President Donald Trump has gone postal again, tweeting this morning a renewed attack on Amazon for its alleged impact on the U.S. Postal Service, throwing in a jab at the “Fake Washington Post” on top of it.
After a tweet on Thursday dented the company’s stock price, today’s pair of tweets revisited the topic. Trump said the company is making the postal service lose “Billions of Dollars.” He also said the Post, which Bezos bought in 2013, is “used as a ‘lobbyist’ and should so REGISTER.” If the postal rates were to increase, Trump continued, Amazon would pay $2.6 billion more to ship its goods. “This Post Office scam must stop,” he concluded. “Amazon must pay real costs (and taxes) now!”
The tweets came as Trump left his Mar-a-Lago estate, where he is staying for the holiday weekend, and headed out to play golf. He added one more unrelated broadside before tee-off, assailing California Gov. Jerry Brown for issuing pardons for select convicts, calling him “Moonbeam” and tagging Fox News in the tweet.
Those who follow Amazon’s business pointed out that the tweets do not accurately describe the state of the postal service. The entity indeed has lost money every year for the past decade, but not due to shipping, which has contributed increasing revenue as the country continues to migrate toward e-commerce. Instead, pension and benefit costs have done the most damage to the balance sheet, especially after a 2006 law mandated the pre-funding of retirement health benefits for 75 years.
The president’s tweets alluded to a Citigroup report that said that the true cost of Amazon shipping is about 50% higher than what it currently pays — but that was under an adjusted model re-allocating the pension and benefit costs. Many conservatives have seized on the statistic as evidence of what they depict as Amazon skating by without paying its fair share.