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Rand Paul Torches Politicians Who Want To Give Money To The Post Office: ‘Might As Well’ ‘Burn It’ On ‘Your Front Lawn’

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UNITED STATES - AUGUST 04: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., asks a question during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing titled Venezuela in Maduro's Grasp: Assessing the Deteriorating Security and Humanitarian Situation, in Dirksen Building on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Elliott Abrams, U.S. special representative for Venezuela, and Joshua Hodges, senior deputy assistant administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, testified.
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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) blasted the notion of giving the U.S. Postal Service any more taxpayer money during an interview on Wednesday after it has lost approximately $78 billion from 2007 through 2019.

“Well, anybody who wants to give money to the post office, you might as well just put it into a big pile on your front lawn and burn it,” Paul told Fox News during an interview. “There’s no way to give any money to the post office to make the post office redeemable. You cannot fix the post office unless you fix their labor problem. 80 percent of the cost of the post office is labor. About 50 percent of UPS’ cost are labor. And FedEx is about 38 percent.”

“You can’t run a business with 80 percent of your costs being labor, when your competitors have much lower costs,” Paul continued. “So, really, in the end, just giving money to the post office is giving money to an operation that lost $8 billion last year. So, giving them $10 billion, it’ll be gone within a year’s time. It’s a foolhardy notion. And, when they call it skinny, to me, it’s just Democrat-lite. And I didn’t run for office to be just slightly less bad than the Democrats.”

“The only way I’d give the post office any money would be to have a hiring freeze, and they would have to gradually lower their employment significantly,” Paul later added. “There’s a third less overall mail going through the post office in the last 14 years. They need to have a third less employees. A few years ago, they started, through attrition, mainly by letting the older employees not be replaced. They were getting smaller. But they’ve actually started growing again in the last year or two.”

“If you look at the costs, even though the numbers of employees haven’t gone up, the costs are still going through the roof because of the pension being so expensive. So, really, without a mandate to make it a smaller organization, you shouldn’t give them any money,” Paul said. “So, it’s sort of like when you do rescue a company that’s failing, they have to have reforms. Nobody comes in with venture capital and just says, ‘Hey, here’s a bucket of money. Keep losing money.’ They tell you, you have to change. So, it’s a real mistake to give the post office money unless they significantly reform their ways.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT PROVIDED VIA FOX NEWS:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK MEADOWS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: We need to put money back in people’s pocket with perhaps a skinny deal that we can make sure that checks go out.

Let’s go ahead and do that. I call on Nancy Pelosi to not only finally fix the post office, but let’s find the things that are hurting Americans across the country because of this pandemic.

Let’s pass a skinny bill. We’ll be here on Saturday. Hopefully, they will, with a negotiating heart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: All right, I don’t know if I like hearing skinny attached to any deal, especially when it’s almost a trillion dollars anyway. That’s hardly skinny.

But it is progress, in the eyes of Republicans and Democrats, who say that maybe they can cobble together something that might not be everything that Nancy Pelosi likes, and Democrats, but Nancy Pelosi already hinting that maybe they can do something like that, and then address still more spending down the road.

It concerns Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican senator with us right now.

A skinny deal, Senator, but it still looks like a pricey one. What do you think?

(LAUGHTER)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): Well, anybody who wants to give money to the post office, you might as well just put it into a big pile on your front lawn and burn it.

It’s – there’s no way to give any money to the post office to make the post office redeemable. You cannot fix the post office unless you fix their labor problem. 80 percent of the cost of the post office is labor. About 50 percent of UPS’ cost are labor. And FedEx is about 38 percent.

You can’t run a business with 80 percent of your costs being labor, when your competitors have much lower costs. So, really, in the end, just giving money to the post office is giving money to an operation that lost $8 billion last year. So, giving them $10 billion, it’ll be gone within a year’s time. It’s a foolhardy notion.

And, when they call it skinny, to me, it’s just Democrat-lite. And I didn’t run for office to be just slightly less bad than the Democrats.

CAVUTO: All right. The president is for giving them some money. So, I’m just wondering if he just wants this done, and argue over the details later. What do you say?

PAUL: The only way I’d give the post office any money would be to have a hiring freeze, and they would have to gradually lower their employment significantly.

