Facing dire financial issues, the United States Postal Service has proposed raising the cost of a first class stamp another 2 cents to 46 cents. According to the Wall Street Journal, "If approved by regulators, the increase to 46 cents for a standard letter would go into effect Jan. 2 and be the seventh increase in a decade. As of Jan. 7, 2001, the cost of a stamp was 34 cents."
The USPS says that with "plummeting mail volume traced to the recession and increased use of the Internet," a deficit of almost $7 billion is projected for the next fiscal year (which starts October 1). Increases, which include also raising postcard prices from 28 cents to 30 cents, would "raise about $2.3 billion for the first nine months of calendar 2011," the WSJ reports. And Postmaster General John Poter said, "There is no one single solution to the dire financial situation that the Postal Service faces. These proposed rate adjustments are moderate and part of a fair and balanced approach to ensuring mail service for all Americans well into the future."
Another idea being kicked around is reducing mail service from six days to five days a week, which would save $3 billion. Netflix chief service officer Andrew Rendich is for reducing service because, "Big rate increases will absolutely squash business and will absolutely slow growth for a company like Netflix," but the Postal Regulatory Commission chairwoman Ruth Goldway says they'll be taking a close look, "The long-term future of the Postal Service may be limited by their interest in reducing service today."