The U. S. Postal Service wants to increase the price of a first-class stamp to 49¢, blaming the need on its financial woes. But the root of the problem is what the service has to do for retirees.
The USPS has been under a huge financial strain for the last several years. The service had a net loss of $15.9 billion last fiscal year, and expects to lose $6 billion this year.
But in 2006, it was doing well, with lots of mail to deliver, but then Congress changed the rules, and the USPS has been struggling ever since.
Washington required the service to PRE-fund its retiree benefits for the next 75 years. But the crushing blow was the demand from Congress that USPS pay that money over the next decade.
"That's a lot of money, when you look at it," said customer Antonio Bready. "Especially if you use the mail to mail off your bills and mail letters or whatever the case may be, that adds up to be a lot of money."
"With email, Twitter, people got better ways to communicate others than mail," said local business owner The Rabbitman. "The paperwork is almost dead. If you ain't got a computer you are through."
Over half the $16 Billion the USPS lost last year was caused by the pension funding requirement imposed by Congress.
The proposed new prices would take effect on Jan. 26, 2014, if approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission.