The Trump donor whom Biden can’t fire is running the USPS directly into the ground

Steve HutkinsBlog, News

Fortune: Technology has afforded us the ability to connect with nearly anyone, anytime—and free of charge. But there’s just something nostalgic and tactile about receiving a letter or postcard via snail mail, whether it be a wedding invitation or postcard from a loved one far away.

But many also have a love-hate relationship with the United States Postal Service. Mail is lost, undelivered—or even returned, sometimes with a valid postmark and address. Indeed, “the Postal Service’s ability to provide acceptable service is an ongoing concern across the United States,” according to the Office of Inspector General for the United States Postal Service.

Yet USPS announced Tuesday a proposed 8% price hike for stamps, bringing the cost of a first-class mail forever stamp to $0.73. It’s just another sign of the unfavorable leadership of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump. DeJoy was a major Republican Party donor and Trump fundraiser—and was also the first postmaster general in two decades without prior USPS experience.

Under DeJoy, the USPS has been bleeding money. In the first quarter of fiscal 2024 alone, USPS reported a $2.1 billion net loss, more than double its $1 billion net loss during the same time period last year.

“Under DeJoy, USPS has not adequately been controlling labor costs, while quality of service has been going down and prices going up,” said Robert D. Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a think tank that specializes in productivity and innovation issues. “This is not sustainable, and the more prices go up the more volumes go down, until USPS hits a death spiral.”

But DeJoy, who was previously under investigation by the FBI in connection with past political fundraising, says he has a 10-year plan to revive the postal service. He’s been in his role since June 2020, and plans to serve his entire appointment. Plus, President Joe Biden doesn’t have the power to remove him from his post, despite how badly the agency is struggling.

“Get used to me,” DeJoy said in February 2021. The postmaster general is appointed by the Board of Governors of the Postal Service—and can only be dismissed by this group, not the president. However, the governors are appointed by the president, and in 2022, 83 public interest groups led by the Save the Post Office Coalition sent a letter to Biden urging him to nominate postal board of governors candidates who would hold DeJoy accountable for his “destructive leadership and advocate strongly for the expansion of USPS services.”

Read more: The Trump donor whom Biden can’t fire is running the U.S. Postal Service directly into the ground—just what everyone warned about when he was confirmed during the pandemic