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Republicans are Lying About USPS Losses, While 91% of Americans Look Favorably on the Agency

Make no mistake, Trump is after the real estate.

BY BRIAN HEWS • May 19, 2020

The one public agency that people really like and count on is the United States Postal Service.

91% of Americans view the USPS favorably, the highest ratings of any federal agency, the nonpartisan Pew Research Service recently found.

But anti-private ideologues, whom Trump is emboldening during this pandemic, hate the very word public and for years have yearned to privatize the USPS, demonizing its popularity and undercutting its support in order to dismantle it.

The main way they have done this is to portray the USPS as a bloated, inefficient, expense laden bureaucracy, a hopeless money loser taking billions from taxpayers.

Google this: The USPS does not take a dime from taxpayers to fund its operations.

It is actually a Congressional charted for-profit operation that earns revenue by selling stamps and other products and services; and the Republicans have even limited the products the agency can sell.

Trump and the right wing media keep falsely reporting that the USPS is losing billions of dollars each year so they can privatize the agency and take over the its massive real estate holdings.

And they are using the inevitable USPS losses due to COVID-19 to attack the service and hired a right-wing hack to run the agency.

What the right-wing spin machine fails to mention is the USPS losses are bogus paper losses, manufactured by Congress and pushed by the very people who want to dismantle the USPS.

Back in 2006, a lame duck Republican Congress rammed a law through requiring the Postal Service to pre-fund its retiree health benefits for every employee until 2016.

It meant funding health for people who were not even born yet.

That move cost the USPS more than $5 billion a year-$50 billion-which accounted for their “losses;” no company in America is required to pre-fund benefits.

Anybody with an accounting background would know that the funding is a pre-paid expense to be amortized over the 75 year requirement by the 2006 Congress.

That amortization would reflect the true expense of the USPS’ health costs and immediately throw the Postal Service well into the black.

In 2015, the USPS’ revenue was $69 billion, its controllable expenses were $68 billion so the agency earned $1 billion; with the health mandate it “lost” $5.1 billion.

Yet Trump and his administration are withholding bail outmoney, stressing out the agency to the max, while he’s giving the airlines and other industries a bail out, what a shame.

PUSHBACK

The USPS employs 97,000 veterans, its’ workforce remains one of the most diverse in America.

A bipartisan Postal Preservation Caucus has emerged in the House; campaigns to #SaveThePostOffice are trending online. A petition to save the Postal Service has generated nearly 400,000 signatures, and in less than three weeks, over 177,000 people have asked to get the “We Love Mail Carriers” bumper stickers from MoveOn.org.

Residents in rural areas, a majority whom are older and Trump voters, are voicing their concerns about the increase in postage if Trump’s plan goes through.

According to the L.A. Times, the congressional Postal Preservation Caucus — which includes two Republicans — is backing a $75-billion plan proposed by the service’s governors. A third of the money would be in the form of a bailout. The rest would be used to modernize the service’s fraying infrastructure — some of its letter carriers and truckers, for example, are working out of late-1980s-vintage vehicles — and to give the Postal Service access to “unrestricted borrowing” from the U.S. Treasury.

91% of America would approve.

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