Take a Deep Breath. There’s Nothing Conspiratorial Happening at the Postal Service.
Published in The Washington Post
on August 18, 2020
President Trump’s conflicting comments about the U.S. Postal Service and the security of mail-in voting have made headlines and stoked anxiety. But a closer look at what’s actually happening at the USPS reveals nothing that hints at a hidden plot to steal the election.
The Postal Service was troubled long before the coronavirus pandemic made it obvious that many Americans were going to cast their ballots by mail. And efforts to grapple with its chronic multibillion annual losses aren’t new either.
The advent of email was a fiscal hurricane for the venerable institution. It has lost money for 13 consecutive years, with total losses of roughly $78 billion. The USPS lost nearly $9 billion in the past fiscal year, a 125 percent increase over the previous year. If it were a wholly private business, it would have been declared bankrupt long ago.
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Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.