Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) argued during a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee Friday that the United States Postal Service should cut jobs to save money — despite the fact that the country is currently experiencing a historic unemployment crisis, with tens of millions of Americans collecting job-loss benefits amid a coronavirus-fueled economic downturn.
"When the Post Office becomes desperate for money — less employees," Paul said Friday at a hearing with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. "We started that a few years ago, but we've got to do more of it. Mail keeps dropping, you've got to have less employees."
DeJoy was called to answer questions about recent changes to the Postal Service that have caused significant delays in mail and package delivery.
The slowdowns have caused delays in such varied areas as the delivery of critical medications to veterans and of baby chicks to farmers, with chicks being reported to have arrived dead because of the lag.
Slowdowns at the agency have also raised questions about whether mail-in ballots will be counted on time and whether voters could face disenfranchisement due to Postal Service delays.
Paul, however, called for more cuts at the agency, which could further exacerbate delivery delays.
Paul also argued that the Postal Service should cut the number of delivery days in rural areas from six a week to five — something that would almost certainly impact many of Paul's own constituents in the largely rural state of Kentucky.
Cutting jobs is always unpopular.
However, arguing for more job cuts during a global pandemic, during which unemployment in the United States has risen to record highs, leaving tens of millions of workers jobless, could be politically damaging.
And the Postal Service — which currently employs more than 600,000 people across the country — is almost universally popular with Americans.
In a 2019 Gallup poll, 74 percent of Americans said the Postal Service was doing an "excellent" or "good" job, making it the top-rated federal agency.
That would also make tinkering with the agency politically risky, as Americans like the services they are receiving and could grow angry if they were to lose them.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
Donald Trump took a victory lap on the economy after the monthly jobs report released earlier in the morning showed 4.8 million of the jobs lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic returned in June.
"It's all coming back. It's coming back faster, bigger, and better than we ever thought possible," Trump said in a speech from the White House briefing room on Thursday morning. "These are the numbers. These are not numbers made up by me. These are numbers."
Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.
The global coronavirus pandemic threw Petra Hamann's job into peril faster than just about any other. She is a physical therapist, a profession that is all about close proximity to others, with a clientele that leans toward older people, exactly the population most vulnerable to the virus. In March, she and the rest of the 10-person therapy group that employed her lost virtually all of their clients, first as a result of clients' fears about coming in for appointments, then as a result of government stay-at-home orders.
But neither Hamann nor anyone else in her group lost their job. Instead, they were kept on and, even while having zero clients, received 60 percent of their normal pay. As about half her clients gradually started to return in recent weeks, she began making 80 percent of her usual pay (including compensation for the clients who had not come back). And she was able to do so without having to negotiate any paperwork or online bureaucracy; she and her co-workers simply signed a form from their employer.
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