Your Eyes Do Not Deceive You: USPS Price Hike Brings Cost Of A First-Class Stamp To $0.49

Remember when it only cost a quarter to instantly get in touch with someone from a payphone? Then we all got nostalgic when the price started creeping up, until cell phones made that fond remembrance less of misty, water-colored memory. Now it costs almost two quarters to send a less-than-instant letter or card, with the new price of first-class stamps rising from $0.46 to $0.49. Kick in, nostalgia!

While yes, email is free, there are those who still like to send a letter or card the old-fashioned snailmail way. That snail is still traveling at his same pace but is charging three pennies more to carry your missive by way of the United States Postal Service.

Of course, there is always the option of buying a bunch of Forever stamps at the current price just in case prices go up again, which they inevitably will.

It’s not like this price hike is a big shock — consumers usually get some warning when this will happen, as they did in December when regulators approved an increase first proposed in September of last year.

The last time stamps went up in price was a year ago when the USPS tacked on a penny to the $0.45 it had cost previously. Let’s hope this three-cent tick at least goes toward digging the USPS out of its $5 billion hole, although that would mean mailing a whole lot of birthday cards.

Again? First-class stamp price rises to 49 cents [Associated Press]

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  1. Thorzdad2 says:

    I get so tired of the canned outrage that media outlets trot-out every time USPS gets a minor rate hike. Think FedEx or UPS would charge a mere 49¢ to take a letter across the continent? The USPS could quickly dig itself out of the hole if Congress would simply allow them to charge a more reasonable price for mail.

    • furiousd says:

      Two things I recall having heard:
      1) The only federal department/agency/whatever that’s allowed to make a profit is the treasury
      2) The USPS was spun off as a federally managed private something at some point in the past

      If those things are true to some extent, and I welcome correction, then my argument will be that agencies should be required to make a profit or else Congress will step in if too many deficit years go by. If I’m in charge of an organization that’s penalized for finding a way to save money or be more efficient, then I’ve got no motive for trying to do a good job. Further, if the USPS has been spun off in whatever form then it should be allowed to act independently

      • Thorzdad2 says:

        The USPS was spun-off under the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970. It’s a quasi-independent operation, in that Congress has sole authority to approve/enact postal rates. With the exception of costs associated with mailing to overseas voters and the disabled, it has not directly received tax funds since the early 1980s.

        The primary source of the USPS’s financial difficulties lies largely in Congress’ passing the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, which mandates the USPS pay $5.5 billion per year into an account to pre-fund retiree health-care, 75 years into the future.