We hope you've all been saving up for the lean times, because the US Postal Service today announced that it wants to raise the price of stamps by 3 cents. That means that mailing a letter first class will now cost 49 cents. The chairman of the postal Board of Governors, Mickey Barnett, cites the agency's "precarious financial condition" and the uncertain prospects for postal overhaul legislation in Congress.
The agency expects to lose $6 billion this year. Today's request for the increase in stamp prices must be approved by the independent Postal Regulatory Commission. The Postal Service said it would ask for an adjustment to bulk mail rates in a filing with the commission tomorrow. No details were immediately provided. Media and marketing businesses say a big increase in rates could hurt them and lower postal volume and revenues. (Read more US Postal Service stories.)