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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Higher postal rate may improve service

Friday, March 22, 2002

"...the Sept. 11 tragedy has indeed adversely impacted the mail delivery"

Impacts from the Sept. 11 tragedy continue in many forms. Today the Postal Service will announce a major rate increase in mailing costs and at least part of the blame falls on the Sept. 11 events and the anthrax scare that followed. It will undoubtedly be years before the full impact of that tragic day is known.

The Postal Service is poised to hike first class postage by 3 cents as well as increase virtually all other rates and services. With a long history of losing money, the Postal Service actually has a valid argument for this latest rate hike because of the loss of business following the terrorists' attack.

The Postal Service has been on a long skid into financial concerns because of increased competition and perhaps because of the growth of email through the internet. But the post office has also been blamed for foolish spending. Those spending blunders have brought opposition to most planned rate hikes in the past but today's announcement ran into little opposition. Groups associated with the Postal Service accepted the argument that the Sept. 11 tragedy has indeed adversely impacted the mail delivery.

Despite cutting 12,000 jobs and halting all new construction, the Postal Service is still projected to lose $1.35 billion this year. That's less than last year but clearly unacceptable regardless of the reasons. The mid-summer rate increase will help offset some of those losses.

We rarely agree with rate increases of this sort. But this time - given the circumstances - we understand the need for the higher rate. Consumers will and should expect improved service with this latest rate increase. We'll have to wait and see if that materializes.

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