The hue and cry about the future of the US Postal Service among members of Congress rings hollow when considering that it is a national service that has been ignored for more than 50 years. But now that it is a political pawn Congressional action is warranted and can be solved in a short period of time.

Founded in 1775 by the Second Continental Congress at the behest of Benjamin Franklin who became the first Postmaster General, the US Postal Service was the backbone of keeping America informed as it was expanding in both population and area. Its importance was such that it was elevated to a cabinet level department in 1872. And today it is one of the few federal agencies explicitly authorized by the Constitution.

In 1970, facing a nationwide strike of postal carriers demanding union representation, Congress separated the agency from its government connection and with the Postal Reorganization Act created a separate, self-supporting agency tasked with universal mail service. But the controls for the conduct of the agency remain with Congress which selects a Board of Governors whose primary constituency remains the very people who appoint them and not the service’s customers or employees.

Now with the growing possibility of voting-by-mail, members of Congress are upset that President Trump has demanded that the USPS either become more efficient, sell itself or cease operation. This is not a new concept. For years Congress has ignored the growing debts incurred by the postal service and many in the public have been very critical. The criticism over the past 50 years has been such that competitors such as private courier services, FedEx, UPS and DHL to name a few, have taken much of the postal service’s package delivery business.

But the real loss for the postal service is the erosion of first-class mail, which began to disappear in the final decade of the last century with the introduction of the fax machines and accelerated with internet communications. First-class mail volume peaked in 2001 and has been declining ever since. In 2008, despite efforts to automate mail sorting, the postal service began seeing income shortfalls. Now, certain politicians contend that, with the wave of a magic wand and hundreds of millions of dollars, a half century or more of neglect be corrected in just three months.

The cries of dismay, particularly from Speaker Pelosi are too little, too late. Congress, particularly the House of Representatives, has for years just kicked the can down the road when it comes to shoring up the postal service, watching as it slowly dies on the vine.

There is more to the story than just the condition of the postal service. Local and state election offices are poorly or totally ill-prepared should there be a wave of ballots delivered by mail. Congress has doled out $400 million to states for use as emergency funding to handle pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent AP article election experts speculate that $2 billion is the amount required to be ready for the November election. But lack of funding is only half of the problem. The lack of time to up-fit equipment, train people and educate the public also is an insurmountable obstacle.

Wendy Weiser, director of the democracy program for Brennan Center for Justice noted “the (election) system is buckling under the weight of the dramatic surge and demands for absentee mail ballots. It hasn’t been built to withstand that high of a volume.”

New York’s June primary is evidence that while the postal service is most likely incapable of handling the potential mail volume should the expectation prove correct, neither are the state’s board of elections. One month after the election concluded many New York districts were still being tallied.

Added to the challenge of handling the ballots were the large number of ballots not accepted due to errors. New York City alone accounted for nearly 100,000 invalidated ballots.

If the New York primary is any indication, and we think it is, the November election stands to be one of the messiest and possibly the most litigated elections of all times. But rather than accepting the failures of years of neglect and working with a framework that is manageable Democrats in Congress have decided it’s better to find a victim, in this case the Postal Service, and decry the conditions that have been ignored for a half century.

(26) comments

dc

Ds tried to steal or invalidate the last election but have so far failed. They will stop at nothing. This has just added another twist to their dirty tricks.

mpjeep

The writer of this Editorial makes a good case for in-person voting, unless health conditions apply or you are out of your state or the country.

And Doctor Fauci, a physician and immunologist and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says “ I think if carefully done, according to guidelines, there’s no reason that I can see why in-person voting can’t be done”.

I can read a little anti-Trump in this Editorial. But the writer does say that Pelosi, who has been in congress almost 34 years, is expressing cries of dismay that are too little, too late.

Biden has been in congress almost 47 years and has done nothing to address the USPS issue either.

And as taxpayers, don’t we have the right to ask for efficiency within the USPS? Politico says “the average unionized postal worker makes $75,000 per year”.

Wendy Weiser is quoted giving her thoughts on the USPS. It should be noted that Weiser is a New York Liberal Lawyer and media commentator for CNN, MSNBC and CBS, as well as, having her commentary published in The New York Times and Washington Post. Not judging her just pointing out her possible political views and opinions.

The writer does point out the disaster in NY with local primary elections. Still has not been resolved in almost 2 months.

In a world where elections are close, and with states that have poor systems in place, this election year could be disastrous for American Democracy.

Sleepwalker

First the Russians now the postal service...wonder who the dems will blame next...Jeep... your turn. I teed it up high for you!

mpjeep

Well here we go sleepwalker....not sure this will get through the editors.

And I'm truly not trying to offend anyone, but feel the Democrats are coming after Republicans with charges of racism. And that's the main reason Democratic led cities won't do anything about the rioters and violence.

Ahhhh, the race card. What would liberals do without it?

Enough is enough and playing the race card is part of the Democrats war on white America, especially Republicans.

Liberals and the Mainstream Media love to use the term "racist" to describe Republicans, the Tea Party, Conservative ideas, President Trump and Republican voters, all in the name of getting the black vote. It’s a deceptive practice

mpjeep

A different theme, but still about the Post Office.

