One thing we’ve learned for sure this year is that no national crisis is too awful to keep Trump & Company from exploiting it for their plutocratic political purposes.
COVID-19 is a God-Awful crisis, but late one night deep inside the White House, a dim bulb flickered in our present president’s head: “Eureka,” Trump exclaimed, “here’s our chance to kill the U.S. Post Office!”
Of all the things a president might focus on during a devastating pandemic, hijacking your and my public mail service, bankrupting it, and then privatizing its profitable functions has become a top priority for this brooding madman. Bizarrely, Trump has ranted that the post office should charge higher prices for us customers to ship packages, and he bemoans the fact that postal workers are unionized and earn middle-class wages. So, in February, with our economy collapsing under the weight of Covid-19, Trump struck.
Like nearly every business, the Postal Service had suffered a crushing loss of customers and needs emergency funding to keep America’s mail moving. Congress quickly proposed a bipartisan $13 billion postal lifeline as part of its $2 trillion national rescue package. But our personally-piqued president said: “No,” threatening to kill the whole bill if it included a pandemic grant to save the public post office.
The U.S. mail service, however, is enormously popular, so Trump can’t just blatantly choke off its survival funds. Instead, he’s taking the agency hostage, offering to provide a $10 billion “loan” from the Treasury Department—contingent on the public entity agreeing to his draconian demands that it raise postal prices, gut postal unions, and cut postal services.
Trump’s provisos are postal poison pills, for they would destroy the agency’s morale and service, undermine popular support, and clear the political path for profiteering corporations to seize, privatize, and plunder this public treasure.
Copyright 2017 by Jim Hightower & Associates. Contact Laura Ehrlich for more information.
1 thought on “What’s the gimmick in Trump’s plan to “rescue” the public Postal Service?”
The Post Office represents the hope for the future of a functional republic. It has endured thousands of cuts it has endured from so-called “conservatives” in Congress who seek to break the postal union and impose pension requirements that no for-profit business not awash in billions could survive. Withal, the USPS continues to link all in our country with excellent service and the best package shipping rates for working schmucks like you and me who don’t have the bucks or volume to wangle sweetheart deals with UPS or FedEx , who are licking their chops at the prospect of devouring the spoils of a broken-up US Postal Service at the hands of “conservatives” who are really lying plutocrats and their flunkies in the GOP. And its union takes care of the health, safety and earning power of its members, unlike the non-union, anti-union private carriers.
No wonder the brooding, addled, orange-tinted, ethically bankrupt business failure in the White House would endeavor to bleed the Postal Service it to death and break its union. It’s simply too functional and essential for a president who is neither.
My call: The people of this nation take step back, come to their senses, and decide that the old slogan, “Mail moves the country, and zip code (and by extension the US Postal Service) moves the mail. The US Postal Service, will survive –if barely– even Trump and the plutocrats whose bidding he does and be standing intact and doing its job for us all, long after the electorate has sent Trump packing out of the White House, and likely into the custody of attorneys general of several states and maybe even US Marshals.
Who knows? If he gets his just desserts, he may depend on the US Postal Service for sycophant mail while doing time at whatever country club prison or house arrest the law banishes him to.
Who says their can’t be a little poetry in justice in this prosaically ugly quadrennium?