The president is continuing the saga of making the government bend over backwards to conform to his viewpoints this week. Besides the fact that any time he tweets something incendiary, he makes his whole administration vulnerable, since he is not raging in a vacuum, he has now directed the creation of a task force to handle an issue that he came up with via tweets.
In an executive order that he signed Thursday night, Trump moved for the creation of a task force to investigate the Postal Service’s finances. That order comes after he spent considerable time on social media attacking Amazon, owned by Jeff Bezos, for supposedly taking advantage of the nation’s Postal Service.
Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post and in that, the president ordering this task force into existence represents little more than his long simmering, frenzied rage with the news media bleeding into official government activities. The president is so furious with the news media that he has chosen to draw other parts of the government into his raging as opposed to allowing it to continue on with addressing the numerous other issues at hand.
The executive order creating the task force did not mention Amazon by name, but it hardly comes without an obvious context.
The order directs Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to lead the investigative body and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to advise the body on questions of commercial monopolies in the package delivery business. The panel will be expected to deliver recommendations on how to improve the Postal Service’s financial standing within 120 days.
It was all the way back in 2015 that the president first raged against Amazon on Twitter for supposedly getting out of paying its fair share of taxes. Such a criticism is deeply ironic considering the fact that Trump has bragged about his own proficiency at evading taxes.
Much more recently, he has again ramped up his criticism of the company, directly tying his complaints to The Washington Post. In other words, it’s as though he’s not even trying to hide his bias here.
For example, on March 31, he whined:
‘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 does not include the Fake Washington Post, which is used as a “lobbyist” and should so REGISTER.’
The president’s incessant criticism of Amazon — as many other criticisms of his — misses the full picture. Rather than the Postal Service languishing under the burden of Amazon’s supposed manipulation, Amazon and the Postal Service have both insisted that the delivery agreement in place between the two interests is appropriate for the Postal Service.
The body’s financial woes extend well beyond that of the money it is supposedly losing to Amazon; first class mail has fallen by 43 percent since 2001, while parcel delivery went up by 19 percent last year alone.
Even still, the president is continuing to push on, motivated in his policy decisions as much by personal grudges as anything else.
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