Washington Post: “Cheap Postal Rates Have a Cost”

The Washington Post’s editorial board this week ran a column favoring legislation that would return the 4.3% exigent surcharge to the base postal rate and give more pricing authority to the U.S. Postal Service.

In an op-ed piece titled, “The high price of suddenly cheaper stamps,” Post editorialists put forth the Postal Service’s line that the rate cut imposed last Sunday will cost it $2 billion a year in revenue and that the exigent increase could only be restored by legislation.

“Tied down like Gulliver by regulators and congressional barons, relentlessly lobbied by everyone from the greeting card industry to rural newspapers, contractually hamstrung by powerful labor unions, the Postal Service’s management lacks the autonomy necessary to run the system efficiently. It is a classic case of responsibility without authority,” the editorial read.

It backed Postmaster General Megan Brennan’s demand for greater pricing authority, calling it an “eminently sensible appeal.”

Meanwhile the Postal Regulatory Commission—which has power to set rates per the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006—this week called for public comment as it prepare a review of postal laws for the President and the Congress.

The 13 areas of interest the public is being asked to weigh in on include the market dominant rate system, negotiated service agreements, and service standards. Interested parties must submit comments to the PRC under docket number P12016-3 by June 14.

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