There’s a third less overall mail going through the post office in the last 14 years. They need to have a third less employees. A few years ago, they started, through attrition, mainly by letting the older employees not be replaced. They were getting smaller. But they’ve actually started growing again in the last year or two.

If you look at the costs, even though the numbers of employees haven’t gone up, the costs are still going through the roof because of the pension being so expensive. So, really, without a mandate to make it a smaller organization, you shouldn’t give them any money.

So, it’s sort of like, when you do rescue a company that’s failing, they have to have reforms. Nobody comes in with venture capital and just says, “Hey, here’s a bucket of money. Keep losing money.” They tell you, you have to change.

So, it’s a real mistake to give the post office money, unless they significantly reform their ways.

CAVUTO: Well, whether it’s $10 billion or one, I mean, the fact of the matter is, it’s part of an overall stimulus measure that Republicans seem to be saying, we don’t need to be nearly as expensive as Democrats want.

But Democrats seem to be hinting they’ll sign on to something that might be skinny or not quite as huge now to revisit later on. So this sounds unending to me.

PAUL: [Yeah]. Well, there is no money, is the most important thing. There is no rainy day fund. There’s no savings account. You can’t go over the Federal Reserve and open a big safe door, find a bunch of money, and pass it out. The money will be borrowed, or the money will be printed.

And both of them have ramifications. We – if we do another trillion, we’ll be at about $5 trillion for one year. We have never, ever in the history of the United States borrowed so much so rapidly. And I fear the consequences.

I don’t know how quickly the consequences come, but I fear that the stock market is going to see that, and the stock market is also going to worry about having all three branches of government in Democrat hands.

I foresee a catastrophe for the market, if the Democrats win the election, and we keep borrowing money, and then they’ll be back in December saying, “Oh, we need $2 trillion more.”

So, if you give people money, and you make it less painful to be in a recession, we can stay in a recession longer. The recession is created by the government. The government shut the economy.

So, all of these governors, Democrat and Republican, will not have an incentive to open the economy if you soften the amount of suffering that they’ve created.

What we need to be doing is, every day, broadcasting that your governors are causing the unemployment. In Kentucky, our governor has caused 700,000 people to be out of work. And he’s the single, sole person to be blamed for it because no one else had any say in it. He’s doing it all himself.

And until that happens, and until there’s a political penalty for it, he’ll keep doing it. He’s still got the restaurant closed, even though Kentucky doesn’t even show up on the radar compared to these other states that have had a significant amount of cases.

CAVUTO: Well, let me ask you about the president.

So, with his executive actions, he said, we could go to them if Congress can’t cobble together a deal acceptable. But there’s been no movement on it. The move to cut the payroll tax that a lot of companies say they’re leery to follow up on, A, because it’s just the president saying it, it doesn’t have the stamp of Congress, and, B, if it’s temporary and all, they’re going to have to get that money back.

So, they’re not acting on that. Concerns as well about unemployment checks continuing for a while here. The devil’s in the details [in] getting states to pay up for a quarter of that. That doesn’t look likely.

So, are these executive actions falling on deaf ears?

PAUL: Well, you know, Social Security is about $7 trillion short. It’s set to run out of money in the near future.

There are people now estimating that we have pushed the time or we have brought the time closer to us when Social Security will be running at an annual deficit. So, I think not paying Social Security taxes is probably a mistake.

As much as I hate taxes as much as any of the rest of those in Washington, I would rather have lower taxes, we [have] obligated to spend the money. Unless you’re going to reform Social Security in a way in which you move the age out or you do something to compensate for letting people keep more money, then you’re just making the deficit in Social Security bigger. And I think that would be a mistake.

You’re right. If Congress doesn’t pass a law, and the president defers your Social Security payment, what happens in five months if we still can’t come to an agreement, and we send every worker a bill for 500 bucks? Do you think that’s going to get paid?

You know, I don’t see really a good way out of this. And, also, the Constitution was pretty clear that the power of the purse resides with Congress.

And no matter whether the president is a Republican and a friend, like this president is – and I consider him a friend, and I support him – I also don’t want any president, even from my party, to have so much power that they can control the power of the purse without the checks and balances of Congress having to take action.

CAVUTO: Well, it’s something you can take up at another time because the president wants to make that payroll tax cut permanent, if he were reelected.

We will see how that all goes. Senator, it’s always good having you. Thank you for taking the time.

PAUL: Thank you.

CAVUTO: All right, Rand Paul.

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