Putting taxpayer money toward the post office is like burning money in your backyard. I'm sure congress will give them a big sum shortly. But, they will have to do it again next year.

Here's the problem. The post office is and has been poorly managed for many years. And of course Unions, in some states, have driven it to near bankruptcy, without the governments help.

Labor costs/expense for the USPS is 80%, compared to 50% for FedEx and 40% for UPS. Just can't compete.

Might be time to cut the cord.

Sleepwalker

Jeep. I will also add the word “racist”, now, has zero meaning. The liberal left have used it to brand ANYONE that doesn’t agree with them so much that it is watered down to a meaningless word.

mpjeep

I hope you are right, Sleepwalker!

But everywhere I turn these day, I see/hear/read the Democratic Party defining itself as being the party of tolerance and inclusion, and many Democrats' characterizations of Republicans or Conservatives as racists or racially insensitive.

I do feel that a lot of this is a political stunt to get the black vote,.

David Collins

Postals can not go on strike . The union , of which I am an associate member , can quietly call for a slow down . Pretty much the same thing .

Sleepwalker

I had read a labor/expense report several years ago on the usps. I don’t remember the exact number but i do remember the outgoing $$ for workers comp and on the job “injuries” were way off the charts. It was some ridiculous high percentage of the total usps budget.

mpjeep

Some states have voting systems that are fully digital, leaving no paper trail at all and some print a confirmation copy to be reviewed before submitting.

Computer-security experts think electronic voting is a bad idea.

But machines, like the one’s used in Delaware, record votes directly without providing a physical receipt and aren’t terribly easy to audit if accusations of fraud begin to fly.

Some states use a paper scan ballot system and I think the punched hole system is out since the Florida debacle

Hackers who have access to a voting machine, before election day, could modify its programming.

And some states, like Oregon, have a mail-in only system.

So, I guess either party could suspect voter problems with programmers, hackers or computer issues.

Too much to think or worry about, I guess. Let’s just get to the debates and then vote.

CARTERETISCORRUPT

I could care less if called a racist. That means nothing anymore. Second, the Dems will lie, cheat and steal; or anything else to steal this election. Pure and simple. Under no circumstances should a democrat EVER be elected to office, ever again. They are the party of destruction. The postal service is one example. As are all the blue cities in destruction now.

boguebum

everyone has their own personal opinion but many of you need to look at facts

mpjeep

Democrats latest scheme: the United States Postal Service is making calculated moves to sabotage the election and it does not have the funds to ensure all mail-in ballots are counted in the 2020 general election.

Since the rise of the internet, mail volume has decreased every year and losses at the Postal Service have piled up to a total of $69 billion between 2007 and 2018.

Despite declines in mail volume, the USPS Office of the Inspector General reported an increase of $327 million in overtime costs in mail processing and a $576 million increase in overtime costs in delivery from 2014 through 2018.

During the Obama administration the Postal Service removed 12,000 mailboxes without any uproar from the Democrats.

In 2014, the Obama administration shuttered more than 80 mail facilities.

USPS has more cash on hand than it’s had in years and its leadership has stated that it will be solvent and operational at least through August 2021.

USPS made nearly $1.5 billion more in revenue this year than the same period last year, has $15 billion cash on hand, and has access to the $10 billion loan provided for in the CARES Act.

The Postal Service is educating states on how to make vote by mail successful given realistic timelines associated with delivering the mail.

In 2019, the Postal Service handled an average of 471 million pieces of mail each day. Assuming every single registered American voter, about 158 million citizens, decided to vote by mail, the total possible volume of requested and mailed in ballots would not exceed a typical day of total USPS mail volume.

Facts reveal that the Democrats once again are manufacturing a crisis to undermine President Trump. Are these the facts you are talking about, bogue?

(facts from James Comer-Ky)

Sleepwalker

Bum...facts are an ugly truth. I’ve contemplated throwing all reasonable thoughts, facts and statistics out the window and act like a liberal and start blurting out hatred and operate totally by emotion. Lets start with the 100% peaceful protests in the major cities...

David Collins

Andddd , the facts are ...... ? Inside track here so y’all pay attention .

CARTERETISCORRUPT

It is time for DAWP'S to wake up and face the truth. Democrats will lie cheat, steal and falsify their way into power. It is a war on white folks, pure and simple. They won't stop until white folks are enslaved, all their property taken, and socialists are firmly in power. Wait and see.

mpjeep

Were you talking about racism, the war against white people, from our college professors and leaders?

George Ciccariello-Maher, an associate professor of history and politics at the Philadelphia university, said this “All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide”.

Tommy Curry, an associate professor of philosophy at Texas A&M University, “When Is It OK to Kill Whites?”, “In order to be equal, in order to be liberated, some white people might have to die.”

A Trinity College professor, Johnny Eric Williams, tweets “Whiteness is Terrorism”.

Professor Priyamvada Gopal, a fellow of Churchill College says ‘White lives don’t matter”.

