As of October 1, 2021, every American will suffer a genuine negative consequence of Donald Trump’s actions: delayed mail at a greater cost.
This is not a one-time occurrence.
These increasing expenses and delays for tens of millions of pieces of First Class mail will continue six days a week until the leadership of the United States Postal Service is replaced.
Twenty state Attorneys General filed a joint complaint on Friday in an attempt to halt changes to the United States Postal Service enacted last week by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, which critics say are an overt effort to cripple the mail service from within by slowing delivery times while increasing consumer costs.
The formal complaint submitted by the 20 AGs is aimed at the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), which is tasked with providing independent supervision of the USPS but is accused of betraying its duty by enabling DeJoy’s contentious plan to go into effect on October 1 without appropriate scrutiny.
According to a statement issued by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office:
The complaint details DeJoy’s failure to follow federal law in making harmful Postal Service changes. Ferguson asserts these major Postal Service changes, which range from eliminating working hours, slowing delivery of first-class mail and removing equipment, threaten the timely delivery of mail to millions of Americans who rely on the Postal Service for delivery of everything from medical prescriptions to ballots.
Millions of Americans depend on the mail every day to receive their prescriptions, pay bills, receive Social Security checks, send rent payments and more. One political appointee does not get to decide the fate of the Postal Service. There is a process that demands accountability from the American public for a reason—and I will fight to ensure the public gets a say.
The complaint was supported by the Attorneys General of Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Virginia, and Rhode Island, in addition to Washington.
The AG’s action comes amid a barrage of criticism and calls for DeJoy’s resignation, as well as ire directed at the Postal Service Board of Governors for putting forth a plan that experts believe is paving the road for the death of the cherished service.
The new price increases are greater than the rate of inflation, and they are accompanied by significant reductions in the use of air mail, all at the request of Trump donor DeJoy, and Ron Bloom, the Chair of the Postal Service Board of Governors, who was appointed by Donald Trump.
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Bloom backed DeJoy for Postmaster in 2020, with the help of Mike Duncan, a friend of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and at the request of Trump nominee Steve Mnuchin, the foreclosure king turned Treasury Secretary.
Since then, investigative reporting has revealed serious questions about how DeJoy was able to leap to the head of the line, demonstrating that Trump’s Board failed to properly screen DeJoy’s track record or regulate his multi-million-dollar financial conflicts of interest. Despite the disclosures, Bloom has remained loyal to DeJoy. He has done so despite catastrophic slowdowns in mail delivery before to the election and last winter, which delayed medical prescriptions, killed young chicks, and more—all of which were caused by DeJoy’s modifications.
Trump’s nominees make up the majority of the Postal Service’s Board of Governors, which also includes DeJoy. President Joe Biden’s recent appointments do not have the votes to restrain DeJoy, who is pushing through major changes to the Postal Service based on unproven assumptions and wishful thinking, according to a regulatory body.
In the midst of the continuing epidemic, the package delivery delay comes just in time for the Christmas gift-giving season. Last winter, DeJoy’s supply delays were a catastrophe, unlike before he took over.
Even before the mail and parcel delays we are about to suffer, DeJoy’s failings had damaged public faith in the Postal Service, which had previously been the highest-rated and most trusted federal institution. Some individuals have said that the unexpected unreliability of mail delivery that surfaced during DeJoy’s 16 months of mismanagement is one of the reasons they may choose for other delivery services or online alternatives.
The DeJoy-Bloom strategy is doomed to fail. It is likely to cause a negative cycle, driving people away from using the Postal Service for letters and parcels.
Last autumn, DeJoy even informed state election authorities that he would be unable to fulfill statutory deadlines for ballot distribution, which had previously been met. As Trump challenged voting by mail during the deadly epidemic, federal courts had to intervene to guarantee that votes were prioritized for delivery in time to be tallied. His partisan political supporters attempted to make it more difficult to vote by mail and to efficiently count sent absentee votes.
Over DeJoy’s objections to the lawsuit, a few courageous federal judges helped preserve the integrity of the 2020 election. Now, despite the public uproar, DeJoy brags about how the Postal Service employees were able to deliver ballots on schedule. However, if DeJoy is not removed from government and returns to the private sector, it remains to be seen how he would act during the 2022 election.
It is important to note that Trump did not pick random political buddies to lead the Postal Service: four of the six individuals he confirmed with the assistance of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) were investment bankers. Bloom’s tenure ended in December of last year. He is a Board holdover that Biden could easily replace. Another investment banker Trump picked, John Barger, has a term that expires in December unless his pals on the Board extend it or Biden selects a successor while Democrats have a Senate majority.
NEW: Postmaster DeJoy’s 10-year plan for the U.S. Postal Service takes effect this week.
As Porter McConnell explains, DeJoy is permanently slowing down mail service across the country in order to speed up the privatization of USPS.
Joe Biden must act to stop him. pic.twitter.com/AAN8eI5ZDx
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) September 28, 2021
What Biden cannot do is dismiss DeJoy, who has no term limit and can only be removed by the Board.
His destructive views would pave the way for the sale or privatization of one of our most important public institutions, the United States Postal Service and local post offices—something investment bankers would adore but which the American people have never voted for or supported.
The Postal Service awarded DeJoy’s old company, XPO Logistics, a $100 million contract for logistics formerly handled by postal employees (now GPO). His spokesman said that DeJoy had no input on the decision; nevertheless, Dejoy continues to collect millions in leasing income from XPO for other logistical sites.
Other improvements in the DeJoy-Bloom proposal, such as increased regional transportation lines, may make it simpler to split out the Postal Service’s logistical assets and operations. Another Trump postal board appointee, DeJoy, formerly managed a regional trucking company.
Furthermore, under DeJoy and Bloom, the Postal Service is mainly abandoning airmail, a 1918 invention. Meanwhile, rivals such as Amazon and UPS are growing their fleets of aircraft. It’s hardly rocket science that aircraft are quicker than trucks, but DeJoy is determined to push the Postal Service back in time with fewer flights and more gas-guzzling semis, while charging Americans more for delayed mail and parcels.
This is where investment bankers come into play. The postal board is a part-time job that takes so few hours that board members are not required to disclose their income and assets to the public.
Bloom works as a partner at Brookfield Asset Management (BAM), a private equity company whose CEO has espoused the virtues of privatization public assets and infrastructure.
Bloom was a partner at Lazard, a private equity company that benefited handsomely from the privatization of the Royal Mail in the United Kingdom, before becoming a leader at BAM. Bloom did not reply to a request for comment on whether any of his remuneration benefitted in any way from Lazard’s activities, or if he advocated against privatization while he was a leader at the company.
While Bloom has assured Congress that he would not be engaged in postal choices that benefit his investment company, there is nothing to prevent him from subsequently profiting from privatization possibilities that emerge from DeJoy’s abundance of poor mail ideas.
Indeed, under the Obama administration, Bloom leveraged his work as a government employee on Fiat’s purchase of Chrysler into lucrative work for Lazard on, you guessed it, Fiat’s acquisition of Chrysler. He didn’t violate any laws in doing so, but that’s beside the point. There are no effective regulations in place to protect the individuals Trump helped install at the helm of our Postal Service, who are meant to serve as stewards of our public assets, from destroying this public asset for the rest of us and benefiting from the turmoil their choices may have created.
It’s straight out of the catastrophe capitalism playbook.
In response to the complaint, the USPS said that the submission “has no legal or factual merit” and said “the Postal Service intends to move to dismiss it pursuant to the rules” of the PRC process.