Article One, Section 8, Clause 7 establishes the postal service in the U.S. Constitution. The postal powers of Congress embrace all measures necessary to insure the safe and speedy transit and prompt delivery of the mails.
Donald Trump hates the Post Office. He thinks it should be squeezed so that the private sector—e.g. FedX, UPS, etc. can take over. He also thinks that voting by mail will lead to his defeat in the upcoming election. But if he read the Constitution, he would know that Congress has the authority and responsibility to insure the safe and speedy delivery of mail. But this is a president who thinks he is king and can do anything he wants by executive order. Or, in this case, appointing a Postmaster General who has ties to private carriers and who is also inclined to squeeze the service.
USPS has been squeezed for some time. Unlike other federal employees they are required to account for future pension liabilities on the books. They are supposed to be a pay as you go service with the rates sufficient to cover costs. Problem is, this leads to chronic funding shortages, and they have to go to Congress to cover their deficits. Since USPS is a universal service that delivers mail to the far reaches of the country, including rural America where the private sector would not go because it is too expensive, by its very nature it will cost more.
USPS is a vital service. For example, many get their medicine through the mail. Bills come through the mail. Indeed, some people actually write letters that are sent through the mail. It is hard to imagine a country without the postal service. But maybe that’s what the kingpins and Oligarchs want.
Trump claims that voting by mail will overwhelm the post office. Then he refuses to support additional funding that would alleviate that problem. A self-fulfilling prophesy as he finds ways to squeeze.
What is the remedy? Congress needs to step up and meet its constitutional obligation and pass veto-proof legislation that would cover the deficit and get the PO out of the box. It is time to deliver.