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Mary Berner, CEO of the Association of Magazine Media, recently asserted in Roll Call (“Don’t Give the USPS a Blank Check to Exploit Its Monopoly Powers: Return This Bill to Sender,” Jan. 29) that legislation pending in the Senate would provide the Postal Service with “unchecked, unprecedented power to charge Americans whatever it wants for its services.” Leaving aside the hyperbole, the underlying sentiment is simply untrue. Indeed, from even the most modest understanding of our public policy challenges, the idea that the Postal Service would emerge “unchecked” from any legislative outcome is laughable.
The bill provides reasonable authority and greater flexibility to develop and price products and services. This is a basic need for an organization that derives all of its income from the sale of postage. Additionally, the Postal Service and the Postal Regulatory Commission are bound by law to determine “just and reasonable” postage rates. This requirement will not change under proposed legislation — and it will always be in our interests to preserve the affordability of mail.
Your readers might be surprised to know that magazine publishers pay only about 27 cents for delivery on average, which is far below the rate at which the Postal Service can recover the cost to deliver. One might reasonably assume that such a steep pricing discount is the result of a long history of unchecked and unprecedented power — not of the Postal Service, but at its expense.
— Toni DeLancey, senior manager of public relations and corporate communications for the U.S. Postal Service