The Postal Regulatory Commission approve the stamp price increasing by one cent for the United States Postal Service (USPS). As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the USPS had previously announced the possibility of a one cent raise back in October. The postal rate increases by Congress will pave the way for the USPS to begin tackling its record-breaking losses.
According to The Hill, the USPS will raise the cost of sending a first-class letter to 46 cents and a postcard to 33 cents, both up a penny. A new global “forever” stamp will allow customers to mail letters anywhere in the world for one set price of $1.10. The international rates currently vary so that means the prices will actually be going up for some nations, like Canada and Mexico.
Priority Mail will increase to $5.80 for a small box, $12.35 for a medium, and $16.85 for a large box. Regular envelopes for priority mail will increase to $5.60, with a legal-sized envelope costing $5.75. Finally, a padded envelope will cost $5.95.
The USPS has been failing for years to make a profit. The Postal Service announced this past week that it lost a record $15.9 billion in fiscal 2012, which ended September 30th. The USPS is currently not allowed to raise stamp prices faster than the inflation rate, so that is why it had to wait on Congress for approval. In order to stay afloat the USPS has been borrowing money from Congress, but it has defaulted on some of its loans.
Congress claims it will attempt to address the larger problems with the USPS but they are currently very busy attempting to avoid the fiscal cliff. Some have blamed the USPS’ financial woes on the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, which requires that pensions be funded 75 years in advance.
Ralph Nader has suggested that Congress get rid of this requirement:
“By June 2011, the USPS saw a total net deficit of $19.5 billion, $12.7 billion of which was borrowed money from Treasury (leaving just $2.3 billion left until the USPS hits its statutory borrowing limit of $15 billion). This $19.5 billion deficit almost exactly matches the $20.95 billion the USPS made in prepayments to the fund for future retiree health care benefits by June 2011. If the prepayments required under PAEA were never enacted into law, the USPS would not have a net deficiency of nearly $20 billion, but instead be in the black by at least $1.5 billion.”
The stamp price increasing, along with all the other mail rate increasing, will only put a small dent in the mail agency’s financial losses. What do you think about the USPS increasing the prices of stamps and other mail?