According 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.