Will The Post Office Be Privatized Next Year?


Remember back in 2006 when a Republican Congress and a Republican president required the US Postal Service to pre-fund health care for retirees fo 75 years? Most of us thought it was crazy then and obviously set up to make the USPS to fail. As many thought then, when it comes to pass that the USPS can’t make payments to pre-fund this health care fund, Republicans would come looking to dismantle the USPS.

Well, guess what? That time has come and unless we put up a huge stink, the administration will go about dismantling the USPS this year BEFORE the election. I fear that once the process starts it will be nearly impossible to stop.

Apparently the sale of the USPS falls within the auspices of the administration, so it will take some monumental effort to block a sale by congress, especially with Republicans still in control of the senate with Mr. Grim Reaper (McConnell) deciding what legislation will be acted on.

From MSN on the impending changes:

The United States Postal Service shipped more than 13 billion pieces of mail and packages this holiday season. But now that gift-giving has abated, the agency, which falls under President Trump’s jurisdiction, is facing another deadline: find a new Postmaster General by January 2020.

The new leadership will be handpicked and approved by the Postal Service’s Board of Governors: a group of five men (mostly with investment banking and private banking experience), three of whom were appointed by Trump, along with the current Postmaster General and her deputy. 

Once the new leadership is in place, the board will also be tasked by the Trump administration with creating a package of large, structural changes intended to help the ailing Postal Service. Those changes will likely include privatizing and selling pieces of the public service off, according to the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), which represents more than 200,000 current and retired postal employees.

In 2018, Trump issued an executive order to create a postal task force, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The group was charged with figuring out how to make the postal service a more profitable entity. They recommended that the agency roll back collective bargaining rights for postal workers and sell off pieces of the service to private industry.

There is nothing in the Constitution that says the government will run a Post Office, only that Congress will establish Post Offices and Post Roads. From wikipedia:  

Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution, known as the Postal Clause or the Postal Power, empowers Congress “To establish Post Offices and Post Roads“.[1]

Based on that there is nothing to stop the administration from privatizing the USPS. It doesn’t take a genius to understand (although I am sure few Republicans understand this) that the service that the USPS provides will be dramatically changed. Daily delivery to your door may become an option instead of standard service. How about that famous “last mile” service? That ain’t cheap.

And the cost? We can now send a first class letter anyplace in the US for 55 cents. That won’t last long. Once privatized that probably won’t get that same letter across town.

The American Postal Workers Union is trying to fight back. They have set up a website to get information out to the public.   

There is also a petition to sign that is a bit hard to find. This should get you there.

And since we are all political leading up to the caucuses, be sure to contact your US representative and your senators and ask them what they will do to stop the sale of the our Postal Service?

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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