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“as catastrophically stupid an idea that anyone could ever imagine”

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This applies to…pretty much everything about the Trump administration, but certainly this too:

President Trump on Friday threatened to block an emergency loan to shore up the U.S. Postal Service unless it dramatically raised shipping prices on online retailers, an unprecedented move to seize control of the agency that analysts said could plunge its finances into a deeper hole.

“The Postal Service is a joke,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. To obtain a $10 billion line of credit Congress approved this month, “The post office should raise the price of a package by approximately four times,” he said.

Trump for years has alleged the Postal Service has charged too little for packages and personally pushed the head of the agency to charge far more to ship goods for big online retailers. Several administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said Trump’s criticism of Postal Service rates is rooted in a desire to hurt Amazon in particular. They have said that he fumes publicly and privately at Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, for news coverage that Trump believes is unfair.

But raising USPS prices so sharply may not have the impact the president desires, analysts said, as it would put postal services prices far above those of UPS and FedEx, allowing them to raise prices a little and still gain market share, they said.

“This is about as catastrophically stupid an idea that anyone could ever imagine,” said Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia University Business School. “As if anyone from Amazon to the local mom and pop delivery businesses would ever put up with a rate increase like that when they have alternatives.”

Authoritarian attempts to suppress the free press? Whose only redeeming feature is that they’re too stupidly conceived to work? But whose side effects would include destroying a vital national service? That’s our Trump!

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