Postal Politics

Appointed by the Governors of the United States Postal Service, Louis DeJoy began his tenure as Postmaster General on June 16, 2020. Prior to joining the Postal Service, Mr. DeJoy spent more than 35 years growing and managing a successful nationwide logistics company.  He had received some notice as a heavy donor to Republican causes, but it was also clear that he was brought on board as an efficiency expert.  The Postal Service has been hemorrhaging money for years and faces bankruptcy as early as next year.

Unfortunately for DeJoy, he arrived just in time to be caught up in the vote by mail controversy.

In August Democrat politicians accused the Postmaster General of altering Postal Service policies to hamper the delivery of mail-in ballots for this year’s election. The claims appear to be absolute nonsense.

The volume of letter mail has steadily declined for two decades and now stands at less than half what it was in 2001. As volume has fallen, the Postal Service has steadily reduced its inventory of things such as sorting machines and collection boxes under both Republican and Democratic administrations.  The removal of collection boxes and sorting machines is thus part of a long term effort to reduce costs, and the 2020 removals were approved and underway long before DeJoy arrived on the scene.  The only action the new postmaster general took in relation to this matter was to halt further removals.  He anticipates no difficulty in handling mail-in voting so long as ballots are sent to voters in a timely manner.

The  vicious attacks against Postmaster General DeJoy are examples of partisanship gone mad. This sad exercise in election year disinformation and prevarication only moves our Postal Service closer to insolvency.

A bill passed by the House on Aug. 22 would hand the Postal Service a $25 billion check.  This would do little or nothing to improve chances of a smooth and fair election in November, and the bill blocks many proposed reforms designed to reduce future deficits.  The threat of bankruptcy would return in a few years.

(Note: Some of the information in this article was extracted from a recent issue of the Sacramento Bee.)

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