Desperate for cash, Postal Service hikes stamp price
A 1-cent jump in the price of stamps comes as the USPS struggles to stop the financial bleeding.
For those of us still using snail mail, there’s another price hike coming from the U.S. Postal Service.
Starting on Sunday, and as announced last October, the Postal Service will be raising the cost of a first-class stamp by a penny, to 46 cents.
Postcard stamps also increase 1 cent to 33 cents, and letters to all international destinations will now have one set price of $1.10.
Not that these rate hikes are likely to have any significant impact on the USPS’ ongoing financial woes.
While it has seen record growth in its package delivery business, the Postal Service continues to bleed money, hobbled by what one of its press statements calls “an inflexible business model that hinders its ability to be self-sufficient.”
For fiscal 2012, the Postal Service defaulted on $11.1 billion in mandated payments to the U.S. Treasury -- which in turn contributed to a record loss of $15.9 billion.
The USPS receives no tax dollars for its operating expenses, relying on the sale of postage, products and service for funding. It’s been reducing its annual cost base by about $15 billion since 2006 and has cut its workforce by 168,000, or 24% -- while reducing hours, closing some small post offices and consolidating others.
Part of the issue is the rise of email and other more immediate forms of communication. The Postal Service’s volume of single, first-class mail has reportedly been cut in half since 2002 -- and its total mail volume is down 25% since 2006.
There’s a petition on the White House web site, meanwhile, urging the Obama Administration to "Save the Post Office."
“The Postal Service is not a federal agency,” the petition notes. “It does not cost taxpayers a dollar. It loses money only because Congress mandates that it do so.”
The petition goes on to warn that if Congress doesn’t take action, the USPS could go bankrupt later this year -- and it urges lawmakers “to free the Post Office from its congressionally mandated obligations and allow it to raise additional revenue so that it can become self-sustaining once again.”
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It does not take a PhD to figure out that technology has played a huge role in the demise of the US Postal Service. The fact is - the US Postal Service has ignored how technology has reduced their business, i.e.: e-mail. e-cards, on-line bill-pay, etc. The pension plan can't be funded and rates continue to escalate. If it was not for JUNK-MAIL it would be out of business.
Every time the discussion about eliminating Saturday delivery or closing post offices comes up, nothing is done. It is a business and hard business decisions need to be made, if it is to survive.
The answer is always raise the rate. I did not do anymore or less business with the post office because they sponsored Lance Armstrong.
The POST OFFICE IS A QUASI-GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY OUT OF CONTROL LIKE THE REST OF THE GOVERNMENT!
A long time ago, the congress, in thier infinite stupidity, raided the bank acccounts of the Postal Service and never paid them back. At that time ,the U.S.Postal Service was the only dept. ,under the heading U.S., that had a surplus in thier accounts, not lost on the congress, who at the time ,could not pay thier way out of the bathroom. So they "borrowed " from the service and at a later date, required the Postal Service to pay to the treasury a whopping 5Billion dollars per year, for what, some of us have been asking that for years,but lately the congress has increased that amount. These congressional shennaigans have added to the Sevices ability to compete with private sector package shipping companies, whose stock is undoubtably held by some of those in congress or thier families. Well, now, if the Postal Service goes bankrupt, who do you think is going to benefit,,,, the package shipping companies, then thier stock value increases and the stock holder makes more money,i.e... the members of congress and thier "straw buying" families. Now, I think, a good way to start , is for congress to get out of the way and allow an institution ,of the original United States to continue thier work on a level playing field, without government interference. For once, I would like to see congress and Washington, as a whole, "practice what you preach",get out of the way and let them do what they do best, that's Deliver, something congress has not done in a very long time!
Since the Post Office is listed as a constitutional mandate in the U.S. Constitution, we will need an amendment to free it from government control.
Obviously, trying to keep financial independent with while being government run has not and will never work!
WHICH private business would step up to deliver mail to remote rural areas without INCREASING the price significantly? NONE! The private sector would DROP all areas that don't give a quick profit. Thus, we would get an inconsistent delivery system.
I suggest that USA does what most other developed nations have done: skip Saturday delivery - close all offices on Saturdays.
If everyone gets as much junk mail as I do , that should be enough for the Post office to break even??
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