"They do it all the time," he said. "UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. ... It's the Post Office that's always having problems."Gee, at a time when people are really concerned that the Democrats' health care plan will blow an irreparable hole in the deficit, is a comparison to the Post Office really the best choice he could make.
The Foundry at the Heritage reminds us about how the Post Office works.
1.) The U.S. Post Office is the only entity allowed by federal law to deliver first class mail to your mailbox. In fact, Fedex and UPS are strictly prohibited from delivering “non-urgent” letters. If the government can fairly compete and is setting fair rules, wouldn’t the post office be open to competition at your mailbox?When a common rant against government-run health care is that people don't want the same crowd that runs the Post Office or the DMV to run their health care, the President chose a particularly unfortunate metaphor to answer a quite legitimate question as to how private insurance plans could compete when the government enters the market. And when Medicare and Medicaid are broke, is bringing up our broke Post Office the best idea if you're trying to sell more government involvement in health care?
2.) If Americans were offered “free” postage paid for by massive government spending and tax hikes, would Fedex and UPS still exist?
3.) The Post Office is on track to lose a staggering $7 billion this year alone. How will a government-run health care plan manage taxpayer resources more efficiently?
4.) Postmaster General John Potter says he lacks the “tools” necessary to run the Post Office effectively like a business. Would a government-run health care system have the tools it needs to run as effectively as the private sector entities it is replacing?
5.) On the one hand, the President remarks how great his public health care plan will be. On the other hand, he notes it won’t be good enough to crowd out your private insurance, i.e. the Post Office comparison. So which is it Mr. President? Will it be so great that private insurance disappears or so awful that it isn’t worth creating in the first place?
6.) But the most important question is this: if you have an urgent piece of mail you need delivered, life or death, who are you going to call? Everyone saying the government…please raise your hands. (crickets)
The most frightening line from Joe Nocera’s New York Times piece is this: “As for Mr. Potter himself, while he may want more freedom to run the Postal Service like a real business, he, too, seemed surprisingly wedded to outmoded ideas about mail service in America. ‘This country needs to have and to protect universal service,’ he said.”
Protecting universal service at the expense of cost, innovation, and quality of care. Sound familiar?