"OK, I officially now hate white people”, Livingston, a Rutgers University professor, wrote.

Nicholas Powers, an associate professor of literature at the taxpayer-funded public college on Long Island, penned an article titled, “Seeing poor white people makes me happy,”

NC State Board of Education member James Ford tied “swing voters” and “white moderates” to “white supremacy” in a late-night tweet

Georgetown Professor Christine Fair called for the castration and execution of white men.

President Barack Obama said of working class, white voters in 2008, “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them”.

Hillary Clinton castigated half of Donald Trump supporters as “a basket of deplorables, who are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it.”

Sarah Jeong, New York Times editorial board, said “Dumb white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs peeing on fire hydrants.”

The University of Georgia graduate student and teaching assistant, Osei-Frimpong, said that “some white people may have to die for black communities to be whole in this struggle to advance freedom.”

Dr. Adam Kotsko, a professor at Shimer College in Chicago, Illinois, thinks that all white people have been “complicit” in slavery, and should therefore “commit mass suicide” as reparation.

University of Wisconsin teaches class in ‘Problem with Whiteness’.

Columbia University barred white students from going to a no-whites-allowed student retreat

With professors and leaders like this, it’s no wonder college students are so disconnected from reality.

Anti-white hate is now Mainstream American Culture. And not just by racial extremists such as Black Lives Matter.

dc

All those professors really know their stuff. They're all tough as nails like our pioneers in building the greatest country on earth with evidently white men leading the charge into greatness. Strange thing Singapore, Hong Kong, China, & South Korea have highest IQs & it shows in tests. Could it be even with our ethnic diversity the white culture for the most part leading the way made a difference? The universities are particularly sensitive to diversity right? So, why is it they only allow 10% more or less & probably less with so-called conservative views? What are really afraid of?

(Edited by staff.)

klacy

Not sure what’s going on, but being self employed, I receive 80% of my payments by checks in the mail. With all the out of state property owners in our area, I get mail from all parts of the country. I’ve personally noticed a dramatic increase in delivery time in the last month or so.

David Collins

We all have noticed the slowdown .

CARTERETISCORRUPT

Ammunition shipments are two to three weeks behind in some cases.

PMason

Don't vote by mail, if at all possible! IMHO the purpose for a mail in election is to muddle the results so badly that no winner can be declared by Inauguration Day in January. This will result in Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of House, being declared Interim President until the mess can be sorted out. Since that will take years, she will have plenty of time to undo all of Trump's efforts to drain the swamp and IMHO will sell us out of the Communists.

mpjeep

Wow, thanks for the heads up, Mason. I didn't know that about the Speaker as acting President. Sitting here trying to think of something that might be worse and can't come up with anything..... Doomsday?

SgtRock1968

"And today it is one of the few federal agencies explicitly authorized by the Constitution."

Nay, not so. Not so at all.

Article 1 Section 8 clause 7 of Our Beloved Constitution states that Congress shall have the power ...

"...to establish Post Offices and post Roads."

There is nothing there, at all, about the US Postal Service.

Congress could, if they could be gathered together in a sober enough state, and mentally stable enough state, redo all the existing postal legislation and contract with Amazon for all mail delivery. Of course, that would never happen even if they passed such legislation, as Our Fearless Leader would veto it. Bezos owns Amazon, and that is a Trumpian anathema.

I add below two links to some pretty good sources that explain all this very well. The second link is interestingly annotated.

https://www.cato.org/blog/us-postal-service-constitution

https://constitution.congress.gov/browse/article-1/section-8/

David Collins

You really want to turn over our postal service to Amazon , a private for profit company ? Establishing a monopoly on mail delivery . A company with it’s own political leanings ? In case no one has noticed , Amazon’s supposedly Stellar customer service is not what it used to be . Grown a bit to fast for it’s own good and it shows .

The US Postal Service has been allowed to deteriorate , no doubt the union has had a hand in this , and needs to be shaken up and the bad actors removed . It is a service and will never generate a profit . Was not designed to . That is not to say it can not be improved . The last mile deal with Amazon was Poorly negotiated and needs to go back to the table . The edict for it to fully fund in advance it’s own retirement scheme was just a money grab by politicians . Would love to see where all that money is now . Politics ruins everything , every time .

mpjeep

I’m a Prime member of Amazon and they offer free 2 day delivery for Prime members. What they don’t tell you is that it takes the warehouse 2 to 3 days to get packages ready for shipping, so the 2 day delivery is really 4 to 5 days and even longer due to Covid-19.

I know Trump wants to privatize the USPS, and even though I’m a Trump supporter, I’m not sure about privatization.

David is correct in saying the USPS was never designed to make a profit and we, as customers, don’t really want it to so to keep rates down.

Unlike UPS and FedEx, the USPS has cheaper rates for small packages, free Saturday delivery and delivery to remote areas.

It may take a little longer for USPS to deliver than the other two, and it’s not suited for very large packages, but more times than not, I choose the Post Office.

For decades, Congress’s attitude toward the post has ranged from neglect to hostility. As a government agency, the USPS is one of the most impressive arms of the government.

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