Lou Varricchio: Partisan politics over Post Office hemorrhaging

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Lou Varricchio, editor of the Vermont Eagle. It is republished here with permission.

U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont) on Saturday voted to pass emergency “bailout” legislation to protect the U.S. Postal Service from what he claims is political interference by the White House ahead of the November mail-in election.

But Welch’s partisan support looks like it will add more debt to taxpayers by bailing out the USPS, yet again.

Despite the partisan claims, Welch didn’t offer much proof that actions by the White House during the pandemic were specifically designed to harm Democrats’ chances in the November election; in fact, efforts by Postmaster Gen. Louis DeJoy appear to be designed to avert a postal debacle.

Lou Varricchio is editor of the Vermont Eagle

No matter, the battle over the USPS in an election year with mail-in ballots at the forefront has become an especially partisan one. Democrats and Republicans point fingers at each other regarding the USPS’ systemic financial and operational problems, which have been years in the making.

Welch’s support of the bill provides the $25 billion in taxpayer funds that the Postal Service’s Board of Governors requested to address budget shortfalls caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Postal Service is at the heart of rural life for many Vermont communities and will be a pillar of our democracy this November,” said Welch.

But according to Tom Schatz of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, “The USPS reported a net loss of $2.2 billion in the third quarter of the fiscal year 2020, bringing total losses since 2007 to more than $84 billion. Moreover, the agency has reached its statutory debt limit of $15 billion and has more than $120 billion in unfunded liabilities. The USPS has been on the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) High-Risk List since 2009.”

Liberal Democrat Welch is no fan of the current President; he has also a history of blocking past Republican presidents when it comes to efforts in reforming or streamlining bloated federal agencies and other government-linked operations.

“When it comes to our democracy, we cannot trust the word of Donald Trump or his handpicked cronies. This legislation will make sure that the Postal Service has the support and the funding it needs to quickly deliver medicines, unemployment checks, and ballots all across America,” Welch said.

The Delivering for America Act, HR 8015, requires that the Postal Service maintain the same operations and level of service that existed at the beginning of the year, prior to the changes carried out by Postmaster General DeJoy.

Despite the election-year “right-left” politics, it is unlikely HR 8015 will go far in stopping the on-going financial hemorrhaging at the USPS as many Americans have moved to online billing and email for correspondence. Also, UPS and FedEx have cut into USPS package services in recent years, according to numerous reports.

Thus, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste isn’t buying Welch’s claims of USPS election-year tinkering by Trump.

“The USPS business model is ‘broken’ as the GAO has stated repeatedly,” Schatz added, “and is a reminder of an increasingly bygone era. As a result of technological advances, including the advent of e-mail and online services, from 2000 to 2019, the annual volume of mail dropped by 47 percent, from 103.5 million to 54.9 million. In 2019, the USPS processed as much mail as it did in 1978, and the downward trend is only expected to accelerate.”

Image courtesy of U.S. House of Representatives
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5 thoughts on “Lou Varricchio: Partisan politics over Post Office hemorrhaging

  1. Hey, Peter, got news for you, even if and that’s a BIG if, the $25 billion (yes, that’s a B), the money will fix NOTHING! As the Post Master General testified, there is no way he could spend the money between now and the November election. This is just another one of Pelosi’s cynical schemes to fool the voting public.

  2. Rep. Peter ” The Follower ” Welch (D-Vermont) of course he voted to pass this
    USPS boondoggle bailout…..Nancy told him too, spineless come to mind.

    The story from what he claims is political interference by the White House ahead
    of the November mail-in election, the interference is from the DemocRATs and there
    marching orders from ” Queen Pelosi ” …… she’s running scared !

    The post master general told congress ” Nothing has changed ” within the post office
    and nothing will happen until after the election…….. even though the USPS has run
    in the red for decades and Nancy & Peter think giving them billions again is a good
    idea, what has that got to do with counting ballots…………., nothing.

  3. The post office has been in trouble for decades- over the course of our entire lives in fact.
    Don’t you remember the shootings that were happening for a while and people “Going Postal”?
    That was back in the 80s I think.
    Does anyone think that happened because things there were in good shape?

    There are Tweets from Donald Trump talking about how Amazon should be paying for their own shipping..this was a couple years ago.
    This Democrat narrative that the Post Office is now suddenly in trouble is baloney..
    The Post Office is just another big government scam like Education- whose time has come and gone but they like these gubbamint jobs.
    Everything we are seeing now is the results of the fact that we are now living in a Banana Republic.
    You’d be blind to not see this…what a disgrace.These people are such bold faced liars that it’s stunning.

  4. The Dem/ Progs want mail in voting, by people who have been regularly going shopping in stores for months, without any adverse effects, if certain precautions are taken, such as wearing a mask.

    Why could these same people not go to a voting booth?
    It would be similar to going to the store checkout counter.
    Why all the scare-mongering?

    Who waved a magic wand to come up with $25 billion for the Post Office
    Did any input come from the Post Office, or is this just a bunch of politicians playing games, to see what will stick?
    What will that huge sum of money do?
    How long will it last?

    Is that the kind of government we want with Dem/Progs in the White House and taking over the government all over the place?

    Pelosi’s Post Office hoax is a manufactured “crisis”

    She did not get her $3.5 TRILLION virus bill.
    She likely will not get her pulled out of a hat $25 BILLION Post Office bill.
    She is starting to look sillier each day.
    Welch supporting her reflects badly on his judgement

    • Select people in the post office are apparently backing the “problem”. People hate change, the union wants to maintain overtime and inefficiency to benefit it’s members. Poor management in some post offices adds to delivery problems. Then there are systemic problems. Why ship local mail off to a remote sorting facility when it could be taken from the local in box to the local out box by the clerk?

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