When it comes to President Donald Trump, it’s safe to say we should all take his tweets with a grain of salt. That said, we couldn’t help but notice a few inaccuracies in the president’s latest tweetstorm, which once again took aim at online retail giant Amazon. So, does the post office really lose money on Amazon, as Trump claims? It’s a bit more complicated than he thinks.
Let’s start at the beginning. Back in December, Trump took to his favorite social media platform to say the U.S. Postal Service should raise its prices for delivering Amazon packages.
The president’s most recent claims are pretty much identical to his original comments. Here’s what Trump tweeted on Saturday, March 31st:
Let’s unpack the misinformation present in Trump’s tweets, shall we?
The truth is that Amazon does collect (and pay!) sales tax in all states that require it. The company reported $957 million in income taxes in 2017, The New York Times reported. Which, let’s be real, is way more transparent than Trump’s refusal to release his own tax returns.
But wait, does the post office lose money on Amazon?
Well, the USPS is losing money — but it’s not because of Amazon. The Chicago Tribune reported that the losses are mainly due to pension and health care costs, while package delivery has actually “been a bright spot” for the independent government agency. In fact, the post office has experienced “double-digit increases in revenue” from providing such delivery services.
Despite Trump’s insistence that Amazon is to blame for the post office’s woes, officials have told him the agency’s contract with Amazon is “profitable,” according to The Washington Post.
It’s easy to see Trump’s comments for what they really are: a thinly veiled attempt to strike back at the The Washington Post for what he sees as unfavorable coverage. Hence why he inaccurately referred to the newspaper as a “lobbyist.”
Honestly, we’re not even surprised. Considering the fact that Trump told over 1,950 falsehoods in 2017 alone, his commitment to transparency is troubling, to say the least. These attacks on Amazon are just the latest in his attempts to gaslight America, especially as we draw closer to the 2018 midterm elections.
While it’s unlikely the president’s Twitter tirades will stop anytime soon, it’s seriously important to hold our leaders accountable for both their words and their actions. The spread of false information is damaging to our country, which is why fact-checking is so important. Stay informed, stay active, and don’t forget to vote.