amazon and the Washington Post. In a rancid screed on Friday Trump called the Postal Service “a joke” and complained about their management and deficits, saying that…
“The post office, if they raised the price of a package by approximately four times, it would be a whole new ballgame. But they don’t want to raise it because they don’t want to insult Amazon, and they don’t want to insult other companies, perhaps, that they like. The post office should raise the price of the packages to the companies. Not to the people, to the companies. If they did that, it would be a whole different story.”
First of all, if the Post Office raised their prices four times, those costs would be passed on to their customers. So Trump’s ignorant and disingenuous promise not to burden “the people” with the increases is a purposeful lie. This is similar to his ludicrous claim that tariffs imposed on China are paid by the Chinese government directly to the U.S. treasury. In fact, they are paid by American companies who either absorb the decline in their profit margin, or tack the increase on to their products, amounting to a de facto tax on all American consumers. As a failed businessman Trump can’t be expected to understand how these things work.
What’s more, Trump’s assertion that Amazon is getting some kind of a sweetheart deal is false. They are paying bulk rates similar to all other shippers of mass quantities of packages. It’s also false that the Post Office is losing money as result of their relationship with Amazon. Actually, it is Amazon and other large retailers who are the bright spots in the USPS business. Without them the Postal Service would be even further in debt. And Trump’s idiotic proposal to raise rates would likely cause Amazon and others to develop their own delivery operations (which Amazon has already started), resulting in still deeper debt for the USPS.
The aim by many on the right is to fully privatize the USPS and run it like FedEx. That’s preposterous. FedEx and other third-party shippers are profitable because they took only the most profitable type of business from the Postal Service. They do not, and cannot, deliver ordinary first class mail. Nor do they service many rural areas. So unless you want to pay $14.00 to send a letter to grandma, or a birthday card to your sister, you better start supporting the Post Office.
The real problem facing the USPS is not package delivery, but a bizarre requirement that they must pre-fund 75 years’ worth of retiree health benefits. Neither the government nor private companies are required to do that. And the prices for their services are in line with their costs. That is actually required by a 2006 law mandating that “each line of business within the postal service set its prices at least high enough to break even.” It is, therefore, literally against the law for the postal service to lose money on package delivery. Again, business moron Trump wouldn’t know this.
So why is Trump fixated on this issue when there are so many other matters (such as a deadly global pandemic) that require the nation’s attention? For two reasons. First, he is bursting with envy of Jeff Bezos. He knows that he will never achieve the sort of success or respect that Bezos has. Consequently, he seeks to illegally abuse the power of the presidency to inflict pain on his nemesis. In addition, Bezos is also the owner of the Washington Post that Trump despises because they aren’t afraid to publish the truth about him. That assault on journalism is another unlawful action on Trump’s part intended to intimidate the free press.
The second motivation behind Trump’s attack on the Postal Service is his fear of the prospect of all Americans having access to their right to vote. Mail-in ballots are permitted in many states and also by the Pentagon for our citizens in the military. And it is especially necessary at this moment in time to protect people from exposure to the coronavirus.
However, Trump has claimed that mail-in voting is only used by cheaters (including himself) and that it is rife with fraud, although there has never been any evidence of that. However, Trump himself revealed the real reason he’s opposed to it when he told Fox News that it “doesn’t work out well for Republicans.” He went on to complain that Democrats were “crazy” for supporting vote-by-mail, saying that “They had levels of voting, that if you ever agreed to it you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”
Trump on March 30 on why he opposed funding for mail-in voting as part of a coronavirus stimulus bill: "They have things, levels of voting, that if you ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.” pic.twitter.com/kpDQX3zxY8
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 8, 2020
So there you have it. Trump is afraid because he knows that the more people who vote, the less likely it is that Republicans will be elected. And his confederates in the Republican Party agree with him. They are probably right. Consequently, killing initiatives like vote-by-mail that make it easier to vote is part of the GOP platform, along with other assorted means of suppressing votes.
What true patriots should be doing now is contacting their representatives in Congress and demanding that they support the Postal Service by fully funding it and providing emergency funds to help it get through the pandemic. Remember, they are a major American employer, including tens of thousands of veterans. In addition, you can help by buying a sheet of commemorative stamps. I would suggest the Trump tribute stamp that is labeled as “Year of the Rat.”
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.