The U.S. Postal Service is required to fund itself by charging for services like a private business. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak mail volume has dropped by more than half, severely undercutting its budget.

Congress has not agreed to support the USPS even though its services are especially vital during this time: Delivery of prescriptions, relief checks, and lots of important notices and deliveries needed by people now isolating at home. This is in spite of the more than two trillion CARES act passed recently. The Post Office needs about 10 billion (less than 1/2 percent the size of the CARES act.) However, the Senate Republicans didn’t agree to extend help except with loans rather than grants, which put the USPS into even worse financial shape.

The Paycheck Protection Plan – which is part of CARES – provides for loans to businesses, which, if used to pay employees, will be forgiven. Perhaps the Post Office should apply through the PPP. Of course they don’t actually qualify but if the Republicans want the Post Office to run like a business they ought to treat the USPS like other businesses. As it is the Post Office gets stuck with rules not forced on other parts of government without the advantages a private business.

It’s almost as if someone wants the USPS to fail.