Trump Lies About Amazon, Taxes and the Postal Service

Trump Lies About Amazon, Taxes and the Postal Service April 1, 2018

It’s a day that ends in Y and that means Trump is lying about something. This time it’s a repeat of two different lies that have already been debunked time and time again, that Amazon doesn’t pay taxes and that the U.S. Postal Service loses money delivering packages for them.

As usual, he is dead wrong about nearly all of this. The New York Times does the factchecking. On the matter of taxes:

In 2012, Amazon began collecting and paying state taxes in California. Since April 2017, Amazon has collected sales taxes in all states that levy one.

Additionally, in its latest annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Amazon said it paid $957 million in income taxes in 2017. The company previously reported paying $412 million in income taxes in 2016, $273 million in 2015 and $177 million in 2014, according to the commission.

So they pay all the taxes they are required to pay. And remember that during the first presidential debate against Hillary Clinton, she raised the fact that he was refusing to release his tax returns and speculated that it might be because they would show that he didn’t pay any income taxes. His response: “That makes me smart.” So if he finds a way not to pay taxes, that makes him smart; if someone he doesn’t like pays all of the taxes they are required to pay, that’s an outrage. Typical Trump.

And now, on the matter of the Post Office allegedly losing money by shipping for Amazon. Not only is this not true, it’s the exact opposite of the truth. The huge amount of business it gets from Amazon makes up for losses on other postal delivery services.

Those losses cannot be attributed to Amazon shipments alone, however, and the president’s Twitter posts have lacked context. Notably, packages and shipping are areas of growth for the Postal Service that have offset its general shortfalls in revenue.

The Postal Service attributes much of its financial woe to a prolonged decline in the volume of marketing mail and first-class mail — bills, birthday cards and, for example, bridal shower invitations. Its mail business is still its “main source of revenue and contribution,” the postmaster general, Megan J. Brennan, said in a statement in February.

In large part because of the internet — online bill pay, Facebook birthday posts and e-vites — the volume of first-class mail being sent through the Postal Service has decreased 43 percent since 2001, when it last peaked.

The Post Office could raise their rates, of course, and they probably ought to do so given the consistent losses. But they aren’t losing money by shipping for Amazon. And the criticism that they “use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy” is nothing short of bizarre. That’s exactly what the Post Office is supposed to do, deliver our letters and packages. If they didn’t, if they replaced all the Post Office business with UPS or FedEx, the Post Office would lose a great deal of business that is making those losses smaller.

Trump does not care about any of this, of course, because he simply never cares whether what he says is true or not. He’s just using these lies to attack a political enemy and to justify possibly taking action to retaliate against Jeff Bezos because he doesn’t like that the Washington Post reports bad things about him. This is the behavior of a two-bit satrap, not a serious leader.

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