Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A stamp is a terrible thing to paste

The Post Office wants to raise the cost of a stamp from 39¢ to 42¢ to cover increased costs.

Yes, you're correct, they just raise it from 37¢ to 39¢ in January. That increase will generate $3 billion.

So, why the new increase? Simple, the $3 billion is being held in an "escrow account" rather than being used to cover costs. Why? To make the federal deficit look smaller. Don't you just love politicians?

Along with our rate increase to cover the costs that the last rate increase was supposed to cover, we are going to get "forever stamps" -- the forever stamps will sell for the current first-class rate but will be usable in the future regardless of any future rate increases. A kind of hedge fund for stamps! (And, you're probably right, as people buy forever stamps to hoard, it's a way to quickly generate enough money to cover the $2 billion the Post Office will lose this year because they didn't actually get the money from the last rate increase.)

The other proposed change is to charge by shape -- not your shape, the shape of whatever you are mailing. It currently costs 63
¢ to mail a two-ounce first-class item whether it's a letter, large flat envelope or package. But the post office makes more than 30¢ on the letter, 10¢ on the flat and loses money on the package.

Meanwhile, I have been trying to figure out how many forever stamps to buy. My first calculation was to take my life
expectancy times the number of Christmas cards that I send. Then I realized that if someone I know died, I would be stuck with extra stamps. So, I'm going to have to take into account the life expectancy of everyone that I send Christmas cards to -- this could take the rest of the afternoon.

Source: The Associated Press


Meagan said...

I intend to die by 2040, if that helps you to plan.

love meagan
thanks Meagan, that will save me 22 stamps!

kim said...

my husband contracted at the post office briefly and found out once that stamp increases often go to cover costs of mail delivery to alaska.

though this time, it's prolly a gas hike.

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