FOX19 Investigates: The 'discount' on postage stamps

WASHINGTON D.C. (FOX19) - Stamp prices just went up in January, and now if the Postal Service has its way, they'll go up again by another three cents. That'll bring the price of a first-class stamp to 49 cents.

That's frustrating for a lot of Americans because the price has been going up so often. FOX19 Investigates has found that postage for letters has increased in six of the last eight years. But when we looked back even further, we found something surprising. Americans might actually be getting a discount.

In 1988, when the first Pres. George Bush was in office, the price of a first-class stamp was 25 cents. Today, it's 46 cents. But a dollar isn't worth as much today as it was back then, due to inflation. So FOX19 Investigates has discovered that if the Postal Service Commission approves the price hike request, the price will just be keeping pace with what the Postal Service took in from mailing a letter in 1988. In other words, a 25 cent stamp from 1988 would cost 49 cents in today's money, exactly what the Postal Service is asking for.

Much to the chagrin of many Americans, the Postal Service continues to have major financial problems, though Congress plays a role in that because of the way it requires the Postal Service to fund its workers' retirement. When the fiscal year ends Monday, according to the Associated Press, the Postal Service is expected to have lost about $6 billion.

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