USPS’s Proposed Price Increases in a Sea of Bidenflation Are Not Backed Up by Improved Service Delivery

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    The price of the “forever stamp” will change from 58 cents to 60 cents in 2022. This will be the second price increase in a year, CBS stated. In August, the stamp went up from 55 cents to the 58-cents mark. Between July and August of this year, the cost of the stamp could increase by 9 percent, or 5 cents, should price increases continue to take effect. However, the forever stamp’s price jump isn't the only postage-price increase that could occur this summer, as per the United States Postal Service (USPS).

    If approved by the PRC (Postal Regulatory Commission), the single-piece added ounce price would go up to 24 cents from 20 cents. Additionally, the metered one-ounce mail price would increase to 57 cents from 53 cents, while the cost of a postcard stamp would rise to 44 cents from 40 cents. A one-ounce letter sent to countries outside of the U.S. would increase to $1.40 from $1.30. The Postal Service is also seeking price changes to Special Services products including Certified Mail, Post Office Box rental charges, Money Order fees, and the cost of buying insurance for sending an item.

    In its announcement on Wednesday, the USPS stated that the planned price increase will be a 6.5-percentage increase, “which is lower than the Bureau of Labor Statistics annual inflation rate of 7.9 percent as of the end of February.”

    Lexington Institute Fellow Paul Steidler told CBS News that the PRC offers only advisory recommendations, meaning that the agency has the power to make rate adjustments no matter what the Commission's decision is.

    The USPS stated that the price adjustments will aid Postmaster Louis DeJoy's Delivering for America Program, a 10-year initiative to end the chaos in the organization and agency finances while also enhancing its efficiency and sustainability, according to its website. On Wednesday, the USPS stated that the price changes could result in an investment of $40 billion in its infrastructure in the next decade.

    Steidler was scathing about DeJoy's proposal, saying that the agency has failed to meet its new quality standards for delivery. These were reduced during the rollout of the plan. “It's one thing to have price increases, but it's another to have absolutely abysmal service accompanying that price increase,” he stated. “The price increase is not in the best interest of the American people.”

    On the same day as the announcement was made by the agency, President Joe Biden signed “The Postal Reform Act” into law. The legislation aims “to shore up the popular but beleaguered agency's financial future and cement six-days-a-week mail delivery,” the Associated Press (AP) noted.

    According to CBS News, this bill will give $107 billion worth of indirect and direct aid to the USPS, including the ability for future retirees to join Medicare and ending the requirement that the USPS pre-fund health-insurance benefits for the next 75 years.

    A Pew Research Center Poll released in 2020 showed that the majority of Americans view the USPS as positive, making the USPS “the most popular thing the federal government does,” as per the AP.

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