The price of a postage stamp rose by a penny on Sunday, but few Americans noticed. Fewer and fewer of us are paying bills or sending letters by snail mail.
Overall, first-class mail fell from 102 billion pieces in 2002 to 73.5 billion pieces in 2011. The volume of first-class stamped mail dropped from 51.9 billion pieces in 2002 to 25.8 billion pieces in 2011.
Thus, the Postal Service showed a record $15.9 billion loss for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. It has lost $41 billion over five years, and exhausted its $15 billion line of credit from the U.S. Treasury.
A taxpayer bailout looms.
Congress is considering allowing the Postal Service to sell ads, ship beer and wine, and end Saturday mail delivery.
Congress needs to lighten the burden on taxpayers who don't use the service as much as it can.