Rand Paul's Realism About the USPS Is the Narrative the GOP Needs to Embrace as a Whole

Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via AP, Pool
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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., listens during a virtual Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing, Tuesday, May 12, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

Republican Kentucky Senator Rand Paul had some brutally honest things to say about the United States Postal Service, a topic that has entered the spotlight after Trump put them in the crosshairs.

The fascinating thing about the USPS is that its defenders were often few and its inability to function in a way that would meet even the most minimal standards of business was so widely agreed upon that you would think Trump taking the actions against it that he was would bring about praise and relief.

But this is 2020 and Trump can’t win a game of tic-tac-toe without the media making it seem like the apocalypse will arrive because of it.

Paul, a libertarian-conservative, didn’t mince words about how he views the USPS and why throwing any money at it at all isn’t just wrong, it’s bizarre.

The Daily Wire transcribed the video and touched on Paul’s most poignant points:

“Well, anybody who wants to give money to the post office, you might as well just put it into a big pile on your front lawn and burn it,” Paul told Fox News during an interview. “There’s no way to give any money to the post office to make the post office redeemable. You cannot fix the post office unless you fix their labor problem. 80 percent of the cost of the post office is labor. About 50 percent of UPS’ cost are labor. And FedEx is about 38 percent.”

“You can’t run a business with 80 percent of your costs being labor, when your competitors have much lower costs,” Paul continued. “So, really, in the end, just giving money to the post office is giving money to an operation that lost $8 billion last year. So, giving them $10 billion, it’ll be gone within a year’s time. It’s a foolhardy notion. And, when they call it skinny, to me, it’s just Democrat-lite. And I didn’t run for office to be just slightly less bad than the Democrats.”

“The only way I’d give the post office any money would be to have a hiring freeze, and they would have to gradually lower their employment significantly,” Paul later added. “There’s a third less overall mail going through the post office in the last 14 years. They need to have a third less employees. A few years ago, they started, through attrition, mainly by letting the older employees not be replaced. They were getting smaller. But they’ve actually started growing again in the last year or two.”

“If you look at the costs, even though the numbers of employees haven’t gone up, the costs are still going through the roof because of the pension being so expensive. So, really, without a mandate to make it a smaller organization, you shouldn’t give them any money,” Paul said. “So, it’s sort of like when you do rescue a company that’s failing, they have to have reforms. Nobody comes in with venture capital and just says, ‘Hey, here’s a bucket of money. Keep losing money.’ They tell you, you have to change. So, it’s a real mistake to give the post office money unless they significantly reform their ways.”

Right now, the Democrats and their pet media are defending the post office wholesale. They’re acting as if targeting the USPS for change will send America crumbling into ruin.

It won’t because Paul is right. The USPS is, at the end of the day, losing business and the last thing we need to do is reward it more tax dollars. In the private industry, we don’t reward failure with more money and that’s why the private industry is more efficient and innovative. The USPS is a relic from an ancient time that burns money and embraces overbearing unions.

Kevin Kosar of The Hill sees the decline not stopping anytime soon as technology and business march forward with new methods of delivery and innovation while the USPS stays stuck in the past:

The Postal Service’s business model is broken. The demand for its services has plummeted, and private couriers and 21st century delivery modes (drones and delivery robots, for instance) pose tough competition. USPS likely will continue to lose money despite the efforts of its employees and leadership.

Making the Postal Service viable for the 21st century will require a top-to-bottom rethink. Parcels priced at profitable rates may be a part of that new model, but more widespread, robust change is needed, lest taxpayers wish to find themselves bailing out the Postal Service.

Paul’s take on the USPS is harsh but it’s fair and the GOP should embrace that message. It needs to be pointed out constantly from every corner of America that the USPS isn’t the noble organization it once was. It takes your money and burns it with bad service and methods that are stuck in the past.

It needs to be pointed out that we’re not dissolving the USPS, but that it needs to be updated and modernized. It needs to be cleaned up and polished.



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