The USPS Rate Hike Hustle

January 1999 33¢
January 2001 34¢
June 2002 37¢
January 2006 39¢
May 2007 41¢
May 2008 42¢
May 2009 44¢

That’s 11¢ in the past 10 years.

That’s a 33% increase!!!

And that’s just on the basic first class stamp.

We’re paying much more, and I can’t tell you how many people have commented to me on how much the service has deteriorated.

I guess we should be “happy” with the 4.76% increase this year. Keep in mind the Postmaster General was asking Congress if they could reduce delivery days just a few months ago. The rates are supposed to be tied into the Consumer Price Index, but a quick glance at the percent changes (from the Bureau of Labor Statistics) for the past 12 months (ending March 2009, shows the CPI is DOWN 0.4% (includes food & energy). Considering the post office just announced the rate increase in February, I’d really like to know where their numbers came from that justified an increase.

I also wonder if the brains behind the numbers at the USPS have figured out that the more they raise rates, the less people will mail. They could easily price themselves out of business.

There was a lot of bitching by the post office about their loss necessitating the increase, but their loss was a result of congress requiring them to put $5.6 billion into the Retiree Health Benefits Fund created by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA). Without that required payment, the post office’s actual profit would have been $2.8 billion.

Postage price history data from: (which as of 3/27/17 no longer works).