Keep US Posted is imploring the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to oppose the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) proposal to raise postage rates in January 2024 as announced earlier today.
This proposed hike is not an isolated event, but a continuation of a trend of biannual price increases that have been implemented every January and July since 2022.
The Impact on First-Class Mail Products
If the PRC gives the green light to the proposed plan, all First-Class mail products will witness a 2 percent price surge, with the First-Class Mail Forever stamp slated to climb from 66 cents to 68 cents.
To put this into perspective, stamp prices were previously adjusted in July, moving from 63 cents to 66 cents, following an increase from 60 cents to 63 cents in January 2023.
The Domino Effect of Postage Hikes
The advocacy group has expressed grave concerns regarding the biannual postage increases, which are an integral part of the ‘Delivering for America Plan,’ the Postal Service’s 10-year strategy for achieving financial stability.
Keep US Posted cautions that these regular hikes are compounding the financial woes at USPS and may eventually necessitate a government bailout unless the PRC or Congress intervenes.
Kevin Yoder (R-Kans.), Executive Director of Keep US Posted and former Congressman, remarked, “These unprecedented postage hikes are giving Americans rate whiplash and compromising the Postal Service’s ability to deliver for America.”
He added that despite the intention to boost revenue, each new postage hike is deterring more consumers and businesses from utilizing mail services.
With mail volume currently reduced by nearly 9% year-over-year following the rate hikes in January and July, Yoder warns that the proposed increase next January will only perpetuate these losses.
He has previously called this problem “simplification,” to illustrate the runaway nature of these increases.
The Delivering for America Plan Under Scrutiny
Yoder further critiqued Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s biannual postage increases, stating that they are the only aspect of the Delivering for America Plan that has been realized.
Despite the plan’s assurance that USPS would break even in 2023, it is projected to incur a loss exceeding $8 billion this year, even after Congress supplied $100 billion of balance sheet relief in 2022.
Yoder emphasized that not only has package growth not aligned with the plan’s projections, but the unprecedented stamp hikes have also expelled more mail from the system than USPS anticipated.
Analyzing the Viability of Continuous Rate Increases
Earlier this year, Keep US Posted presented an analysis to Congress, which scrutinized the Postal Service’s plans to persist with biannual postage rate increases.
Commissioned by the Greeting Card Association, a member organization of Keep US Posted, the analysis revealed significant discrepancies in the Delivering for America plan’s projections and questioned the sustainability of continual excessive postage rate hikes.
The report underscored that while mail volumes initially surpassed forecasts, the recent trend of biannual rate increases has precipitated a hazardous decline in mail.
Keep US Posted – United for an Affordable Postal Service
Keep US Posted, represents a diverse coalition of consumers, nonprofits, and businesses and stands firm in its belief that a dependable, economical U.S. Postal Service is vital to our way of life and warrants safeguarding.
The group advocates for alternatives to the current and future initiatives that aim to decelerate mail delivery and amplify postage rates, thereby ensuring that the postal service remains accessible and affordable for all.