The United States Post Office's proposal to raise the price of a first-class stamp by five cents to 55 cents effective January 27, 2019, is no surprise.
I agree with Richard Reif's observation in his November 1st Dispatch (“Keep USPS Public”) that part of the problem is that Congress in 2006 mandated that the Post Office fully fund 75 years of retirement benefits for employees.
This has contributed billions to the Post Office's longterm debt. While many private and other public retirement plans are underfunded, the Post Office is vastly overfunded.
It is time for Congress to amend legislation and afford the Post Office ability to fund its retirement plan at a more reasonable level.
There are other initiatives that could assist in avoiding frequent stamp increases. The Post Office should continue with more joint business ventures like Amazon in expanding Sunday delivery. This could be the start of something big.
Using underutilized assets and facilities on Sunday could generate badly needed revenues. Why not consider going after other available untapped potential revenue streams?
The US Postal Service could sell advertising space on the sides of mailboxes, inside and outside the post offices and on all of its vehicles.
It could also sell off some of valuable real estate and move to less-expensive locations. Why not join banks and fast-food restaurants that sublet space at WalMart and other big box stores?
The Post Office should apply free-enterprise solutions to provide a more cost-effective product, reduce deficits and prevent more branches from closing, thus keeping its commitment to serve the public.