What kind of monster would de-fund the post office?
That’s the message that President Trump’s liberal detractors at media outlets like The Intercept have been pushing as President Trump suggested that he would withhold rescue funds from the postal service, after calling the postal service ” a joke” and suggesting it try getting the money from Amazon and Jeff Bezos instead.
The White House has also bashed the Postal Service for carrying drugs through the mail from within the US and abroad, from Mexico and China.
But the president has evidently changed his mind, and on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the White House had agreed to loan the USPS $10 billion for pandemic relief. Much of this money has already been appropriated by Congress, per BBG.
“While the USPS is able to fund its operating expenses without additional borrowing at this time, we are pleased to have reached an agreement on the material terms and conditions of a loan, should the need arise,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
The funds were included by Congress in the $2 trillion pandemic relief package in March.
While in the past such a shift might have taken the wind out of the sails of the opposition, in the Trump era, issues are never really ‘settled’. And a story published Wednesday by the Intercept claimed that even this bailout isn’t good enough because the Trump Administration is still pushing ahead with cost cuts that could “change the culture” of the postal service in a way that might…gasp….cause slight delays in the timing of mail delivery.
The ethos can be summed up thusly: “no letter left behind”. How dare the Trump Administration threaten to make Americans wait even one single day longer to receive their mail?
“These are changes aimed at changing the entire culture of USPS,” said Mark Dimondstein, the national president of the American Postal Workers Union. “The culture I grew up with, and of generations before me, is that you never leave mail behind. You serve the customer, you get mail to the customer. Prompt, reliable, and efficient.”
We certainly have a lot of respect for The Way Things Are Done. Many of society’s most entrenched problems have resulted from well-meaning attempts to meddle with the status quo. For example, the costs associated with higher education never would have gotten so out of hand if the federal government hadn’t stepped up to backstop Americans’ college loans, granting naive 18-year-olds with little understanding of money and debt the power to borrow tens of thousands of dollars (if not hundreds) and squander it on a BA in “communications”.
However, a lot has changed since Mr. Dimondstein made his first bones in the mail-delivery game. Private parcel services like UPS and FedEx handle much larger percentages of parcel deliveries. For most Americans, the snail mail is just an endless procession of junk.