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The United States Postal Service has been hemorrhaging money for years now, and with their credit from the U.S. Treasury completely maxed out they continue to operate at a loss while attempts at reform keep getting punted around Congress like so many political footballs. The USPS has had trouble implementing reforms even when it actually wants to, because the ‘quasi-governmental agency’ has so many rules and regulations governing its operations that competing special interests have plenty of opportunities to gum up the works.

A prime example comes in the form of the USPS recently mounting another effort to try to increase the price of stamps — you know, to actually reflect market forces and cover their costs of doing business. The federal government requires that “market dominant” (i.e., monopolistic and in this case government-sponsored entities, good grief) products’ annual prices increases do not exceed inflation, but the USPS can request an increase above the inflation rate from their regulator, the Postal Regulatory Commission, in the event of special circumstances.