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Recent presidential tweet storm

In January, NALC reported on the first of the president’s tweets directed at the Postal Service and Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos who is also the owner of The Washington Post. The president, who objects to his coverage by the newspaper, targeted Bezos by attacking Amazon for allegedly exploiting the Postal Service. He charged that the Postal Service loses money by setting prices on Amazon’s deliveries too low.

As we noted at that time, “unlike its competitors, the Postal Service already is required, by federal law, to make a profit on every package it delivers – including those for Amazon.  Also unlike UPS and FedEx, the Postal Service is required by law to deliver to every address in the country six days a week.”

Over the past week, the president unleashed a stream of five tweets repeating his erroneous claims about USPS losses on Amazon packages and adding the charge that Amazon is unfairly avoiding federal taxes.

While Amazon can certainly address the tax issue by itself, letter carriers deserve to know the facts about the Postal Service with respect to the president’s latest tweets.

Below are the latest tweets that began on March 29 and ended April 3:

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump3h3 hours ago

I am right about Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy. Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them bourne by the American Taxpayer. Many billions of dollars. P.O. leaders don’t have a clue (or do they?)!

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrumpApr 2

Only fools, or worse, are saying that our money losing Post Office makes money with Amazon. THEY LOSE A FORTUNE, and this will be changed. Also, our fully tax paying retailers are closing stores all over the country...not a level playing field!

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrumpMar 31

While we are on the subject, it is reported that the U.S. Post Office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon. That amounts to Billions of Dollars. The Failing N.Y. Times reports that “the size of the company’s lobbying staff has ballooned,” and that...

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrumpMar 31

...does not include the Fake Washington Post, which is used as a “lobbyist” and should so REGISTER. If the P.O. “increased its parcel rates, Amazon’s shipping costs would rise by $2.6 Billion.” This Post Office scam must stop. Amazon must pay real costs (and taxes) now!

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrumpMar 29

I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!

First and foremost, the proud men and women who deliver the nation’s mail, many of whom served in the military before coming to the Postal Service, might take umbrage with the term “Delivery Boy,” but there is no doubt that all letter carriers are proud to deliver for tens of millions customers every day, including Amazon.

Second, it is simply not true that USPS loses money on Amazon deliveries. A recent Politifactreport makes it clear. The charge that USPS loses $1.50 per package is a recycled and dubious claim by a hedge fund investor in FedEx using unverified data from United Parcel Service (as reported here). This hardly makes him an unbiased observer.

In fact, in August of 2017, the Postal Service made clear that “by law our competitive package products, including those that we deliver for Amazon, must cover their costs. Our regulator, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), looks carefully at this question every year and has determined that they do. The PRC has also noted that competitive products help fund the infrastructure of the Postal Service."

Perhaps most notably from the tweet-storm are a few simple realities: