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The Billionaire Behind Efforts to Kill the U.S. Postal Service

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A U.S. Postal Service letter carrier delivers mail while wearing PPE | Credit: In the Public Interest (ITPI)

LISA GRAVES, via Evan Vorpahl, evan at truenorthresearch.org,
Graves is the executive director of True North and has led several investigations into those distorting U.S. democracy and public policy. She just wrote the brief “The Billionaire Behind Efforts to Kill the U.S. Postal Service,” which states: “The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the already-struggling U.S. Postal Service to the brink of financial collapse. But the most trusted and popular institution in America hasn’t been struggling by accident.

“Since the 1970s, a concerted effort to popularize the fringe idea of privatizing the Postal Service has been advanced for nearly five decades with the support of one man: the billionaire and libertarian ideologue, Charles Koch, chairman and chief executive officer of Koch Industries.”

The brief traces Koch’s connections, influence, and ideological push to “weaken and ultimately privatize one of America’s most essential public services — and, along with it, the jobs of hundreds of thousands of public servants. …

“The Postal Service has lost revenue since COVID-19 started spreading exponentially in the U.S., with its revenues down more than 30 percent as many businesses have closed or reduced operations. But the real reason for its financial crisis is not only the pandemic. The agency would be in a much stronger financial position had Congress not passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) in 2006, which ‘requires the Postal Service, which receives no taxpayer subsidies, to prefund its retirees’ health benefits up to the year 2056,’ on a 50-year basis. (John Oliver’s ‘Last Week Tonight’ did an in-depth show on this manufactured crisis earlier this year.)

“The HEROES Act would fund a portion of the Postal Service’s request to keep it from going bankrupt, but Koch’s groups oppose even that, seeking to achieve his longtime goal of eliminating one of the most trusted of American institutions and one vital to our democracy. The question is: will the American people stand up to Koch’s radical efforts to defund and destroy one of our most essential public services, wreak havoc on our economy, and privatize the good jobs of thousands of public servants? Or will we stand up to this billionaire and his bullying, say ‘NO!,’ and punish any politician who toes the Koch party line?” See PDF of the brief.