The Trump Administration Wants to Sell Access to Your Mailbox to Raise Money for the Post Office, and Yes, You Read That Right

WASHINGTON, D.C. - OCTOBER 19: (AFP-OUT) President Donald Trump speaks to the media during a meeting with Governor Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico in the Oval Office at the White House on October 19, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Trump and Rossello spoke about the continuing recovery efforts following Hurricane Maria. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

The Trump administration is considering a vast expansion of who can access a person's mailbox in an attempt to financially reinvigorate the United States Postal Service. The move comes in a government report evaluating the current state of the USPS and ways to make it more lucrative. If enacted, the proposal would allow private companies to access a person's mailbox...for a price.

This is not to be confused with private companies accessing mailboxes for junk mail, because those advertisements are still delivered through USPS, which operates with what is known as the "mailbox monopoly," a 1934 policy that gives the USPS sole access to a person's mailbox. Under this proposal, companies like FedEx and United Parcel Service would have the option to pay for physical access to your mailbox instead of it being the sole prerogative of the USPS.

The report reads in part:

"The Task Force recommends that the USPS explore franchising the mailbox as a means of

generating revenue. This could be done by retaining the mailbox monopoly and allowing

regulated access, for a fee, to certified private companies. These 'franchisees' would be

granted access to the mailbox for the delivery of mail and small parcels."

While carriers like FedEx and UPS already have access to ship to their consumers, USPS strictly forbids private shipping companies from leaving deliveries in a federal mailbox and it isn't afraid to enforce the policy either.

While the USPS has been operating at a loss as a result of lower participation as well as the requirement that they fund retirement plans decades in advance, many Americans are skeptical of the move.

Some think the proposal would lead to total privatization, and the fear isn't exactly far-fetched.

The Trump administration's push to privatize the USPS earlier this year was met with bipartisan backlash. Lawmakers emphasized the importance of the Postal Service to rural communities and the importance of the institution - which has existed since the 1770's - as a whole.

Though the Postal Service is in clear need of some sort of restructuring, many lawmakers insist that the necessary improvements can be made through alleviating bad policy - like the institution's mandatory pre-funding of retiree health benefits.

Some lawmakers have proposed additional services to bolster the institution's operational model. Democratic Senator from New York Kirsten Gillibrand proposed a bill that would extend the Postal Service's functions to include basic financial services like check cashing and low interest loans. An exploratory report of the idea showed that the average American without a steady bank spent over two thousand dollars on similar services.

While the proposal wasn't unanimously adored, it was a lot more popular than the Trump administration's proposal to privatize.

Given Trump's history, it's easy to see why his administration's first move would be to privatize or to sell access to the highest bidders, but as far as the American people are concerned, the idea needs to be returned to sender.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It took a global pandemic and a national health crisis for the White House to temporarily restore daily press briefings after more than a year.

The purpose of the briefings is to update the public on the virus's spread and which potentially lifesaving measures are necessary for Americans to take in order to keep themselves and their families safe.

Keep reading... Show less
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images; Samuel Corum/Getty Images

With Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) officially suspending his campaign on Wednesday, all signs are pointing to a showdown between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden in November.

The pair's differing stances on how to curb the global pandemic that's resulted in a national health crisis in the United States are already highlighting just how much more effective—and levelheaded—a Biden presidency would be.

Keep reading... Show less
Walter McBride/Getty Images // Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Donald Trump's hatred of the late Republican Senator from Arizona, John McCain, was widely known even before McCain cast the decisive vote that saved the Affordable Care Act in 2017.

That hatred has only worsened since that vote, with Trump initially refusing to lower flags at half staff to honor him and even implying that McCain is in Hell.

Keep reading... Show less
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Pastor and Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. came under fire late last month when he ordered faculty to return to the university and gave students the option to return, despite the mounting health crisis in the United States.

Surely enough, it wasn't long before students began falling ill.

Keep reading... Show less
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway may be one of President Donald Trump's most vocal defenders, but her husband—Republican lawyer George Conway—is decidedly not.

After months of speaking out against Trump on Twitter, Conway and three other prominent Republican strategists formed Project Lincoln late last year.

Keep reading... Show less

The World Health Organization (WHO) is responsible for providing guidance regarding international public health, so people around the world are looking to the WHO during this global pandemic.

Keep reading... Show less