Poor Coverage of GOP Attack on USPS

USPSAccording to The Hill, a number of large corporations—most notably Hallmark, the greeting card company—are trying to push back against the shameless Republican attack on the United States Postal Service. It seems that the Postal Service’s decision to end Saturday delivery has caught the attention of companies who will be hurt by the move. Until now, it has all been a big win for companies like FedEx and UPS who have been salivating for the USPS’s most profitable routes.

Of course, helping out our corporate overlords is only part of what is driving Republicans. Even bigger is the idea of destroying one of the most visible examples of effective government. It all shows just how devoid of principles the conservative movement is. They make a big show for their love of the Constitution. But when it comes to parts of it that they don’t like, they just ignore it. The Postal Service, after all, is in the Constitution. (Article I, Section 8, Clause 7: empowers Congress “To establish Post Offices and post Roads.”)

All of this comes down to a vile law passed by the lame duck Congress in 2006. They knew that the Democrats were going to have big majorities in both houses of Congress the next year. So why not take the opportunity to destroy a popular government agency? They required that the USPS pre-fund their retirement account 75 years into the future—within ten years. Of course, Republicans won’t admit that they are doing this. Just like with their programs to destroy Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, it is all to save the program. And when the media manage to cover the issue at all, they cover the Republican talking points as though they were real.

I was very disappointed to see that FARK offered the article in The Hill with the snarky headline, “Hallmark cards would very much like the taxpayer to subsidize Saturday mail delivery for its $3 pieces of paper.” While I don’t doubt that Hallmark’s interest in this issue is entirely self-serving, so is the lobbying of FedEx and UPS. Yet we don’t see headlines like, “FedEx lobbies Congress to destroy USPS and give it most profitable routes while millions of Americans in rural areas go without service.” Nor do we see any headlines about the evil and corrupt Republican Party’s assault on a constitutionally mandated public service.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

3 thoughts on “Poor Coverage of GOP Attack on USPS

  1. It’s not that if (when?) the USPS is eliminated, rural areas will be unserviced. It’s that the service will cost an arm and a leg. When you send mail via USPS, the cost is based on weight and shipping preferences, not distance or geographical isolation. A postcard sent across town costs the same as one going to Guam. I’ve seen FedEx trucks in the hinterlands of Eastern Oregon — I just shudder to think what the prices are.

    The company that should be up in arms about this isn’t Hallmark, but Amazon. Amazon is the Sears/Roebuck catalog for our age when it comes to rural sales. If, in a privatized future, it costs more to ship from Wyoming to Montana than it does from NY to LA, Amazon will be hit hard. EBay too, I suspect. Independent booksellers are shipping stuff as well. Come to think of it, there are an awful lot of online sellers, and not all are selling things which can be downloaded. Time for each of them to speak up.

  2. @JMF – Yeah, I knew that wasn’t the case, and I even thought about going into how it would work, but I didn’t want to get sidetracked. What I think the Republicans are trying to do is push the USPS to the point where they are so expensive, they are irrelevant. Then they will only have to fund it as much as is constitutionally required. It is all to end roughly a half million jobs. These people are about as vile as you can be.

    Also: I think that Hallmark [i]is[/i] probably the most effected. Amazon uses package services, regardless of the carrier. The USPS will still deliver packages on Saturday. Nonetheless, you are correct that the increasing prices will affect Amazon–at least over time. I’m not sure where they stand on this issue.

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