‘White House Plot to Destroy the Public Postal Service’: Postal workers union slams Trump-Mnuchin ‘power grab’

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The US Postal Service has continued to operate during the coronavirus outbreak—even as more than 1,200 postal employees have tested positive and at least 44 have died from COVID-19.

Now, however, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wants to get his hands on the Postal Service’s operations and revenues.

The Washington Post reports that the Postal Service is facing a $13 billion shortfall this year because closed businesses have drastically reduced mailings. Mnuchin wants to take advantage of the situation and take “unprecedented control over key operations of the U.S. Postal Service”—in exchange for a loan to keep the Postal Service solvent.

Trump’s animosity

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Trump’s latest attack on the Postal Service stems from his animosity toward Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Trump has repeatedly attacked Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, which Trump considers “fake news.” Trump and Mnuchin could harm Amazon by changing the terms of its contract with the Postal Service.

Seizing control also would allow Trump to reward contributors like FedEx and UPS, which have long sought service cuts and other changes at the Postal Service.

Union president: Mnuchin’s move is a ‘power grab’

Mnuchin uses crisis to take ‘unprecedented control’ of the U.S. Postal Service 4

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In a statement condemning the proposed changes to the Postal Service, the union called Mnuchin’s move a “White House Plot to Destroy the Public Postal Service.”

Union president Mark Dimondstein, speaking on behalf of 200,000 postal workers and retirees, labeled Mnuchin’s move a “power grab” that would pad the profits of private companies:

“At a time when the country needs us now more than ever, Mnuchin and his Wall Street cronies are attempting to exploit the crisis to raise prices, demonize heroic postal workers and cut service, all so private delivery companies can profit. It’s a power grab. Shame on them.

Reopening the kleptocracy

Mnuchin uses crisis to take ‘unprecedented control’ of the U.S. Postal Service

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FedEx and UPS are among the businesses that have seats on Trump’s committee to reopen the economy. Their access to Trump and Mnuchin gives them plenty of opportunities to advocate policies that would undermine the Postal Service and benefit their bottom line.

Rewarding those who $howed up for Trump’s inauguration

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Trump’s inauguration may not have drawn much of a crowd, but it didn’t bring out plenty of donors, including FedEx and UPS. Public Citizen reports that UPS contributed $250,000 to Trump’s inaugural committee, and FedEx coughed up more than $500,000.

Lowering donors’ tax burden — to zero

Budget Funds Accounting Pay Taxes

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Trump’s willingness to pay back donors knows no bounds. FedEx paid no taxes in 2018 as a result of the tax cut engineered by Trump and congressional Republicans, according to the New York Times.

The tax cuts were passed with the promise that companies would put money back into the economy, but the Times reports that was not the case with FedEx:

“As for capital investments, the company spent less in the 2018 fiscal year than it had projected in December 2017, before the tax law passed. It spent even less in 2019. Much of its savings have gone to reward shareholders: FedEx spent more than $2 billion on stock buybacks and dividend increases in the 2019 fiscal year, up from $1.6 billion in 2018, and more than double the amount the company spent on buybacks and dividends in fiscal year 2017.”

Apparently, cutting his donor’s tax burden to zero wasn’t enough, so Trump and Mnuchin are trying to cripple the Postal Service so FedEx can increase its profits, presumably while avoiding taxes altogether.

And another thing

Donald Trump won't help the Post Office, so people are buying stamps to save it. 2

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The coronavirus pandemic has many people worried about the upcoming presidential election and whether it will be safe to go to the polls in November. Any easy fix for this situation is to allow everyone to vote by mail.

Killing the USPS will make widespread mail-in-voting extremely difficult or even unaffordable.

Trump doesn’t like the idea

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Trump has made it clear that he does not want people to be allowed to mail in their ballots. Why? Because when voting is made easier for everyone, Republicans don’t win elections.

What would be the easiest way to ensure people cannot vote by mail in November? Getting rid of the post office would probably do the trick…

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