The U.S. Postal Service is constantly losing billions of dollars and that trend won't stop anytime soon. Now, to combat those losses, the Postal Service wants to raise the price of a first class stamp from 46 cents to 49 cents.
That's nearly half a dollar, you're screaming. But the Postal Service is in a "precarious financial condition," says chairman of the postal Board of Governors, Mickey Barnett, according to the Associated Press. That is the primary reason for the rate hike. The other reason? Congress can't get its act together to overhaul the Postal Service through legislation. The USPS doesn't receive taxpayer dollars, but is still controlled by government bureaucracy. This price hike still needs to be approved by the independent Postal Regulatory Commission.
You'll remember with some fondness when the Post Office tried to eliminate Saturday delivery in order to save some money, despite the added inconvenience to citizens and the potential loss of 22,000 jobs. However, Congress put the kibosh on that plan and Saturday delivery lived another day. And yet, the Postal Service is still bleeding money faster than humanly possible. As it stands right now, the USPS is on track to lose $6 billion this year. That seems like progress, though, when when put next to 2012's $16 billion loses.
But the stamp may also be going to the way of the dodo bird. Citing plummeting year-over-year stamp sales, the Postal Service is paying Faith Popcorn's BrainReserve, a marketing consulting agency, over $500,000 to provide "analysis and recommendation on the future of stamps," according to documents obtained by the Federal Times. Internal estimates suggest stamp sales, which is the Postal Service's biggest revenue source, will suffer a 40.5 percent drop between 2009 and 2020. So while stamps may be getting more expensive now, they may not be around forever.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.