After accusing Amazon for months of not paying its fair share of postage, President Trump has ordered a review of the US Postal Services finances via an executive order issued late Thursday night. The order calls for a task force to evaluate the operations and finances of the USPS. The order does not mention Amazon by name, but it seems clear that Trump is trying to back his claim that the USPS is losing many billions of dollars a year due to the financial arrangement with its biggest shipper of packages, or about $1.50 for every Amazon package it delivers. Trump may very well be correct regarding the numbers, although his rage seems misplaced. Experts, and even Trumps own advisers, have said that the enormous volume of packages shipped by Amazon have helped keep the Postal Service afloat. Rather, the long, slow decline in junk and first-class mail are the reasons for the USPSs mounting financial losses. Trumps executive order acknowledges this. A number of factors, including the steep decline in First-Class Mail volume, coupled with legal mandates that compel the USPS to incur substantial and inflexible costs, have resulted in a structural deficit, the president says in the order. The U.S.P.S. is on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout. Amid ongoing public targeting of Amazon's use of the U.S. Postal Service, President Trump orders an evaluation of the USPS in executive order: "The USPS is on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout." Its unclear how quickly the task force will begin its review, but it has 120 days to respond to the president with a summary of its findings and recommendations. Trump created a similar commission last year to support his claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election — a claim thoroughly debunked by election experts from both parties. The commission was dissolved in January. Trump often screams FAKE NEWS! on Twitter after The Washington Post, owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, publishes incriminating stories about Trump or his administration. Last week Trump called The Post Amazons chief lobbyist, a claim hes fond of repeating. And during his presidential campaign, Trump said that Amazon had a huge anti-trust problem and is getting away with murder, tax-wise. It all makes you wonder what Trumps real angle is.
The president issued an executive order after hours last night, aimed at evaluating the U.S. Postal Service. Citing the mail services unsustainable financial path, Trumps order demands a thorough task force evaluation of the USPSs finances and operations. The service has been a long time talking point for Trump, with Twitter attacks dating back to 2013, when he bemoaned a planned end of Saturday mail delivery. Of late, however, the Postal Service has seemingly been caught in the crossfire of his single-minded attack on Amazon. Back in December, Trump called the USPS out on Twitter once again, saying it was losing many billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so little to deliver their packages, making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer?Of course, its worth noting that Amazons dealings with the USPS arent so straightforward. While, as The New York Times notes, the executive order doesnt single out Amazon by name, Trump has been ramping up attacks on the online retail giant. Much of that anger appears to be directed at founder Jeff Bezos, who also happens to own The Washington Post, a paper that hasnt always painted the president in flattering light. In June, he combined two of his favorite Bezos targets into a single, camel-cased hashtag, writing, The #AmazonWashingtonPost, sometimes referred to as the guardian of Amazon not paying internet taxes (which they should) is FAKE NEWS!Honestly, I could put a bunch of other examples in here, but its probably easier to just link to this story Taylor did, collecting all of the times Trump has used Twitter to take on Jeff Bezos. Get comfortable, because its a long list. The full executive order, meanwhile, can be viewed here.